Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping!

Husband JP and I were lucky enough to be invited to Thanksgiving dinner with Older Daughter’s in-laws, who pretty much set the standard for Southern hospitality and generosity. Not to mention incredibly good food — melt-in-your-mouth smoked turkey, Older Daughter’s signature corn casserole, homemade sourdough rolls and that broccoli salad with onions and grapes I love but never make myself were only a few of the highlights, along with JP’s favorites of deviled eggs and green-bean casserole. After we rolled ourselves away from the table, it was time for after-dinner entertainment — which, predictably, seemed to split along gender lines. Those who were planning upcoming shopping trips —  this group seemed to be mostly women — settled in to scan the ads and make a schedule. Outside, another group — and this one was mostly men — tried to outdo each other with feats of strength, skill and endurance chopped firewood from a lovely old cherry tree and fixed a balky chainsaw. But then we regrouped for a late afternoon hike. And I got to take some banana pudding home! So my Thanksgiving started out with precious grandbaby hugs and ended with a bowl of leftover goodness. Hope yours was full of love and sweetness, too.

Thanksgiving Dinner — or Why I’m Glad We’re Honorary Behels

I’m not going to embarrass myself by telling you how many of these desserts I sampled at Thanksgiving dinner, but let’s just say I can tell you without a doubt that every one of these yummy pies and cakes and cookies and trifles was absolutely delicious. My daughter’s in-laws always have a big Behel-family feast — and luckily they consider my husband and me as family. My daughter’s mother-in-law made the chess and pumpkin pies from her grandmother’s recipes and her brother-in-law’s wife made the dark chocolate and buttercream cupcakes. As you can imagine, my husband and I started out sharing a plate of dessert goodies but quickly realized that we each needed our own. And there was my husband’s favorite: Green bean casserole. And my daughter’s famous corn casserole. And Paula Deen’s broccoli casserole. And light and soft homemade rolls. And now I’m making myself hungry all over again.

We’re still unpacking and settling in to our new house. And that’s good, because I’ve wrung two newspaper columns out of the experience and I’ve got a couple more percolating. When that last box is empty, I’m not sure what I’m going to write about. Maybe that’s why I keep putting off tackling all those boxes in the garage.