We had a nice, relaxing day. It was just so nice to be home together hanging out, with nothing we had to do. And as much as we do miss our families, it was kind of nice to not have to bustle to three different houses for tukey dinners.
We ran a couple of errands in the morning... no big assignments, just things like the video store and a quick trip to Meijer for a couple of things.
Then we came home and all took some nice naps, Ryan gave Sawyer a much needed haircut, and I made our favorite Poached Pears With Raspberries and Sauce to take over to dinner at the Huffs. We then headed over to Don's parent's house for a late dinner with our "adopted family" for the holiday. They had a house full of relatives and a bunch of kids for Savannah and Sawyer to play with, so we all had fun.
I didn't eat as much as I would have liked. Too much good food, and my kids were too quick to eat and wanted to get back to playing. I barely finished up my plate and didn't have a chance to go back for seconds. That's the downside about being a "guest" in someone's home... you can't just let the kids roam free. Yeah, Mary Jo has young kids still at home, but that house is no where near baby proof, so as soon as I finally let Sawyer down from the table, that pretty much meant I was done with my meal too. I was not even close to full though, and it made me kind of sad today that I didn't indulge more last night (and I miss all the leftovers... mmmm... I think I could eat stuffing forever!). And you know what else? I didn't even have any pumpkin pie!
Anyway, we got home late and pretty much all went straight to bed.
All in all, it was a nice low-key family kind of day.
Today started off not so relaxing.
First let me start by saying, in years past, I've been very hit and miss about having any desire to brave the crowds and do some *great deal* shopping on this holiday that's come to be known as The Day After Thanksgiving Day. Some years I've ventured out; some I'm not in the mood. I think I have done it more consistantly the past few years, and I think the last two Black Fridays, Ryan's joined me in the challenge. And we've had alot of fun.
As much as getting up and out of the house in the cold and dark at five or six a.m. never sounds that appealing, there is something fun about planning out your stops and getting those great deals, and there is something really satisfying about hitting so many stores and getting so much accomplished and being done and back home by 9am.
I think it's funny how Ryan gets so into it. Yesterday he was the one making sure we went through the ads and checking who had the best deals and making lists and planning what we wanted where. And before we went to bed last night, he pulled out the list again, and says to me, "okay, lets go over our plan of attack again."
Anyway, long story short, if we spend next Thanksgiving here in Jackson, I will not be shopping on Friday morning. Can you say BAD EXPERIENCE in the retail world of Jackson? The first three stores I went to, all within 15 to 30 minutes of their opening, were out of EVERYTHING I went in there for. And at Meijer.... let's just say their emplyees are about the most clueless set of people I've ever seen. Not one bit of help for anything in the store. And it wasn't even like the crowds here were that bad. I've seen much worse and a much more competent staff.
We may be going back home for Thanksgiving next year, just for some successful Black Friday shopping. We really missed the Fred Meyer sock extravaganza. Well, Ryan did anyway. He almost wrote home and asked someone to go pick him up some new socks.
I did have better luck going to Michaels and Joanns today. I got everything I needed to make all the gifts I'm making this year, and quite a few new Christmas decorations, and then we went to Home Depot and got Christmas lights for the house. That's Ryan's job tomorrow.
Tonight Ryan's in Detriot at a Pistons game. So I just got the kids to bed and I'm sitting here eating a hot turkey sandwich (thankfully we did get sent home with a bit of turkey; thanks MJ!) and yogurt covered pretzels and getting caught up on a little blogging. But I have a short list of things I wanted to get done before Ryan gets home tonight, like putting away our fall decorations, getting some laundry started, and getting my craft table cleaned up so I actually have space to work on the projects that I have to do.
In fact, I wanted to get started on some of those gifts tonight, so I think I'm gonna sign off and get busy. Ta-ta!
***oh I forgot, I've had a few requests for the Pear recipe, so here you go....
Poached Pears with Caramelized Sauce and Raspberries
(we usually serve this with dinner as a side dish, but it's also great for dessert)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water, champagne, or dry wine or red wine (I've used champagne once, but I ususally just use water and it's yummy enough!)
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 large firm-ripe Bose or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and left whole with stem on (I always cut up the pears in halves or thick slices)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
~in large sauce pan, deep enough so pears can stand up with lid on, mix sugar, water, vanilla, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil over high heat.
~reduce heat to low and add pears. cover pot and let simmer about 25 minutes, gently turning the pears once or twice to make sure they're coated with the sugar syrup. (I usually end up letting them simmer for more like an hour, the pears are done when they feel tender throughout when gently tested with a fork or sharp knife)
~remove from heat; if using frozen berries, add them to the sauce at this point. cover and let sit 5 minutes.
~remove the pears and the berries with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl or deep plate. Strain the syrup and pour over the top of the pears and let cool.
~refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
if using fresh berries, sprinkle them over the bears before serving.