Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Party 2012

I look forward to our Thanksgiving party pretty much all year long, so it's always a little bittersweet when it's over. This year was, of course, no exception. And, as usual, I'll gladly claim it as the best Thanksgiving party ever. It's good to continuously top yourself, I suppose, and hanging out with our awesome friends in one massive group with absurd amounts of food just never gets old.

Picking up the bird from a local farm in Rudow was a feat in an of itself on a Thursday morning. It took Micha and me no less than three hours roundtrip (and this place was technically in Berlin), but the stop included making friends with some cute, noisy goats as well as picking up some milk fresh from the cow, so I can't say I was bothered much.


Catching up

Friday was spent at home (how I managed the last few years without taking that day off work, I'll never know) prepping side dishes and finishing up the mini "Dankbar" marquee lights (inspired by Oh Happy Day) that drove me to the edge of my sanity. Emily, Artur, and Charlie arrived in the evening and we didn't prep as much as I'd expected together (Emily had come prepared with some pre-made decorations, though), but I was much happier to pass the time with them chatting and poking Charlie's sweet chubby cheeks and belly and doing my best to make him giggle (his favorite pastime).

Marie's appetizers in front of the mini marquee lights that I would never again make in my right mind (but I do love them)

Saturday morning was incongruously stress-free (at least for me, Micha may be another story): Emily and I finalized the broccoli casserole, stuffing, and pumpkin pie (which was the only dish that had to be remade a second time thanks to my massively screwing up the crust the first time); Micha, and Kai rearranged all the furniture (our bedroom becomes a massive storage closet during Thanksgiving); Artur went on his annual Thanksgiving morning electronics and last-minute supplies shopping trip; and we all took turns playing with Charlie whenever we could get the chance. It's hard to concentrate on much else when that little guy's smiling and giggling at you.

Tea light holders and "thankful" sign all DIY'd by Emily

As our friends trickled in around 2pm, they were either put to work in the kitchen - Sara and Anja are amazingly helpful like that - or given a drink and a seat in the guest room to mingle, snack on Marie's delicious cheese roll apps, and play with the babies. Though we didn't have quite the baby-filled Thanksgiving I was expecting (poor wee Hanna got sick and couldn't make it), the room certainly wasn't lacking in round fuzzy heads, toys, or cuteness.

Mara on the left, Charlie on the right

So many of our friends were so wonderfully helpful during this party that I barely had to worry about more than checking on the turkey and refilling people's cups (I can't tell you how thrilled I was every time Ivi asked me for another refill of the Tagescocktail - Sekt with ginger ale and cranberry syrup). And the sweetest part of the day was most certainly seeing Micha playing merrily with the wee ones. They sure did take a liking to him. (Mara remains rather skeptical of me, though. :)

By the way, I can't recommend highly enough using this high-heat turkey method - our bird was done in 3 hours and came out picture perfect; Except I actually don't even have a picture...

Oh, that's just us flipping the bird ;)

Happy hosts! Side note: Micha donned that sweater vest over his t-shirt after I told him to "put on something fancier than a t-shirt!" First he put on his new Giroux jersey, then came back with this. I've learned my lesson...

This year's table was by far my favorite Thanksgiving table to date and it couldn't have been easier to set up. Well, maybe it could have if I were a little smarter about hanging up those lights, but it all worked out in the end thanks to engineer Kai. (More details on the tablecloth and other projects to come later in the week.) If I get my way, the lights are never coming down.

Around 5pm, wine was placed on the table, all the side dishes were put wherever space allowed, and our eager guests took their seats and surprised us by yelling "Speech!" as we brought in the turkey. I completely wimped out on following through, though, and instead made Micha do it. He's much better with words anyway and said some lovely things, reflecting on the bittersweetness of this particularly Turkey Day party. It's our favorite annual tradition, but also may possibly be our last one for a while (great adventures await! I'll share more when I can :), so we tried to soak it all in as best we could.

We're so lucky and grateful to have all these great people in our lives - I don't know how I'll ever make it through a Thanksgiving without our kickass party!

I love Christoph's face in this picture and the fact that's he's proudly holding up a giant turkey leg

Because despite the 7 loads of dishes we had to do on Sunday, and the fact that we had to sleep with the coffee table on one side of our bed and the bar cart and piles of books and magazines on the other; and despite the fact I'm still finding random drink and turkey juice spills around the apartment and that our kitchen still kind of smells like cooked bird; this one day is truly my favorite day of the entire year. Any worth every minute of stress, worry, prepping, cleanup, and hungover whininess.

So cheers to everyone for coming and helping and making my favorite day fantastically memorable yet again. You all rock my socks off more than you know.

1 comment:

  1. The table setting is very classy. The color of the table napkins you chose blends well with the other decorations. It’s not plain or very decorative to the point of being distracting, and adding candles as your center piece gives balance to the table.

    Neva Modzelewski