It'S All About The Family - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 213645

Put the Kettle on....

It's All About the Family 
Dec. 25, 2010 7:49 pm 
Updated: Dec. 31, 2010 6:41 am
Christmas Holidays.  All the "hoopla" is over for this year.  My family does a lot of celebrating.  We start with lunch on the 24th.  That celebration is with my husband's side of the family.  He has one sister and a brother, both who are married, his dad and a niece and a step-nephew, which made 12 people in all for our luncheon feast. 

I cooked a turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, 2 veggie sides, and a huge tray of cookies.  This is the only time during the year that they all get together.  He has never been real close with his family.  In fact, I think if it weren't for his sister and myself, this luncheon would never happen, even though everyone seems to enjoy themselves once we are gathered.

Then, the celebrations begin with my family.  My family loves to get together and when we do there is much laughter, and even more food!  My oldest sister and brother-in-law live in South Dakota.  If they could have been here it would have been an absolute perfect holiday, but Deb called us while we were eating today so we just passed the phone around and all got a chance to talk with her.  Not perfect, but as good as it could get.

Last night we all gathered at my parents' house.  What a spread my mom put out for all to enjoy.  It occurred to me that every single person contributed in some way to the feast.  The cookie trays were fabulous due to the efforts of many of us.  My son made an awesome appetizer out of some of the geese he shot while hunting in New York.  He cut the meat into bite-sized chunks, coated them with cajun seasoning, wrapped a piece of bacon around each piece, and grilled on the grill.  We had ham, scalloped potatoes, salad, shrimp, venison summer sausage, wassail, and homemade eggnog.  I made the eggnog - and in honor of Grandpa (who passed away a little over 20 years ago) we all had a shot.... or two..... of Jim Beam with it.  Grandpa loved his Jim Beam and he would make his glass of eggnog and "secretly" let each of us kids sample it. 

I hosted Christmas Day dinner.  My husband made a very tasty prime rib.  I made a sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, green salad with cranberry vinaegrette, and of course Deb's Awesome Baked Cranberries.  I made a chocolate cheesecake and a plain cheesecake for dessert, and the cranberries went great over the plain cheesecake.  We still had a zillion cookies to enjoy, and my son also made candied walnuts and pecans.

My daughter and son-in-law made calendars for all of us for gifts.  These are not just any calendar - they collected photos of all the family dogs, both past and present, and each month is a collage of dogs.  Kristi added a quote to each page, and important dates are noted, such as birthdays and anniversaries.  Even the dogs' birthdays are listed!  They are fantastic calendars and will be treasured by everyone.  Truly a work of love!

In addition to all the great food - we had great company.  After everyone had left and the dishwasher was merrily doing it's thing, I sat down to quietly enjoy my tree and fire in the fireplace with one final glass of wine, and reflect.  I am so thankful to have the great parents that I have, and all of the other members of my family.  Wealth can be measured in many ways, and I have to say I am a very rich woman indeed - my family makes me so.  

On the 27th my husband, son, and I leave for Chincoteague Island, Virginia along the Eastern Shore. The "boys" will be duck hunting with Suzy, the black lab.  I will spend my day in front of the fire, with a good book and a good "old dog", Missy.  When the hunting is finished for the day we will explore the island, visit the beach, and of course enjoy a few Chincoteague oysters.  Some of our favorite restaurants are on this tiny island and I am looking forward to visiting them.  Also this year the Island is hosting the first ever Horseshoe drop at midnight on New Year's Eve. 

May everyone find 2011 to be a joyous and prosperous year! 
Dec. 26, 2010 4:16 am
Wow, you are truly blessed! It sounds like a Christmas to remember, with enough goodies to keep an army happy. Enjoy your time at the beach and Happy New Year to you and the family.
Dec. 26, 2010 4:28 am
Yes, CA, I truly am! Somehow my parents managed to raise 4 kids and instill good values in each and every one of us, and it seems that we've all raised our children in the same manner for it has become apparent they all understand and appreciate what a good family is all about! Happy New Year to you and your family as well!
Dec. 26, 2010 4:57 am
What a wonderful Christmas you had and I very much enjoyed reading about it. Happy New Year to you and your family!
Dec. 26, 2010 5:13 am
SLN: Happy New Year to you and yours as well! Thanks for stopping in.
Dec. 26, 2010 5:23 am
Super - thanks for sharing. Mine will be posted soon!
Dec. 26, 2010 7:04 am
Lovely! Your family is truly a blessing!
Dec. 26, 2010 7:40 am
Sounds like the perfect Christmas!!!!
Dec. 26, 2010 8:19 am
It is all about family. Last night as we were enjoy another Christmas dinner together I asked everyone at the table what there favorite Christmas memory was - each one remembered some event or someone special - not one remembered a "present". Good memories keep forever. :)
Dec. 26, 2010 8:42 am
BN: That is wonderful sharing memories and finding that the most lasting memories are those of loved ones and events shared with those loved ones!
Dec. 26, 2010 12:29 pm
It sounds like the best of both worlds! The guys do what they want and you get to be close to them, but are not expected to hunt! Great way to work out personal preferences! I love the name of the New Year's Party!
Dec. 26, 2010 12:43 pm
sueb - Chincoteague is our most favorite place in the world to visit! We went there for our honeymoon 29 yrs ago on the suggestion of my Grandpa, and we've been back almost every year since. This winter hunting trip has become a new tradition for us - this being the 3 year in a row we've gone. The past 2 years my daughter and son-in-law also came along, but are unable to make it this year. We'll miss having them along and hopefully next year they will be able to come with us again.
Dec. 26, 2010 2:19 pm
Mother Ann it sounds like you had the perfect holiday. I'm glad to hear it. Also, I made your cranberries and they were the hottest thing on my table and the fastest thing to be missing from table!! Everyone enjoyed and inhaled them!! Thanks again for the recipe and I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year and safe travels as well.
Dec. 26, 2010 4:10 pm
Dragonfly - thank you!! I hope you have a very Happy New Year as well. I doubled the cranberries and we are finishing up the last couple tablespoons of them tonight over the last slivers of cheesecake. Amazing how fast those things go!
Dec. 29, 2010 12:45 pm
I've never been to Chincoteague in the winter, it must be lovely. Our holidays, too, are all about family and this year we have the added bonus of family visiting from Norway. Against my better judgement we have agreed to take them to Times Square for NYE, something I did once when I was about 18. Not being a fan of large crowds or cold weather I am doing this because they are so looking forward to it. Hopefully, most of the smow and ice will have been cleared away by then.
Dec. 29, 2010 6:12 pm
I have not seen my family since I moved to Sweden seven years ago. I miss them terribly, and this holiday season is especially hard for my sister since her husband of 40 years passed away in August. I spent hours on the phone with her, but I sure wish I could be there with her. Someday I hope to get back there, I have two grandsons I would like to meet, the oldest was just a baby when I left, and the youngest is just four. It makes me feel good to see all of your gatherings, and it brings back wonderful memories. I hope that you will all have a very happy and crowded New Year as well. I am happy here with my husband, and the stress level is quite diminished, but there is just something about families, laughter, games, and kids that just make the holidays, in spite of the stress.
Dec. 29, 2010 7:54 pm
Hi MA, Heartwarming account of your Christmas. I can just see you sitting by the fire, sipping wine with a grateful heart. After everyone was in bed, I got mine, sat in my favorite chair and with a heart bursting with love, gave thanks for my family, our health and the wonderful time we had celebrating the Holiday Season together. We are blessed, aren't we?
Dec. 30, 2010 2:26 am
The calendars must be works of art. What a lovely, thoughtful gift! You are blessed with a wonderful heart and family. Thank you for sharing.
Dec. 30, 2010 4:54 am
BigShotsMom: Wow! Have fun! Here on the Island where we are vacationing, they are having the 1st ever Lighted Horseshoe Drop. We plan to attend, but I'm certain it will be nothing like Times Square! Have fun & how neat to have family from so far away visiting!
Dec. 30, 2010 4:56 am
Choppie - at least we do have phones and internet to keep in touch with those distant relatives. Imagine how it was a hundred years ago. Happy New Year to you!
Dec. 30, 2010 4:58 am
Candice, yes we are truly blessed! I have a friend who's daughter chooses to not keep in touch with her, thru a lot of fault of my friend, but that's a whole story in itself. I can't even imagine one of my children not wanting to spend time with me or their father, it would break my heart.
Dec. 30, 2010 4:59 am
Mamaw, thank you for stopping in. Happy New Year to you!
Dec. 30, 2010 12:04 pm
Great blog Mother Ann! It sounds like you and your family had a wonderful holiday! You are so right when you say it is all about family. What could be more important than that? Unfortunately I ended up being the designated basket case this year, tears and sobbing- the works (my grandfather passed away right before Thanksgiving, and it just sort of hit me that he is gone). I felt like I had ruined Christmas for everyone...instead, my family reassured me that my emotions could flow freely, and we all shared wonderful, happy memories for the rest of the evening! Family is truly a blessing- Happy New Year to you and yours :)
Dec. 30, 2010 1:26 pm
Just found your blog, Mother Ann. The board was busy in the week I was away from it. Did you make it to Chicoteague or did the snow storm stop you? Your cranberries were a hit and were quickly gone on Christmas Eve. I made another batch on Christmas Day that I'll tell you about.
Mel K 
Dec. 30, 2010 2:28 pm
Thanks for taking the time to share the special memories of your Christmas 2010 with all of the AR family. Enjoyed reading your blog and I am glad that it was such a wonderful holiday for you and your loved ones. Christmas gatherings with family and loved ones are very special memories.You are blessed and so are your other family members as I can tell that you really work hard to make sure it is a special time for all. Wishing you a Blessed New Year. Hope it will be healthy and happy! Blessings,Mel
Dec. 31, 2010 4:56 am
Puck - there's nothing wrong with "being the basket case". My Grandpa passed away 21 yrs ago (just 3 wks before my son was born) and I still cry when I think of how much I miss him. Grandpa is fondly remembered every Christmas when the eggnog & Jim Beam is set out. It does get easier; cherish your memories.
Dec. 31, 2010 4:59 am
Hi Mike! We did it make it to Chincoteague - and the snowstorm did stop us as well - but that's going to be in my next blog, probably once I get home and have pictures to post. We are having a wonderful time here and the "boys" are having some success at the hunting, my son even decided Suzy is not worthless after yesterday. I made double batch of cranberries so there would be plenty for cheesecake. The cranberries ran out before the cheesecake! ;-) Tell me about your Christmas Day batch, please!
Dec. 31, 2010 5:02 am
Mel, I don't really feel as if I work all that hard at it. We just all enjoy doing our part and luckily it comes together! Here's hoping you have a happy & healthy New Year as well!
Dec. 31, 2010 6:41 am
Well, turns out my pictures are already transferred into the computer, so my new blog about getting to Chincoteague is up!
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
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Ravenna, Ohio, USA

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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