Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm a tad late with these pictures, but before I post the Christmas festivities, it seems only right to update you on our Louisiana Thanksgiving. My mom was in heaven: All the kids, grandkids, and assorted spouses were present. It took 2 houses and 2 hotel rooms to house us all, but by golly we fit everyone around 2 tables for the meals and it worked!

Dad likes to plan a project for our get-togethers, something for the kids to remember, and this year was the Year of the Sausage. (Not to be confused with the Year of the Pig Butchering and Sausage Making. We're scaling back. ) The minor project involved trying to get 17 people posed for the annual family picture. Were we successful? I have no idea. As soon as I get a copy, I'll make some introductions.

Here you can see the first step of the process. Men with knives gather round the table and trim the pork roasts very carefully. We are all about quality control! To the left you can see the kitchen aid mixer fitted with the grinder attachment. After grinding the pork, Dad mixed in the spices. My younger brother adds green onions to his sausage and my oldest son experimented with something called "bacon salt." (That seems a little redundant doesn't it?)
I got in on the action by helping untangle and wash casings. Do you really want to know where they come from? Probably not. At any rate, remember...quality control! Once the sausages were stuffed and tied, they were trucked down to my uncle's house where they were smoked in his smokehouse.

Oscar Mayer eat your heart out! Ready for bagging, labeling, and freezing.

The Red River in all its fall glory, viewed from the River House. This was the site of family picture taking, part 1.

My dad, in his usual stance.

Not the finished product, but a glimpse at some of us. Katie doesn't look very pregnant yet, but look how we are standing. Like mother, like daughter.

Silly kids, tired of posing, take matters into their own hands.

After a full morning of sausage making and an afternoon of picture taking, we made an executive decision to postpone the turkey and dressing until the next day. Who says we can't be just as thankful on Friday? Besides, we had a fridge full of brisket and ribs planned for the weekend. We adjusted our timing and took the rest of the day off. More time to play Rock Band on the Wii, knit scarves and baby blankets, play with the dog, drink copious amounts of coffee, and visit around the table.

Turkeys? We fried 3 of them. (No they are not greasy. No I won't give you the instructions. Frying turkeys is my brother's specialty but he doesn't have a blog yet.)As you can see, turkey-frying involves all the menfolk doing what they do best:

Dinnertime! Let's see...can you spot the green bean casserole? The sweet potatoes with marshmallows? How about the homemade cranberry sauce? Certain traditions just can't be tampered with. (Notice the paper plates and plastic cups? We were all very thankful for fewer dishes to wash.)

This and That...

The background is new thanks to Nikki. I first heard about her "Blogs for a Cause" from my friend Ellen (Howell Quints, see link below). Figured that if I'm going to write my little heart out, I might as well enjoy the look of this thing. It's a bargain and if you're a blogger, I can't recommend her highly enough!

My other site,, is still active but I plan to use it more for communicating with my students and their parents. Posts over there will relate more to reading, writing, homeschooling, PREP, and the books we are studying.

Posts here, on the other hand, will probably include everything from recipes (this is me we're talking about!) to observations on exterior Christmas decorations. (Please don't make Santa twice the size of the manger scene. Thank you.) I'm really much too sweet to be curmudgeonly, but gosh darn it, if I want to decorate my little corner of the web with raspberries and hearts, well....oh wait. I did that already!

Welcome, welcome!