Well, tonight I have some really nice, very pleasant, even exciting news. It's that way to me, why shouldn't it be that way to you?
We - my family here and I - will be having company for dinner next Wednesday evening! Some daring souls will venture forth into this den of iniquity and also, sometimes experimental kitchen, to dine with my daughter, her husband, the step-granddaughter, Miss Maya Muffett, little Kurtis and me! Ok, so little Kurtis won't exactly be dining with us since his diet is still pretty limited to formula in a bottle and some occasional flings with a couple select Gerber baby food products in a jar.
Now who would these visitors be that has me beginning to think - and yes, worry - almost a week in advance of what to serve for supper?
We'll be entertaining a cousin, his wife and four of their five children. The cousin, "Little Eric" as most of my extended family calls him, is not really "little." Well, don't get me wrong - he's not fat either, as he is well-built, still shows the stance of the military training he received 20 years ago - very muscular. His wife, my girls and I have met twice but none of us has ever met any of the four children who will be with them.
Eric's grandmother and my mother were first cousins. His great-grandfather lived about six doors down the street from us when I was a child so I knew his ancestors there very well and his great-aunts and uncles as well as his dad and his dad's two cousins on this side of the family and my extended family were always very close.
Eric's grandparents went to Pittsburgh to work back in the 20's and stayed there. That's where Eric's dad was born and grew up. When I was a kid, "Little Eric" is what this Eric's father was called because he was named for his grandfather - hence, "little Eric." But years later, when this guy came along and was named after his father -and great-grandfather, he got the moniker of "little Eric" and his dad became "big Eric" - which really was a misnomer because "Big Eric" was never very big in stature. As a matter of fact, "Little Eric" is a good bit taller, much broader across the shoulders than his Dad ever hoped to be in his wildest dreams.
When Eric (Jr) graduated from high school, he immediately enlisted in the military and when he completed his tour of duty, he was stationed somewhere around the Houston, Texas area and decided to remain there. He met his wife, Kathy, there and the have four children of their own plus, when Eric's sister died seven years ago this coming June, Eric and Kathy adopted his sister's son, Stefan, into their family.
Eric and his family normally reside in Texas but for the past year or a little over a year perhaps now, they have been living in Florida because of some big work project Eric of which Eric is responsible to oversee the construction adheres to all standards, etc. The older boy, Stefan, though decided this past fall that he missed his friends and school in the Houston area and is living this year with his grandmother (Eric's mother) in Houston, so we will miss getting to see him again. But, it will be exciting to meet Eric and Kathy's four other children all the same.
They are coming up from Florida for a short stay in the Poconos, then planning to go to Hershey, PA for a day and end their winter "vacation" with a visit here so the children can see what their Dad calls the "old homestead." He said the kids are really excited about the trip and are especially hoping they will get to see some snow too! I think I can vaguely remember being excited about snow when I was a child too, so for their sake, I hope they do get to experience it. Although, as far as I am concerned, I hope it stays far, far away from us!
Now comes my "dilemma," if you will. I've been trying to think - yeah, that's probably what it was you could smell burning - I was trying to think - what to fix for supper for these six people in addition to the family here and add to that, my other daughter and her fiance - probably her nine-year-old son too - who will be here for supper. Since our table doesn't seat that many people at once, we can't really have a big family "sit-down" dinner so what would work the best with that many people?
I'm putting these questions out here on my blog folks for a reason, I hope you know that. I've already determined we will have to do this as a kind of buffet-type setting where I will put whatever it is I cook for our meal out on the "island" in the kitchen, let folks serve themselves and then meander to sit where ever they can find a place to sit - at the kitchen counter, at the table which can squeeze eight in there, tightly though, so that takes care of 8 to 10 folks and leaves only 3 to 5 looking for a spot to squat! How's that for some terminology?
The big question here though as you know this is coming is about what to fix. So I'm putting this out to anyone who cares to offer any suggestions and those suggestions better come with recipes too, I might add.
Right now, I am kind of leaning towards cooking a turkey. I just happen to have one in the freezer plus I can usually do a half-decent job on roasting turkey too. A bonus right there, you know.
My quandry really then is what to serve with the turkey -besides the obvious mashed potatoes and gravy and making up a pan of stuffing too. So please, put on those chef's cooking hats, mull this around in your mind a bit and tell me what you would suggest for vegetables, salad too maybe (with turkey, I lean towards coleslaw but recipes for any salad type dish would be appreciated too). Dessert - not sure there either although Carrie, the older girl, did mention maybe she would make a cheesecake which would be terrific if she did that because she makes a cheesecake that has Bailey's Irish Creme in it and it kicks butt! Very, very good, it is! But dessert suggestions are welcome too, so don't let the cheesecake being mentioned there put you off from inserting a dessert suggestion here and there too!
Face it folks, I am open to any and all ideas right now! The only thing I ask, if you do zap a recipe in here for me, is that it not be a gourmet type thing. Always think of one word that applies highly to me in the kitchen - EASY!
I'm not a bad cook, most of the time the meals I fix are pretty decent, but I am far from a fancy cook too! Therefore, my reason for saying recipes must be "EASY."
I'm not out to impress them with a big feast exactly, but I do want to have a good meal to put out for the company coming. Don't want them to leave hungry you know.
I'm looking forward now to reading suggestions from my readers here now!
I know I posted this comment before from my little calendar of "Bushisms" - but it is really kind of appropriate right now to repost it today - especially since it is actually the post for January 12th in the calendar and also, because of the post itself. So here it is now:
"And I am an optimistic person. I guess if you want to try to find something to be pessimistic about you can find it, no matter how hard you look, you know." (Washington, D.C.; June 15, 2004)
And that is me right now - an optimistic person, who is trying to remain that way as I mull over recipe and/or menu suggestions.