i arrived around noontime via car, packed with my 19 ramekins of flan, 2 cases of cheap market basket soda (they're not bad actually), jug of canola cooking oil, and a box of clementine oranges i picked up at the last minute yesterday. it certainly wasn't that warm with temperatures in the 50's, but still warm enough that we couldn't use our sun room as a makeshift refrigerator like in past thanksgivings. that was actually a good thing because with so little space in the living room (occupied by the hyper-extended dining table) guests had to find other places to mingle.
i approved of the dining table extension (via an added folding table) even though it looked ugly. my godmother confirmed that her two sons were definitely coming so there'd be a total of 15 people this year. i knew i'd probably be sitting on this far end, given how the potential seating arrangements would play out (there was enough guests coming that we had to strategize on paper where everyone would sit).
new this year was the briel multi-pro espresso machine sitting in the sun room. it was purchased 2 years ago when the commercial espresso machine at the cafe broke down and my parents had to find a temporary replacement quick. i located a craig's list seller with an unused in-box machine (a surplus wedding present apparently) and bought it for $400, which seemed like a lot of fuss for so little hooey. with the regular expresso machine now fixed, the briel hasn't seen a lot of action, except as an occasional backup. even having it for thanksgiving was more of a show, since none of the guests were interested in espressos when there was so much other things to drink.
my 2nd aunt and 2nd uncle came first around 2:00 when my father returned from the cafe with the raw marinated turkey and an array of ingredients. the 25 lbs. turkey didn't go in the oven until 2:30. my mother told everyone else to arrive at 4:00. bin bin and her boyfriend showed up exactly on time, followed by my aunt lili and matthew. my godmother and alex (weiwei) arrived well after 5:00, followed by jack and his taiwanese girlfriend. finally bin bin and her boyfriend went to go pick up my great uncle a bit before 6:00.
hailey barked at everyone who arrived except for my aunt lili and matthew. after the initial woofing she'd calm down once she realized these strangers were no threat. everyone except for jack, whom she seemed to hate, and everyone she saw him she'd bark or growl.
the turkey was finally done by around 6:00. i ended up eating only 3 turkey wraps, but each of my wraps were like 3x larger than the standard wrap, so i like to think i had around 7-9 servings.
there was an overabundance of desserts, from the fruit platter, to the tiramisu, to the taro cake, to the red bean soup, to the blue cheese rosemary cookies, to finally the flan.
my father took home my great uncle after he finished eating. next to leave was bin bin and her boyfriend, who were going to drive down to wrentham later tonight for some black friday madness. they drove back my 2nd aunt and 2nd uncle as well. my aunt lili and matthew left, and finally the godfolks.
when i finally left, i took home some leftover turkey for marco. it was cold enough that my motorcycle was covered in frost. i had a hard time starting the bike and my father had to come out and help. turns out i forgot to open the fuel cock.
when marco came home i asked him about his thanksgiving at his advisor's house in somerville. besides no alcoholic drinks of any kind, there wasn't even a turkey (just a chicken). he also brought most of his chocolate cake home.
thanksgiving of yesteryears: 2001 (with my friend alex and my grandmother), 2002 (first time hosting at my place), 2003 (back at my parents, flan introduction), 2004 (hosting at my place with 13 guests), 2005 (that time my parents weren't here so we had a small thanksgiving in cambridge), 2006 (last time hosting at my place),2007 (a year where i made homemade bread), 2008 (small thanksgiving at my godmother's place), 2008 (make-up thanksgiving, mussels introduction), 2009 (one of our smaller thanksgiving), 2010 (bin bin's first thanksgiving)
earlier this morning, marco was making a chocolate cake to bring to his advisor's place for thanksgiving dinner. he was instant messaging with his sister who was giving him step by step directions.