to Aunt Nancy's house we went. Several families of Big S's cousin's met at his Aunt Nancy's for Thanksgiving—the family's first since Nancy's husband Bill passes away last summer. At first I wasn't sure having a house full of people was what Nancy would want, but once we were all there, it was clear being surrounded by family was the best medicine for all. Big S's family is everything anyone could want from family: a wonderful, warm, funny bunch that is almost too good to be true. Aunt Nancy lives in Salem, OR, in this lovely house:
It reminds me of houses in New England: a good-sized house but with small rooms, which leaves space to gather together around a fire, catch a football game on TV, hang out in the kitchen, or play with the kids.One thing that's nice about this family (there are many things!) is that there seems always the option to visit with others or curl up with a book by oneself.
When we arrived, Nancy had already set a beautiful table (a woman after my own heart—I always like to set the table the night before when there's no rush and I can fuss over dishes, stemware, and details. Nancy's table included hand-embroidered linen table linens that my mother-in-law's Italian in-laws brought her from Venice. The table cloth is the longest I've ever seen, but it was needed with the crowd we had and looked perfect with Aunt Nancy's china.
And Nancy was ever gracious enough to allow my daughter to add her homemade candles to the table.
And of course we had lots of wonderful food too. Here's Nancy's turkey, which we all agreed looks like it was the product of a food stylist. She covered the turkey with cheesecloth that she "cooked" in white wine and butter, basting the turkey throughout and then removing the cheesecloth when the bird was browned. It honestly tasted as good as it looked! I can't wait to try this method on my make-up turkey dinner!
We also had a little bit of butter to go with our potatoes:
THEN, the next morning, as if the Thanksgiving wasn't enough of a feast, Nancy made homemade cinnamon rolls for brunch. Check these out:
They obviously deserve a close-up:
Calories be damned. They were just amazing. Did I mention she served BACON with them? God help me.
I hope everyone else had as wonderful a Thanksgiving! Back tomorrow with a report of Saturday'sBreakfast with Santa at Around the Table in Camas, WA, where Big S's Cousin L works.