Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanks-mas @ 2901 Oriole

Q. What is Thanks-mas?
A. It's the very important holiday you celebrate when your adult children can come home for Thanksgiving, and not Christmas. 

Q. How do you celebrate Thanks-mas?
A. Choose your favorite parts of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and have FUN together!

Sure, it's a little sad when your grown kids can't make the trip home for Christmas, but you smile and adjust (and remember that next year will be different!).

Once everyone gathered, we began the great pie caper...pecan, pumpkin, and 2 apple pies were on the list. Ali (right) is a pro food blogger and insists on homemade crusts. I typically use the refrigerated ones you roll out...

but I did learn a lot about crusts after making 4 of them, under her supervision. She has a couple tutorials on her blog that are helpful. I guess you're never too old to learn something new?


Alas, I was too busy helping Alan with dishes to participate in the lattice top. Four cooks in the kitchen sure makes a mess...in a hurry!

Clearly, I was too distracted to take enough pictures, but we delivered 3 beautiful pies to a friend later that evening, and kept this apple beauty for ourselves. I also made some homemade caramel sauce for the pie. Oh my...once I discovered this delish microwave caramel sauce, I never buy the jarred stuff. It's kinda magical when you make it in the microwave - no candy thermometer required - and it's SO yummy!


On to the star of the Thanksgiving feast...the turkey! Our son-in-law Jeff decided to spatchcock the bird this year...YIKES! Basically, a little surgery flattens the bird out (looks like he got run over). He sits nicely in the pan and cooks evenly in less time.

And our bird was suspiciously GREEN before he went in the oven. Jeff had the gobbler resting on a bed of veggies and coated with herbs.

Apart from a quick photo op, I stayed out of the kitchen during the turkey process. EEWWWWW!!!! I don't want to deal with the bird until he is cooked and resting on my plate.

And speaking of plates...here's our Thanks-mas table setting. I used some pretty green hedgeballs from the yard and funky Dollar Tree black crows for a centerpiece.

On Friday morning we opened Thank-mas presents! Conveniently, my Christmas cactus started to bloom that day. It's always a little off-schedule, so blooming at Thanks-mas was perfect.

One highlight of our time together was our Annual Ebright Talks. They're loosely based on TED talks - short, informative talks on a variety of topics. We initiated the Ebright talks last year, and they were so fabulous, we did them again.

NOTE: After last year we were so psyched and all purposed to work on our talks during the year. But procrastination rules, and we were all "cramming" for our talks a few hours beforehand.

We each prepared a little informative talk on a subject that interests us. Many of us had visual aids, and used the TV to show computer power point slides. It was a fabulous evening full of fun facts, snacks, wine, and hilarity!

Here's our talk topics on photo above, going clockwise from upper left

Ali: healthy multitasking using Barre 3-inspired toothbrushing workouts
Dr. Erin (honorary 3rd daughter): Flu shot mythbusters
Sarah: Similarity in world religions as seen in art and architecture (she teaches AP Art History)
Alan: Innovations in geothermal heating (we're using this in our new house)
Me: WWII history of Bletchley Park code-breakers in England, breaking the German Enigma codes
(can't wait to see the new movie, The Imitation Game)
Jeff: Beer Tasting 101 - including tasting! (I still don't like beer, but now I know more about it)

Alas, Thanks-mas...the party mix is gone, and the leftover turkey is in the freezer (after some awesome turkey hash the next day - thanks, Jeff and Sarah). 

Now it's back to the office and shipping Part 2 of the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler and more new L*K designs. Check back soon for photos!

Happy Thanks-mas!


  1. Hi Linda,
    You have had a wonderful Thanks-Xmas in family, poor turkey LOL, it's a nice idea you have had, your pies are very nice and surely delicious, thanks to share this moment with us :)

    Kind regards from France

  2. Thank-mas looks like a great time! Everything so warm and inviting! I'm going to look up how to do the flattened turkey!

  3. What game were you playing? We love a good game when the entire family is together.

  4. It looks like you guys had lots of fun! I love your table setting and thanks for sharing your family traditions with us! Happy Thanks-mas to you and your family!