Thursday, November 22, 2007

Two Birthday Celebrations, Thanksgiving, And An Anniversary, All In One Week

Monday night, my nephew helped Josh open his birthday presents and he helped Josh blow out his birthday candles. My nephew had a couple of his own presents to open, too, so that he would not feel left out. My nephew, for the second time in just a few days, loved eating birthday cake and ice cream. He sat on Josh’s lap during the gift-opening and during the cake-and-ice-cream consumption, and he had a ball (and so did Josh).

Tonight, my nephew helped me open my birthday presents and he helped me blow out my birthday candles. Again, my nephew had a couple of his own presents to open, too. After the gifts were open, he had cake and ice cream again. Tonight, he sat on my lap during the gift-opening and during the cake-and-ice-cream consumption. He loved every minute of it, and so did I.

I am afraid that, from now on, my nephew may start expecting to celebrate a birthday every couple of nights! He has decided that birthdays are lots of fun!

I did not waste any time blowing out the candles tonight, because there were so many candles on the cake that they constituted a serious fire hazard. I cannot believe that I will be twenty-seven years old tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will stay home all day.

In the morning, we will have a grand breakfast: all kinds of fruit (grapefruit, berries, melons), Eggs Benedict, a special French Toast made from real French Bread soaked and cooked in spices and covered with a special caramel butter, a special Norwegian coffee cake my mother started making tonight (it somewhat resembles the Swedish version of Stollen) and a special German coffee cake I started making tonight (it somewhat resembles traditional German Kuchen), along with homemade pumpkin bread and homemade banana bread.

For lunch tomorrow, we will have a special Dutch Chowder my mother always makes for Thanksgiving lunch and Christmas lunch. It takes eight hours to prepare, but it must be prepared the day before and allowed to chill for twenty-four hours before it is heated and served.

We will have our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night, probably around 6:00 p.m., because that time will suit my nephew.

We will have roast stuffed turkey, of course, and we will also have baked ham and roast stuffed chickens. In addition to herb stuffing cooked in the birds, we will also have oyster stuffing baked separately.

We will have mashed potatoes, and whipped sweet potatoes, and candied sweet potatoes, and all sorts of cranberries: cranberry/orange relish, a cranberry salad made with Jell-O and cream cheese and nuts and other fruits, and a cranberry sauce made with little else but whole fresh cranberries and natural sweeteners. We will have all sorts of vegetables: parsnips, Brussels Sprouts, corn pudding, escalloped green-and-red cabbage.

For dessert, we will have pumpkin pie, Dutch apple pie and sour-cream raisin pie. The latter is to die for, and is one of my mother’s greatest masterpieces. She took a recipe from her own mother, handed down through heaven only knows how many generations, and improved upon it for twenty consecutive years until it became the great prize-winner it is today. In fact, my mother baked several sour-cream raisin pies today, and she gave them to various friends this afternoon. My mother is famous for her sour-cream raisin pies.

I don’t think anyone will starve tomorrow.

On Friday, Josh and I must work, but on Friday night my mother, my sister-in-law, my middle brother and Josh and I will attend a performance of Brian Friel’s “The Home Place” at the Guthrie Theater. My father and my older brother will stay home with my nephew. “The Home Place” is receiving its American premiere at the Guthrie and people who have already attended the production have recommended it heartily. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Guthrie Theater production of “The Home Place” is the most important theatrical event, and the finest theatrical event, of the current season anywhere in the U.S.

On Saturday morning, my brothers and Josh and I will probably go out and play basketball and swim. We will probably watch college football games Saturday afternoon. For Saturday night, we are talking about going to the Minnesota/Central Michigan basketball game at Williams Arena. If we go, it will be our first game under new coach Tubby Smith. We will take our Dad with us if we go. I think we will wait until the last minute before deciding whether to go—it will depend, I believe, on whether the late Saturday afternoon football games are worth watching to their conclusions.

On Sunday, after church, my brothers and I will take my parents (and everyone else, too) to lunch at a very, very nice restaurant. My parents will celebrate their wedding anniversary on Monday, and this is one way my brothers and I plan to help them mark this great occasion.

After lunch, we will have to go home and everyone will have to start making preparations to go to the airport in the late afternoon.

Thanksgiving week will be over before we know it.


  1. I'm glad you had a terrific birthday, Andrew!

    I hope your Thanksgiving was superb as well.


  2. J.R.:

    I hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful one, too.

    I hope all is well, and I hope your week is off to a good start.