Shortly after our arrival I headed outside to check on the smoked turkey. Christine's tradition is to smoke a turkey breast. This year a whole bird was decided upon. The flavor is amazing!
The tables were all so beautifully decorated and everything looked so festive. The sunlight outside added to the joyful mood of the day.
I was happy to see that despite the sunshine outside Jim had started a nice little fire inside -- perfect for atmosphere.
Some lovely hors d'oeuvres were enjoyed, including Rarebit Cheeseball, Goatcheese with cranberry and lemon, marinated olives, and a bacon/pecan spread for endive:
Our kids had so much fun. The G's have plenty of toys to amuse them and when they get tired of that, they can bother Jimmy. Tweety bird was rescued from the commotion and sent upstairs for most of our visit. Tweety returned towards the end and David was overheard saying, "James, James, the turkey's downstairs now."
Three choices of cranberry sauce: 1) a traditional NPR recipe that has been aired since 1956; it includes horseradish; 2) Ocean Spray; 3) Cranberry-Orange-Fresh Ginger which cooked up into a beautiful jam from all the natural pectin -- delicious!
And here is my plate with a sampling of everything: smoked turkey, roasted turkey, cranberry sauces, traditional stuffing, sweet potato-chile dish, green beans with orange and pecan (very, very good), gluten-free cornbread, sage and sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes and turnips (which I loved, loved, loved!) and sauerkraut:
The children seemed to have plenty of energy after the meal and it was time for them to tackle Jimmy. Afterwards we took them on a nice little walk to the park:
Arriving home from the park, we heard some fantastic piano playing coming from the other room. After knowing Carla for 13 years, we have now discovered her hidden musical ability. Christine joined in with a guitar and we all sang from Sound of Music:
And then it was time for tea and dessert. Carla's tea set-up looked like it was right out of the Pollock House in Glasgow.
It was necessary to taste each dessert: pumpkin pie, chocolate-pecan tart (gluten-free), Parisian chocolates, Butterscotch-Rum Cake a la M. Stewart, apple pie and cherry pie:
The Butterscotch-Rum Cake was pretty incredible. I had a few bites from the center where I could taste the wonderful flavor and texture of the cake as well as a bit of the creamcheese/brown sugar icing. Definately worth the 4 hours it took to make.