Nov 16

Guest Post from my BFF (about a Thanksgiving with my family)

My favorite Thanksgiving memory is from two years ago when my BFF worked my ass off.

Some background:  I grew up in a small family so though the kitchen was important it wasn’t as important as most families.  We didn’t have huge dinners, at Thanksgiving or any other times.  I married into a family who had Thanksgiving down to a science; I only had to bring one dish.  I was ok with that.  These last several years, being single again, I gratefully accept friends’ invitation to dinner and again only had to bring a single dish.

Two years ago I tasted (pun intended) what a large Thanksgiving was all about.  My BFF’s mother was dying of cancer and she wanted to give her mom the gift of having all her family around her.  30 people were coming to a tiny town in Central Fl, a town that is 2 ½ hours away from my home.  She asked for my help and I said yes.

I knew this was going to be hard work so I thought about ways I could make it fun.  Music was my inspiration.  I loaded up my iPod with all kinds of music.  Then I crammed my car with the iPod dock, chairs, tables, tablecloths, and anything else I could think of.  Did I mention I brought 10 bottles of wine and most of her family doesn’t drink!

I took Wednesday off as did my BFF and arrived at her house around noon.  I had the best egg salad sandwich waiting for me.  She knew she needed to keep me nourished!  We went over a game plan.  Two turkeys, a ham, corn pudding, mashed potatoes, dressing, mac n cheese, green bean casserole, macaroni salad, pea salad, rolls, gravy, two pumpkin pies, and banana pudding.  Thankfully other family members offered to bring the rest of the desserts.  Every recipe was from scratch too, no shortcuts for my BFF.  We organized the seating plan and the decorations.  Trying to figure out how to make sure 30 people have a place to sit and eat in a small house is challenging.

Then it was time to begin the food preparation.  Music on and loud – check!  Wine glasses full – check!  The craziness began.  Little Motown and the green bean casserole was done.  Some Blind Boys of Alabama and there was the corn pudding.  I learned I could peel 25 lbs of potatoes so long as I had some Mama Mia playing.  By 11:00 pm my BFF’s three teenagers thought we were on drugs.  We were just high on fun!

Up early the next morning and grabbed some good strong coffee to wash away the aches and pains.  Tables & chairs went up, decorations too.  It was a total team effort with my BFF’s husband and three kids helping.  Family started arriving around 11:00 am, her mom around 2:00.  Before I knew it 30 people were talking, laughing and eating.  It was a great time.

At one point toward the end of the day I was sitting on the hearth next to my BFF.  We each had a glass of wine and quietly toasted ourselves.  I was grateful to be able to give her and her mom the gift of time and friendship to help this wonderful family Thanksgiving happen. Three weeks later I was back at my BFF’s house to attend her mom’s funeral.   In case you don’t know my BFF is Amanda Wilson @AGWilsonBS.

Life is fleeting so enjoy this Thanksgiving with whomever you have made part of your family.

Dedicated to Toni Berry.

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