While thousands of our fellow Thanksgiving celebrants were traveling “over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house,” this Grandmother — along with Grandpa George and Uncle Tim — headed up to daughter Becky’s new Florida home for the day.
We were so blessed to have Becky, hubby Randy Querreveld and grand “kids,” Ryan and Rachel, move to Sarasota from the Jamestown area a few months ago.
The family has settled into a spacious home nestled in a beautifully landscaped pond-side development in Sarasota. Happily, the place is just an hour away from our Punta Gorda base. Since relocating, Becky’s busy foursome has effortlessly acclimated to the Florida lifestyle.
When the Q’s generously invited us to join them for their first Florida Thanksgiving, we were quick to accept. We arrived early enough to spend some quality time catching up on our two families. But before long, Becky and Randy laid out the well-planned feast. It was a spread fit for royalty.
I wish I could take credit for Becky’s kitchen talents. She has turned into quite the chef. But, alas, my cooking capabilities are limited. Fortunately, the two wonderful guys I share my life with aren’t too picky. And, so far, they seem to be holding up pretty well with the menu I’ve been offering them.
As for Becky’s early training, I still recall the first time she tried to make a TV dinner. It wasn’t long after she put the tray into the microwave, smoke came billowing from the unit.
I reached it quickly and rescued the food — still packed in its cardboard box.
With one look at the blackened wrapping, Becky wailed, “They didn’t say to take it out of the carton!”
These days, that same gal is an accomplished cook. For this first Thanksgiving dinner in her new kitchen, she turned out a turkey-centered meal that would make the Butterball folks applaud.
Complete with stuffing, a mountain of mashed potatoes — Tim’s hands-down favorite — squash, beans, rolls and cranberry sauce, the meal was a bountiful banquet, both for the eyes as well as the appetites.
As the final chapter in this amazing presentation, Becky even turned out two pies, custom made for George, Tim and me. For the guys, she made a mouth-watering pumpkin pie. For me, knowing my lifelong love of the lowly pecan, Becky created a magnificent pecan pie.
In addition to providing an unbeatable seasonal feast, Beck and family insisted on loading us up with enough leftovers to keep us going for a week. She even gave us the turkey carcass and giblets, knowing our love of homemade soups.
So, for today my task is to boil up the turkey to make a supply of turkey stock. Although I don’t claim to be an innovative cook, my mother did teach me that it’s important to use everything that comes your way to feed the family. With that lifelong lesson in mind, I foresee a big pot of turkey noodle soup in our future.
Thanks to the generosity and talent of Becky and family, this Thanksgiving is going to continue being enjoyed for a long time.