Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

On Thanksgiving Day I cooked enough to feed 2 armies even though there would only be 5 of us. Rob had texted that his truck had broken down. He didn't call so we didn't get the full story but MJ, Martin, Emily, Jason and I had a ball. We had an 11lb turkey, with 2 batches of stuffing, one of which was cooked in the oven inside a pumpkin, sausages wrapped with bacon, roast potatoes and parsnips, with green beans, brussels and a huge jug of gravy loaded with turkey juice and giblets. To follow was a deep homemade apple pie laced with spices and brandy and served with vanilla ice cream.. So where are the photos you ask? Well I accidentally deleted the whole lot from my camera. Thinking I was deleting a previous folder, I wiped the whole card clean including all of Thursday's and Friday's photos. Yet amazingly I actually am not really bothered. The memories remain and the dishes will be cooked again for future photos.
I borrowed a long table from Maggi's bakery, perfect for the many bowls and serving dishes that held the vast amounts of food. Martin and MJ brought a wonderful Edible Arrangement with strawberries, grapes, melons and pineapple as well as some superb wines from Williamsburg Winery including a delicious raspberry dessert wine. Jason and Emily were going to bring sweet potatoes and other foods but knowing how much we already had I begged them not to but they still turned up armed with bottles of wine and a case of beer.
I was ecstatic as everything turned out perfectly from the turkey without any dryness to the golden crust of the apple pie. Cooking the stuffing inside a pumpkin was a first but something I wanted to do as it fit in so well with the Thanksgiving theme. Marshall's IGA store are waiting for a report on that so I'll be delighted to let them know it was a resounding success.
We literally attacked the food and I still can't believe how much we ate or drank. I was imagining stacks of leftovers but was thrilled to see my dinner disappear with gusto and enthusiasm. We ate, drank, laughed and chatted our way through the afternoon My iPhone was playing random songs in the background timing it perfectly so that on the 2 occasions that MJ was on her phone wishing family a Happy Thanksgiving, both times Judas Priest played heavy rock. Emily and I were howling with laughter at this and on the second call nearly collapsed. If MJ had explained that Frank Sinatra was playing just prior to Judas Priest I'm sure her caller wouldn't have believed her.
After dinner we played Apples to Apples with MJ winning all the way through the game and later that evening MJ and Martin left to go home. Emily and Jason stayed the night and next day Jason very kindly cooked us breakfast before we headed out to Sky Meadows Park to see the period Christmas decorations at Mount Bleak House and then trudge on a 6 mile hike around the trails. We wrapped up our afternoon by dropping into my favorite winery, Naked Mountain, which is now only 15 minutes from my house, oh joy! We sat in leather couches reading local magazines and chatting while sipping a glass of Rapture Red 2007, my favorite wine. I bought a bottle to save for Christmas, will it last another 4 weeks? Back at Meadow House we tucked into some leftovers and then a little later Emily and Jason went home but we all relished the knowledge that there was still the weekend to enjoy.
On Saturday, I decided to put up my Christmas decorations with a lot of assistance from Kota.It took most of the day and I didn't finish. I was glad to have a few leftovers in the fridge for dinner and we both tucked into plates of turkey and stuffing.
Late that evening Kota came hurtling into the house with his tail thicker than a toilet brush. He'd snuck out earlier when I thought his cat flap was locked and had refused to come when I whistled him. He now dashed inside continuously looking over his shoulder to see if he was being followed then went straight to his food bowl and gobbled down the remains. I saw some blood on a back paw which I cleaned off and which didn't seem to worry him but later on Sunday he seemed to be in pain. His paw didn't seem to be an issue but he didn't like being picked up. Since he was still eating fine and using his litter tray without any issues I decided emergency treatment wasn't necessary but he would see the doctor in the morning.
He was pretty sore in the morning so rather than squash him into a carrier he went to the doctors in a dynamite box with a pillow inside. He was fine with this but not so fine with the doctor's inspection.
His yowling screeched around the whole of Marshall it seemed so he was sedated and left for a couple of hours and when I returned to pick him up, his chest was shaved as well as his paw. He had apparently been scrapping with another cat and they'd been sitting back on their haunches lashing out at each other with Kota receiving 2 puncture wounds under both armpits, hence his discomfort at being picked up. He came home with antibiotics and some serious painkillers yet still managed to weave his way to his food bowl and eat a very small helping of Fancy Feast before succumbing to the drugs and sleeping.
For the next couple of days, he slept..
 and slept...
and slept some more. And today he has had the last of the painkillers yet still has his antibiotics to finish. I can't believe how quickly he has healed, not once losing his appetite and continuously yowling to be let back outside. Of course he is grounded for a while longer until I have purchased a 30ft range Nerf water cannon to shoot any unfriendly cats with.
He might need a waistcoat to cover his bare patch since the weather has cooled off quite a bit. But for now, he's staying indoors. He'll have to suffer with only being allowed to sleep on soft pillows and fluffy fleeces with a blazing log fire and plates of wonderful food with a frequent treat dropped in. It's a cat's life!

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