Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

We hosted our Thanksgiving Dinner this past Sunday.  We had about 25 people on the guest list, but ended up having "only" about 19.  Every year is a huge discussion on how big the turkey should be.  Every year we say, next year we need a smaller bird.  You must realize that our oven is small(er) compared to the standard US oven.  This year we ended up with a turkey a bit over 35lbs.  Not our biggest yet, though I think it earned the silver medal.  In order for it to fit in the oven we have to take out the rack holders on the side.  You know what I mean?  So you couldn't put a rack in anymore and the turkey sits on the bottom of the oven - on a cooking sheet of course.  We have to be pretty vigilant about sucking out the turkey juice with the turkey baster (had to look that word up :) ) or it will start running out of the oven.  Yummm...  Jan needs to collect it anyway to make his famous gravy.

We actually considered either not having Thanksgiving Dinner this or perhaps doing it on a smaller scale, since, you know, we also have Blaise to take care of.  But, in the end, tradition won, and honestly it is a nice gathering of people, and who I am to turn down an opportunity to show off my baby?

Given the number of people that attend, we have to do some trickery to fit them all comfortably into our apartment.  We have a nice dining room table - that sits 12...clearly not enough.  What we've done every year since Thanksgiving expanded to its current state is take out the couch in our living room and borrow two long picnic tables from the wine bar downstairs.  It makes our living echo a bit, but at least we all fit into one room instead of spread out all over the place.

Blaise also shared in our Thanksgiving Feast.  He got some sweet potatoes earlier in the day and then ate from my plate later.  He needed the Thanksgiving Pants afterwards! :)

I've often wondered if the foreign relations actually get the meaning of our American Thanksgiving, and short of doing some research, conducting some interviews and then holding a lecture, I'm not sure I could really explain it very well.  The concept of celebrating the harvest isn't soley an American tradition, that part is clear, but the part about how we take the time to appreciate our blessings is what the holiday means (to most people) today, uh, right?  The historical factor with the Pilgrams and Indians is a little less heartwarming: let's break bread together, but then we're going to organize ourselves to try and wipe you out.  I think as I raise my son, we'll focus on being thankful for what we have, while keeping in mind what was taken away from the Native Americans and vowing to not allow something similar to happen under our own watch.

This gives you an idea of the size of the turkey.  Blaise weighs about 22lbs, the turkey over 35.

Clearly a tight fit

Contemplating the meaning of Thanksgiving - surely it can't all be about the persecution of the Native Americans

Daddy and Blaisey

Adrian - 4 years

Mommy and Blaisey

Babi feeding Blaise his pre-Thanksgiving Dinner of sweet potatoes

The Seimetz Family - Martin, Jen and Jonah

Baby Jonah 13 weeks

Blaise with Tante Andi and her boyfriend Andreas

Jan's Uncle Georg, Uwe, Jörg and Aunt Ivana

Martin, Jen, Jan's Mom Noemi, Jan's Aunt Ivana

Jan's cousin, Renata, with Blaise

Cousins and significant others: Sebastian, Jörg, Oli, Jana and Caro

Blaise "helping" Adrian with his puzzle, i.e. taking the pieces OUT for him :)

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