Friday, November 27, 2015

Redefining "The Kid's Table"

The kiddie table: Scaled down furnishing where the overflow guests at family holiday gatherings are banished sent; typically this applies to children and/or a bachelor uncle. The recollection of many is that this is a humbling scenario, humiliating, even, as you get taller, and begin to feel the pinch of familial hierarchal segregation. To illustrate this ubiquitous holiday scene I searched Pinterest for images, but found mostly super-glossy, over-idealized and over-decorated infantile dining wonderlands, with crafts and awards and a myriad of gestures to assure the tikes of their inability to sit still or entertain themselves for any length of time. What happened to cracking nuts, or just wandering around the backyard with cousins?? But I digress. The kiddie table may, or may not have been a part of your childhood, but it's a real thing, and people have real thoughts and memories on the subject. Maybe it was where the cousins commiserated over inequality, and the sad lack of craft supplies or maybe your kiddie table memories are fabulous and raise a nostalgia in your heart. Well... whatever, because "the kiddie" table has been redefined. Refined. Raised to a status of Royal Bearing! And wholly recreated by the "kiddies" themselves!

Behold! New and Improved! The plastic folding table made new, and glorious, and befitting kings and queens!

The best chairs to the kiddie table!

The finest dishes, and heraldry, goblets, cloth napkins, shields, two gravy choices!

Nothing humiliating about taking a sumptuous feast from a cushy velvet throne!

Our Thanksgiving, at either table, was lovely, and comforting, and filling. It was like... like pie and whipped cream, but then topped with mini-pie! Just, really quite good.

How was your Thanksgiving? I wish you glorious leftovers, and happy recollections, time to recover, time to enjoy another beautiful day. And if, like Matthew Inman, you feel a longing to return to the kiddie table, remember: This is your life, make it wonderfully your own! Seize your throne!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Parade Before Thanksgiving

Before Thanksgiving Day, before the turkey goes in the oven, and someone tries to do fancy napkin folds, there is another parade... and it lasts from dawn to well past bedtime! It's a favorite of mine. Yesterday was a long and full parade... we hit a favorite market for all of the how-did-we-forget-that ingredients, plus something for breakfast. Maria wanted to choose one special tomato to add to her ratatouille... she's aching to serve us her latest favorite dish. The crowds were not quite amassed, yet, and it was a fun stop to make, what with all the flowers, and happy shoppers. Later, William, Alex, and I made three more stops: Trader Joe's for this and that. We were met with the sight of more poinsettias, and loads of evergreens, and two dogs. I joked that it would be great if we could get our Christmas wreath, some garlands, and a pug! The next visit was to Michaels for snow making supplies! {More on this, soon.} Our last stop was at the building center, for canvas, because the Viking tent is going to get door flaps! That was a fun stop, too... trees are in the lot, and well, we just never get bored in a building center!

Back home there was apple peeling, coring, slicing and spicing going on. There are so many gorgeous pies, Delia, William, and Alex could open a bakery! Maria helped me with slicing oranges and limes for the cranberry relish I love so much... it's Martha's recipe. {Should I share it? Maybe no one even wants to look at another recipe for a while!} I got the turkey prepped, and a stock going for the dressing. Oh! The mac and cheese... that's the IronMan Pasta I used to make. William asked me to teach him. It's extra creamy with steamed cauliflower that we puree with Italian seasonings and fresh garlic. William topped it with the crumbs from the sourdough croutons he'd just finished baking. That's going to be delicious! By the time Geoff got home, we were ready for the Thai dinner he brought with him, then we jumped right back into cooking and preparing, including setting up the sewing machine for those tent flaps, and assembling desks for the boy's room.

I enjoyed stealing peeks at FB, seeing friends' posts, reading about their plans, and observations. Sure, it would be even nicer if we could all visit and see each other face to face, but there are limits. So, thank goodness for our phones and Internet... I was in Wisconsin, and Mexico City, I was down the street, and across town, all over California, up to Oregon! It's a good holiday, Thanksgiving. It makes me feel warm, sentimental, nostalgic. It brings fond memories, and fosters brand new ones... sharing time in the kitchen, around the home, everyone contributing, creating, learning, sharing. There is something for everyone. Thank goodness for Max being around to unload dishes, take out trash, make more orange juice. And Paul and Janece are joining us today, and I know they've been busy. Yes, it's all about food, but it isn't... The food is grand, and filling, but I think Thanksgiving is about sharing the process, being together to create special memories, having a common purpose and goal, then reflecting on our thankfulness... for each other, for comforts, for surviving, thriving, for funny videos on the Internet, for safe arrivals, and all the very many good things we are blessed to enjoy.

That Time We Ran Away To Join The Cirque

Cabinet of Curiosities? Cirque Du Soleil? Launch our holiday merriment under a fantastic blue and yellow bigtop tent? Of course we could not resist! And so, we ran away to join the Cirque, and we loved every bit of it. Lighting to costumes, props to choreography, and all of those breathtaking skills! We were absolutely enthralled for the entire experience. {A huge cheer and thanks to Robin and Sean for bringing Alex when they went to see this marvel... he came home enchanted and we knew we had to go, too!} During the act where the man balances on stacked and teetering acrylic cylinders, Maria and I were clinging to each other in suspense. We loved the part we never saw, and Felipe the runaway lion. I could go on and on, but perhaps you are already convinced? I'd buy everyone tickets, if I could! Then, we could all run away together.

Our adventure finished at the end of a pier, where we had dinner, and recounted the countless highlights. We tried to choose favorites, and answered the what-if question: If you could master one skill? I thought I'd like to be on the trampoline! For sure we want to make a theremin, a metal airplane-swing, and an aqua-blue and diaphanous, iridescent coat... for starters!

Happy Thanksgiving, by the way. I created this post yesterday, and now, I imagine I am either cooking or eating or recovering! What a good life, here, or at the circus!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When You See What This Family Does For Entertainment You Will Be

November 24.
Start: 6:14 pm
End: 8:32 pm

Yes, it's another sensational headline post, brought to you buy Dryer Balls, Puff Balls & Foo. We shamelessly lure unsuspecting readers into clicking a link to a Chickenblog post that's all about a family's goofy antics with their polka spotted kitty and yarn crafts.

We've begun our Thanksgiving break with wild abandon, thrills, and total domestic contentment.
Thankful for...
Visits to the Cirque~
Out of town guests~
Overnight guests~
Extra bedding~
The fireplace~
Orange juice made in the blender~
Wool and dryer balls~
The loads and heaps of dishes we are planning to cook for Thanksgiving~
Elastic waist clothes~!
The FB thread where we've been planning and discussing said feast~!
The return of more seasonal temperatures~
Anticipating Maria's birthday and party~
Planning the Solstice Party~
Cat memes~
Home trash service~
Indoor plumbing~
Each other~

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, friends.
I hope you are happily anticipating a lovely time with loved ones, comforts, and plenty to laugh about.