Thanksgiving was terrific! It is now official that Tom and I are the new Thanksgiving hosts. My husband stated he could tell I had a fantastic time. My biggest worry was not living up to my mom's expectations. My brother reminded me that my mom has four scores of experience to my minute one. The jury of family stated that I surprised everyone with how we were able to not only host our first year, but host well. They were thoroughly impressed at our feast. My dad said it was official that I can throw down. When I was relating my Thanksgiving experience to a co-worker, she helped me realize that if I equate hosting Thanksgiving to a RPG ---I could see that I had unfounded fears.
My mom has hosted Thanksgiving for 45 years. If you make to level 45 in an RPG (especially a JRGP) you've been doing some serious grinding. If you aren't a game player---it just means you have to keep fighting (honing your skills usually for hours) to keep leveling up. I am only on my first year of cooking a large dinner, which means while I feel good about how it went, I shouldn't expect to be at a 45. That being said, it still means that I have a lot to work up to and it will be fun to reach those levels. Essentially, I can't wait to I can make Thanksgiving dinner with my eyes close and using a pinch of that and a dab of that spice there because I know the recipe by memory.
What I liked about doing my first dinner was the time management plan my mom developed. I did not have much vacation this year is very accurate. She essentially project manages Thanksgiving dinner. If you aren't familiar with how African-Americans can throw down for dinner: I was recently tagged in the following post on Facebook, which sums up a African-American Thanksgiving dinner. I thought was hilarious! I covered up the names for privacy reasons, but take no ownership of this post. I did not want my mom's legacy to die out with how she can cook amazing foods for the holidays. I figure I better learn while she is still around to help coach me over the phone in learning how to throw down!
I feel good about getting the basics down this year. I am hoping to improve greatly and level up in the upcoming years so I can feel a stronger sense of pride at being able to prepare for people traveling to Michigan. The bonding was at an all time high in seeing everyone arrive and prepare to share food. I did not even think about pictures taking pictures that day, but my mother-in-law took plenty.
It was fun to see how much everyone enjoyed the food! I did learn a few things:
1) I did not have time to look cute. The turkey looked good though.
One day I'll look like I'm doing a photo-op. All I know is I got up at 5:30a.m. to put turkey in the oven and prepare for guests, woke back up at 10a.m. to check on the turkey and by the time my sous chef arrived (mother-in-law) we didn't slow down at all. Good food trumped wardrobe that day. Maybe next year. I think my mom use to get dressed up (from pictures) and by the time she had kids---she was like forget that! I'll aim for a better outfit next year.
2) The feeling when you've finished hosting and realize no one is going to talk bad about you or your food.
3) There will always be something that doesn't quite go your way (imperfection will abound). Roll with it.
Black people will talk about you. AT LENGTH. It was my husband favorite thing to witness, bahahaha. My aunt forgot to bring rolls. I ran out of time (I made homemade cornbread), but I was hoping that she would bring rolls. She completely forgot. My mom was more upset (than even I had time to be) I just laughed and remembered next year to make sure I make my own rolls. I felt that past me would have definitely freaked out, but I realized that the most important thing was we had an ABUNDANCE of food and everyone arrived safely. Ultimately, as a child my favorite holiday was Christmas. As an adult, my new treasured holiday is Thanksgiving.
I'm thankful for love----
I am thankful for being the hostess for my family's first thanksgiving
Most importantly, I'm thankful for family (My father-in-law is taking the picture).
I hope your thanksgiving was one to remember, too! Love and peace to all this holiday season!