The pressure to impress diminishes the value of the feast. Not only will it result in stress, it also defeats the purpose of the occasion which is to set aside a time to count the blessings we've received during the year and thank the God who graciously favored us. Today Brahms reminded me yesterday to relax - just relax. And I listened to him. Today was a peaceful stress-free day! And everything turned out great.
Early dinner is better. Scheduling dinner at around 2 pm eliminates the need for numerous hor d'oeuvres. This relieves the hostess from preparing so many little things. Today (Thanksgiving Day 2016) we did exactly this - dinner at 2 o'clock. We ate dessert at around 5 pm after Tim and the kids played "Don't Starve Together" and after I finished my painting of crab apples. A second dinner is in order as there are a lot of left-overs and a cornucopia of fruits sits on the table for eating.
And by the way, Tim did a great job grilling the turkey - which turned out beautifully golden with darkened wings and thighs and tender and moist white meat. We used a different brand of turkey this time from an independent grower. I was a little bit skeptical to begin with but ended up feeling happy and pleased with the quality. Normally I have to rub the bird with a lot of oranges and lemons just to remove the strong smell of turkey but this one met my requirements when the packaging was removed and it delivered a delicious roast turkey. In terms of aromatics, I put sprigs of rosemary and thyme in the cavity of the bird - and this I intend to repeat next year.
Thanksgiving is not the same when a family member is not present. Shannon being in Madison leaves an empty space in my heart. I now understand what my mother used to say when I was growing up. (She used to work in Manila while I lived with my grandparents) I am thankful that Miriam and Brahms still can be with us and thankful that we can talk to Shannon and still share experiences over the phone. She might be far but we share the joy when she told us right before Thanksgiving Day that she got a raise and that she ran a 5K Turkey Trot early today. God is good!
People think their food is better than yours. No matter how you present your table spread, or how expensive the china you eat them on and the silverware you used to eat them with - it does not matter, people will still think that their food is better than yours. This is not about you nor about them but it is simply because of tradition and experience that surrounds the table. Moral of the story: Food pictures should not be the focus of social media posts on Thanksgiving Day. Just saying.