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Meshing together different family traditions ~ just for fun!
Oct 22, 2012, 01:41 AMIdaho Resident
Meshing together different family traditions ~ just for fun!
Reading some other threads about Thanksgiving caused me to remember some funny situations when DH and I were first married ~ and it seems from reading the current threads that issues continue to this day ~ when it comes to blending together different family traditions!
So, anyone have stories to share? Might help younger posters know that they aren't alone and that others have walked down the same path before AND SURVIVED!
I'll start with the first Thanksgiving after DH and I were married ~ both sets of parents lived nearby but my parents were okay with us going to DH's family for the dinner; my Mom was comfortable that she had instilled manners and such and so was I ....
MIL had said to come at 1 PM. I asked what I could bring and she said nothing; just ourselves. Of course, I spent hours making some appetizers anyway and made sure that we didn't arrive too early or too late. Walked through the front door at exactly 1:05 PM to a view I still can't believe I saw....
Everyone was seated at the table and passing the mashed potatoes and gravy since the turkey had already been carved and passed.
I wanted to crawl through the floor. I had NO IDEA that "come at 1 PM meant dinner would be served at EXACTLY 1 PM - on the chime of the grandfather clock!
I quickly set my appetizers on the kitchen counter, found my chair next to DH at the table and wanted to disappear ~ lesson learned. Unlike my family, this family operated on a strict schedule, no messing around when it came to food and no messing around with football, games or fun as well. The food was delicious....
Guess I was young and naive AND, let me tell you that I lit into DH about not telling me that his family sat down to dinner at the time they said people should come. He simply shrugged his shoulders and said that he had never noticed! He just knew that his family ate dinner on time ~ every meal ~ unlike my family who might postpone serving the turkey if the game was all tied up and a team was on the 20 yard line with 35 seconds to go!
So, that's my story ~ do you have one?
Oct 22, 2012, 01:40 PMHandie Ann
The first year I was married I cooked my first turkey. I had it all stuffed and in the oven when my DH asked where the giblets were? I said that I didn't find any only the neck. We pulled the turkey out of the oven and checked the neck area and their they were. It Was a good turkey.
We shared the dinner with a young man who was in the service and his lady friend. We had met him the night before and asked him to share our dinner as he was away from home.
Oct 22, 2012, 03:52 PMSeaborne
This is a good topic and I will comment when I have more time - but I sympathize with "Idaho," as I had a similar experience with my SIL at her home - all of them were eating when we arrived. But - more stories later - keep this thread going . . . .
Oct 22, 2012, 07:33 PMlady of shallot
The first thanksgiving dinner I prepared was when DD was a baby. We lived in an apt that had a huge kitchen but the oven door was not attached to the oven. We had one, it was just not attached. We invited another couple and believe me it took hours for that turkey to cook, plus DH and I had a huge fight before hand and I had gone for a walk to cool off!
I think we had a really good time anyway, plus we stayed married and they got divorced! But we still remained friends.
Oct 22, 2012, 09:55 PMGraciepj
Most holidays are a blur to me because I'm so involved in the cooking and cleaning. I can't think of even one amusing story to tell.
Oct 22, 2012, 10:12 PMKeepYouInStitches
1st MIL wanted us at her house every holiday. DH and I as well as both of our families were all in this same town/area. I had a really hard time with her demands. What we finally agreed on was to alternate Thanksgivings. Since she had a dinner and Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, we spent that evening at my in-law's place. Christmas day at my parents. MIL still wanted us at her house on alternating Christmas days. Um...no. My family did nothing on Christmas Eve. When we were kids DD would not even let us open "just one, puleeze" present. So DH told her that we'd see everyone Christmas Eve.
First turkey I cooked - I cooked according to directions. We skimmed the top bit of meat off, then put the rest of the bird back in the oven to finish cooking. I learned to cook a mean ham from my DGM and DM...we didn't cook turkey.
Years later...MILs health got too bad to have a big meal Christmas Eve and another Christmas day. She also started having the Christmas day meal in the evening. So we stuffed all day Christmas at both homes.
At my parents' home, we women all pitched in to help put the meal on the table. One new SIL sat in the living room visiting with the men. I think she was oldest DBs wife #3...he is married to wife #4 now. I'm sure it was all because of her not helping in the kitchen.
Oh...cousin-like-a-brother's 1st wife did the same...she's no longer around either.
When we bought this house, we had the space for a large dining table. So we bought one with 8 chairs and can add another 2-4 comfortably. I had dreams of being the house everyone came to for the holidays. DM really liked it.
With the grown kids though...well, we've raised a bunch of wusses. My parents loaded three kids up in a 4-door sedan and we drove from Dallas to nearly Texarkana on 2-lane state highways to my grandparents. These grown kids today can't drive an hour and a half without making a big ordeal out of it...too hard to travel with one small child. We go to one home for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas. DH is more upset about it than me...it's his two children.
Mine comes to my house. Granted not on the holiday because he can't take holidays off work. When he sets his time off during November/December, I prepare the holiday meal regardless of the day he visits. He and his GF travel 320 miles with her three daughters. Perhaps I didn't raise a wuss.
Oct 22, 2012, 10:46 PMLinderhof
We were married on the day before Thanksgiving and part of our short (weekend holiday) honeymoon was to visit his relatives to "meet the wife" (for they had never met me before as we had a whirlwind courtship (one month from first date to wedding).
First time I didn't have Thanksgiving with my family but . . . it WAS a good time to meet his relatives for they were all gathered together!
We arrived in time for me to get introduced to everyone -- all the aunts and uncles and little cousins and grandma, of course.
Then we sat down to dinner. I was elated to see the orange/cranberry relish (which I simply adore but which mother never made) and I thought perhaps this family was okay. Mashed potatoes were passed but alas, there was no gravy on the table but finally a big bowl of noodles came my way. The noodles were sitting in the gravy. I looked up and noticed that everyone was putting their noodles on their potatoes. I carefully tried to get some of the gravy for my potatoes and pass the bowl of noodles.
Don't get me wrong, I like homemade noodles, but they don't really belong on a Thanksgiving table -- at least not in my family.
The turkey, dressing and vegetables were good and of course, the superb cranberry sauce and I did get almost enough gravy out of the noodle bowl!
Fast forward to the next year and once again we're at Husband's grandmother's for thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to the cranberry relish and hopefully, will be able to sit closer to the noodle bowl this year so I can get a bit more gravy out of the bowl.
We sat down and lo and behold, the ONLY cranberry sauce is the canned type -- not the whole berry either but the jellied. Grandma explained that no one liked the other kind so she went easier this year! And sigh, I sat at the end of the noodle bowl -- very little gravy but lots of noodles!
The next year, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house, invited my relatives and had the proper cranberry sauce (not relish but fresh sauce -- that's what my family always did) and no noodles!
We did have a couple of more Thanksgivings at his grandmother's and for a few years, we always went to his parents where we had the jellied canned cranberry sauce but alas, no noodles!
Because in our family, the host provides all the food, there aren't as many dishes as it is when there are a lot of family members and it turns into a potluck Thanksgiving.
Oct 22, 2012, 11:32 PMAnnon
I was a brand new military wife, first time away from home for a holiday. A group of us decided that we could cook Thanksgiving dinner....sort of! It was fun trying and we had a few interesting dishes. Our salad was jello with bananas, the girl making the mashed potatoes forgot to drain them before mashing, and I don't think any of us knew how to make gravy! (we really didn't need gravy with the soup-y potatoes anyway!)
We made life long friendships that day, and exchange cards and letters at Christmas, but haven't seen each other in thirty years. I think fondly of our little group of friends every Thanksgiving.