Another Fine Weekend Filled With Good Food And Good Friends - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 217689

Put the Kettle on....

Another fine weekend filled with good food and good friends 
Jan. 17, 2011 6:01 am 
Updated: Jan. 19, 2011 4:19 pm
We have become friends with the owners of the local Mexican Restaurant.  He is my daughter's age (well, he's 26, she's 25, but close enough) and has 3 children ages 3, 5 and 8.  Their children are absolutely adorable - very well behaved.  I think of them as my "adopted" grandchildren. 

Around the holidays we were talking with them and discovered they had never had an American Thanksgiving Feast.  So, I promised them that after all the holidays were over we'd have them over for a turkey dinner.  Yesterday was that day.  I spent Saturday baking brownies for the kids - they love them and beg for them every time we see them.  They aren't anything special, I bake a pan of boxed brownies and while they're still warm I spread marshmallow creme and chocolate icing on them. They are a gooey, chocolatey mess and a great treat to feed someone else's kids!  I also made a cheesecake for the adults, and cranberries to top it off with.  I made my friend's special cheesecake recipe.  If you read any of my first blogs (The Ladies of the Kitchen) I talked about the elderly lady who had been in charge of our dog club's kitchen and how the torch was passed along to me, as well as her "secret" cheesecake recipe.  There wasn't even a crumb of the crust left over! 

My daughter and son-in-law and my son came for the dinner as well.  I wasn't sure how it would go, the wife doesn't speak much English so she's very quiet, but her husband speaks fairly good English.  The 8 year old speaks very fluently, the other two are learning.  Saturday I crawled up into my attic and brought down some of my children's toys.  I found the box of Barbies and all their clothes and accessories.  I knew the two girls would love them.  Then, I found my son's Lego's.  Wow!  I didn't remember him having so darn many of those little things!  I also found some blocks and a basket full of Mardi Gras beads.  I figured those things would keep them occupied and if they got tired of them, we could pull out some games and books, or a movie.  Within about a half hour my living room looked like a tornado had gone thru it.  It sure brought back memories of when my kids were small.  The 3 year old loved the Mardi Gras beads - she made everyone - cats included - put beads on. 

Then we sat down to dinner.  I had made a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn, and crescent rolls.  The crescent rolls were simply Pillsbury out of the can.  When I was putting them on the pan to put in the oven, the 8 year old asked what they were.  None of them had ever had them before.  They didn't understand what rolls were, but once they were done they loved them!  Jeannette (the 8 yr. old) sat next to me and as each bowl of food came around, she would ask what it was, she knew the mashed potatoes and turkey and corn.  She wasn't so sure about stuffing, but I had her taste it.  About two minutes later, she was scooping a huge pile onto her plate.  She said "I have no idea what this is - but IT IS GOOD!".   Her dad said they had eaten sweet potatoes before, but never a casserole with the brown sugar and nut topping on it.  He loved that and couldn't eat enough of it. 

After the table was cleared and dessert was long-gone we all retired to the livingroom to enjoy the fire and chat a while.  When our friends decided it was time to leave their mother told them to pick up the toys.  It took them less than five minutes and there wasn't a single thing out of place! 

Dinner went well and it was so nice to see people enjoying what I had prepared.  It was also nice that my kids came home to eat with us.  All week my son had said he wouldn't be coming home as he wanted to save his gas, but I guess the lure of a home-cooked turkey dinner and the chance to play with his long-lost Legos was just too much for him.  :-)
Jan. 17, 2011 6:57 am
Well done, Mother Ann! Occasionally, we have had the pleasure (and fun) of exchanging cultural celebrations and have always been awakened to things we never expected. I'm sure your guests appreciated very much just because they didn't have to cook.
Jan. 17, 2011 7:07 am
Mike - we have been to 2 of their children's baptism parties. The first one we didn't know what we were eating until we had already eaten - it was goat meat. I have to say we liked it, so can't complain. We actually were looking forward to it the second time around! And their 8 year old daughter put it very nicely "This is nice - my mom always has to spend all day cooking in the kitchen to feed us!" Not sure my kids even thought of that at 8 years old...
Jan. 17, 2011 7:38 am
How fun! You sound like a most excellent hostess Mother Ann. Thank you for sharing.
Jan. 17, 2011 7:45 am
We were good friends with an Hispanic family with their daughter was young - they have since moved away. Anna called us her "fake" grandparents!
Jan. 17, 2011 7:47 am
It sounds like you had a great day. What a treat for all of you!
Jan. 17, 2011 8:17 am
Ahhh! I want to come to your house for dinner! How fun to share food with a family from another culture!
Jan. 17, 2011 8:46 am
Oh so nice Mother Ann! I would like to come to dinner, not for just the wonderful food, but to play with the Barbies. LOL!
Jan. 17, 2011 8:49 am
Anissa - it was fun to play Barbies again! I was playing with the 2 girls and I suddenly realized everyone was watching us. Their dad asked me if I was having fun. Of course I was! My daughter enjoyed it as well, though since she's a preschool teacher, she never really ever quit "playing". LOL
Jan. 17, 2011 8:50 am
swchef - it was fun. That is funny, you being the "fake" grandparents! I can't even imagine what it would be like to be away from family - not only far away, but in a completely different country!
Lee B 
Jan. 17, 2011 8:56 am
Sounds like a great time was had by all! (even the "kids" playing with their long-forgotten toys!)
Jan. 17, 2011 8:57 am
Lee, it was kind of cute. My 21 yo son walked in the door, said Hi to everyone, saw the Legos and sat right down to play!
Jan. 17, 2011 8:58 pm
Hi MA, I just love to have cross-cultural gatherings. I'm so very impressed that you put together a "Thanksgiving Dinner" with the Holidays less than one month behind us. How very sweet of you. And, it sounds like everyone loved it all too. You've awesome!
Jan. 18, 2011 10:18 am
Sounds like a great day, what a kind thing for you to do.
Jan. 18, 2011 1:13 pm
Thanks for the kind words, all. But a friend at work put it best: She said it's funny how we put together a meal like that for someone to be nice to them, but it turns out how much I enjoyed it myself and it made me feel good to do it. It was really fun to watch them try different foods, or foods prepared differently at least.
Jan. 19, 2011 8:03 am
It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Food brings everyone together, ain't that the truth? I bet the kids are going to be begging for the stuffing now! I'm glad your kids made time to come and visit and share a great dinner with new friends. Take care.
Jan. 19, 2011 4:19 pm
dragonfly22, my daughter said she was going to buy the mom a box of stove stop stuffing so she could make stuffing for the kids! LOL
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

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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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