Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

So our Thanksgiving Post gives me the opportunity to finish Sharing all of the Gorgeous Imagery I took at the SWEET SALVAGE Event while regaling you with our Thanksgiving Day Tale... Perfect!!!   Because I'm just not that Into Photographing dead Turkeys being prepped for a Thanksgiving Post! *Smiles*

Especially since our Kitchen is in Chaos this Morning and has been before daybreak!  *LOL*   You see, I'd thought it best to Eat Out and the extended Family congregate at a Fav Restaurant that would be serving a Thanksgiving Day Meal.   But The Man fondly remembers Thanksgiving being prepared by him at Home since he's the most Masterful in our Kitchen and he wanted leftovers to tide him over thru Football Games later on.  *Winks*

He also likes Family congregating at our Home since he doesn't get out much anymore and Public Crowds still give him some Anxiety, though he's getting better at tolerating it.  We did our first Thanksgiving here at New Villa Boheme' last year and it turned out well.  So I was on board for swaying towards doing the Thanksgiving Meal here at Home again since it was the unanimous Popular Vote with he and The Force.

This year tho' he wanted to take the Lead again in preparing the entire Thanksgiving Meal like he used to, but he wasn't quite sure he remembered how?  Uh oh!!!   Now, this is a touchy subject with those suffering from TBI, how much to Assist and how much to back off and allow them to try to Independently perform on their own?  With a watchful eye for safety mostly and yet not hovering or making them short-circuit and get nervous or upset!?

This was going to be a delicate balancing act so I just told him that if he felt he needed to check in with me about various steps, to ensure none were forgotten, just come get me and ask.   So about every five minutes... yeah, it was going down like THAT, but I am rolling with it since it's building his confidence and he's actually doing all the Work while I just validate the steps are correct and he's not forgetting anything important.

The G-Kid Force also wanted to Assist, especially Prince R who fancies himself as a budding Master Chef after watching The Food Network Shows.  *LOL*  Those with Bipolar disorder can have unrealistic overconfidence in their abilities or powers at times when on a Manic High Cycle, so tho' the Child cannot boil water without assistance he's Imagining himself to be the next Iron Chef!   *Smiles*   So a LOT of Supervision by Princess T and I is going down in this Kitchen Today!  *LOL*

So I've presently got a Seriously Mentally Ill Teen Assisting as Sou Chef to his Traumatic Brain Injured Grandpa who is Master Chef of the Thanksgiving Meal... yeah, it got real Interesting really fast!  *Smiles*   The Young Prince is very haphazard when doing anything so he requires as much Supervision as a Toddler.  As he was prepping the Skillet for saute' of the Stuffing Ingredients Butter was flying and blobs were landing on the floor at his feet!


It is rather handy to have an OCD Child running damage control behind two Men the Kitchen, especially two Guys who aren't 100% lucid all of the time.  Because Princess T is a Clean Freak and had her roll of VIVA Towels, Sponges and a Merry Maid Kit at the ready, hovering close by each Guy and ensuring the Chaotic Kitchen was at least a Clean Chaotic Kitchen in their wake!  *Insert Sigh of Relief*

Since The Man's motor skills post Accident aren't what they used to be the Stuffing of the Turkey was a particular Challenge.  I could hear mutterings and cursing under his breath as Stuffing liberally spilled out the Bird's ass and neck all over the place.   Princess T was on fallen Stuffing Patrol and finally he acquiesced and allowed me to help him hold all Bird orifices closed as we unceremoniously dropped it in the Cooking Bag.  *Smiles*

One of my ongoing Challenges in the New Kitchen is that tho' we've been here a year now, I KNOW that some of the Kitchenware is still packed somewhere in the Hoarded Garages towers of unpacked boxes and crates!   And I'm not about to replace it since I know we have it and eventually will discover which box it's in when I get around to unpacking everything one day.  *Smiles*

So, anytime you're preparing a larger than normal meal, especially for Special Occasions, there will always be those pesky utensils we can't find because they are apparently still packed away somewhere unknown!   I know we have skewers, a host of them in fact... I also know they were in none of the Utensil Drawers, thus, they're in the Garage Hoard somewhere.  I could have sewed up the Bird's ass instead, but screw it, we just tucked his legs under the flap, worked just fine.  *LMAO*

I don't Care how untraditional that Bird looks as it's cooking, so long as it tastes good, you hear me?!?  *Winks*  In fact, we made everything easier on the Menu this year since The Man was adamant he was going to be in charge of cooking it all.   So instead of fresh Yams I got canned and we'll just throw them in the casserole dish with some brown sugar and marshmallows on top for a fairly quick heating in the oven.

I got fresh mixed Veggies to just steam in our steamer.  I bought the favored Kings Hawaiian Rolls already in the bag and done.  We put New Potato Medley in the cooking bag with the Turkey to Roast right along with it, I don't Care if they come out whole or mashed, we'll Make It Work.

The Man does remember how to make his Famous Gravy from scratch, whew, that was an important one for him to recall so I'm Glad he felt confident that he could still do it.   If it doesn't come out quite like it used to, I've sworn Secrecy upon the penalty of Death upon the rest of the Family not to say a damned thing about any perceived difference!  *Winks*

The G-Kid Force made Jello last Night since they wanted one dessert that hadn't been store bought.  I had bought the Pies this year, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Strawberry Rhubarb... there was no freakin' way we were trying to do all that from scratch!!! *LOL* The Man seems drained enough from trying to do what he used to be able to do with ease.   But I'm Proud of him and we kept the Praises and Encouragement high so he wouldn't second guess himself as his Anxiety and Confusion escalated.  I'm Glad he's Challenging himself without prompting now.

I am also Glad that The Young Prince lost Interest fairly quickly in being Iron Sou Chef because damn, running damage control behind that kid can be a full time job!   He moves at the speed of light with the ADHD Thing going on and his Mind is clearly racing at warp speed... so he's doing everything and nothing all at once.   With the Delusions of Grandeur Thing he overestimates what he actually can do and convincing him otherwise, forget about it!  *Smiles*  His intensity was mos def tough on Grandpa to Cope with since the poor Man was already Confused as Hell and getting ever more Anxious and agitated!

My primary job was to be the Voice of Reason and bring Calm to the Chaos in the Kitchen.   It all managed to work out before 9:30 a.m., so the Turkey, Stuffing and Spuds should be done on time... the rest is a snap to do in the last 45 minutes before the Meal is Served up.   Princess T will be in charge of turning on the Steamer for the Veggies and bringing out the Cranberry Sauces of whole and jellied canned Berries chillin' in the fridge... Prince R wants to be in charge of Rolls and setting up the Dessert Buffet.

The Son and his Family should be arriving with The Ham and any sides they may or may not be bringing at about Noon and Dinner should be Served at about 1-1:30 p.m. which is Ideal timing.   The Young Prince is Jazzed that he's graduated from The Kid's Table to the Adult's Table... the younger ones actually Enjoy having their own separate Table.  Some of the Teens actually Enjoy sitting at the large Kitchen Island on the Stools instead.

The absolute best part of the Design of New Villa Boheme' to us is that it's Perfect for Entertaining!!!   Historic Homes don't tend to lend themselves to Entertaining with their many smaller rooms and Maze Type floor plans, where getting everyone comfortably into one space is impossible actually.

If you have a large Family or Host a lot of Friends for the Holidays, well, it can be Challenging unless the Home is Designed for Entertaining in Mind.   Here I can comfortably feed fourteen in the Informal Dining Area and Kitchen Area, which are rather open to each other so the flow is still intimate for large gatherings.

And at a pinch, and if we get Insane about how many Guests we're Hosting for a Meal, I can seat another six in the Formal Dining Room Area.  Which is more separated from the other groupings, but at least we could manage a Meal for Twenty if we had more Family and Friends coming over for a gathering.  Just having the option of knowing you have enough Space to Host a big Party is liberating.   Because we do have a big extended Family and if they all showed up one year, we got it covered!  *Winks*

As for this Thanksgiving, we'll have a manageable Gathering of nine if all of The Son's Teens don't have other Plans?  With Teens you just never know, they all have such active Social Lives that now they could opt not to come to Gramma and Grandpa's for Thanksgiving Dinner and it's all Good either way.

This year The Young Prince decided not to spend part of his Thanksgiving with his Paternal side of the Family in the City so at least we'll definitely have one Teen at Home joining us.   His Aunt will also be spending it with her Boyfriend so that was one less seat at the table filled as well, though she and the Boyfriend know they are always Welcome if they're not going to his house for the Dinner... or wanna eat twice?!  *Smiles*

Yes eating Holiday Meals twice, dontcha remember doing that too my Friends when you were Younger and making the rounds?   I always did my own Meal and then went to Mom and Dad's afterwards to partake of theirs... or vice versa if they Shared the Meal we made.   At this Season of Life now our Young Adult Children can do the same for us, lightening the load of Holiday Cooking... or... in some years... just opt to Eat Out!  *Winks* 


Happy Thanksgiving my Friends, may you all have much to be Thankful for... Dawn... The Bohemian

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