This past weekend, Mom and I hosted our big family Christmas gathering at our family’s lakehouse. We got there around lunchtime on Friday and started decorating. Remember evil gnome Santa? He greeted guests and kept watch over Mom and me while we put lights on the porch.
I had been making snacks all week, so I was glad to finally get them out on display.
Also in advance, I made two big crockpots of chili for Friday night.
After dinner, I started on preparation for Saturday’s big meal.
I look like Jack Nicholson. Check out my breasts.
Tee-hee. I roasted a couple of turkey breasts Friday night. Check the time behind me…I was up until midnight making gravy. When the turkey went in the oven, we belatedly celebrated Mam-ma’s birthday with her traditional pumpkin cheesecake. [The one I made at Thanksgiving tasted like smoke due to an unfortunate spillage issue in my oven. When we made this cheesecake, some spilled out and full-on CAUGHT ON FIRE. However, the cheesecake tasted fine this time. Go figure.]
After a short, restless night’s sleep (Mom and I slept side-by-side on a double bed with kittens pouncing on us all night…), we got up and made little frozen sausage biscuits for the crowd. I like mine with mustard and grape jelly, just not at the same time…though that doesn’t sound horrible, does it?
After breakfast and a shower, it was time to get to work! My cousin got some shots of me dismantling the turkey. I was almost in tears because I wanted to do it myself (i.e., I don’t need a man to do it for me) but got frustrated when I was fake picked-on by my uncle. I’m an only child and the baby of the family…I don’t like feeling incompetent. I did it all by myself and it came out just fine.
We had quite a few casseroles on the menu…
And – ooh, lookie there! – some fruits and veggies, too!.
I also made our traditional cold Christmas punch with cranberry juice, ginger ale, pineapple juice and almond extract as well as some hot spiced apple cider.
We all used to exchange names to get gifts for each other, but now that my cousins are all having kids, we just do gifts for the little ones and my grandmother.
However, Mom and I missed our gift-giving so much that we started a new tradition – Yankee Swap/White Elephant. We had a blast, so I hope we play it next year, too!
After all the gifts were given, the kids wanted to see the kittens.
Poor kittens.So now that the tour is over…time to get back on track for realz?