I hope all my readers had a lovely Thanksgiving. We spent the day at my mom’s house and it was great to see lots of aunts and uncles! Over the past year my one uncle was treated for cancer and my aunt had a bad fall resulting in hip surgery just a few weeks ago. And the day after Thanksgiving another uncle was admitted to hospital with an infection. Since he is diabetic, it may result in the loss of his foot. We don’t know yet.
Every year that we are able to gather together is becoming more special.
Josh made this very pretty Sweet Potato Gratin. I made the breadcrumbs. 🙂 It was a nice change from the sweet potato casserole that is so standard.
I also enjoyed capturing some details around my mom’s house. The boys’ enjoyed their first experience with Tom and Jerry.
We travelled down to Staunton, Virginia, to continue the festivities with the celebration of my mother-in-law’s birthday. One of the highlights was Josh’s 13-year-old cousin shot her first deer! The boys enjoyed seeing the deer–despite the fact it was dead. Actually, Duncan made everyone laugh as he gazed at the dead deer and said: “You can’t shoot that deer, it’s so nice!”
The deed was already done, however.
We enjoyed some amazing venison tenderloin the next day, thanks to Josh’s uncle, Burt. One thing I love about Josh’s side of the family is that the men cook. And I mean cook. At Christmas, it’s usually the men in the kitchen, frying up oysters and steaming shrimp. Besides the venison, Burt also deep-fried a turkey and made an amazing squash and carrot casserole. The casserole sounds ho-hum, but it was so creamy and flavorful!
We spent Saturday morning at the Frontier Culture Museum. I actually remember going there when I was around twelve years old with my mom, siblings, grandmother, and aunts. They’d added a lot more and it was a perfect place to let the boys burn off energy while learning about history.
We went to lunch in cute downtown Staunton at The Beverley Restaurant. It had very good diner-esque type food. They were wonderful with the kids, thinking of things I needed before I asked. And you can’t beat a place where all they call you “Sweety” and “Hon” with a southern accent.
I’m already planning our next trip back. I still have to visit Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace and the American Shakespeare Center!
Danielle – You were only 25 minutes from our house and you passed us on the way. You must come back and go to the Shakespeare Center. It’s wonderful and one of Mike’s favorite places. We just saw The Importance of Being Ernest and loved it!
Enjoyed your photos of our neck of the woods.
Adina, I’m reading that play right now in preparation for a high school class I co-teach. I love it! I definitely want to come back and check out those places. And all the cute shops! All of Josh’s mom’s side of the family lives down near you. 🙂
That looks like a great holiday. 🙂 Gorgeous pictures, as usual.
So how was the savory grain recieved? I forgot to tell you when I sent the recipe over I added six strips of very crispy bacon to the breadcrumbs to give them an extra smoky flavor.
I remembered that you added bacon, so I added some to the topping too (just about 3 strips). I think people liked it. Although my aunt still made the sweet topped kind. It’s very hard to ever change things up with my extended family. 🙂
@Joel – def needs more bacon next time!