Monday, December 5, 2016

Oh What Fun!


I'm late sharing photos of our Thanksgiving celebration, and my daughter's birthday that happened to fall on the same day this year. My son and family were celebrating at his in-laws, so our celebration was smaller this year, with just my daughter and family and a neighbor friend.  I know it will look like a large amount of food for only five people and a grandchild, but everyone takes home a large tray of leftovers, and my husband and I then enjoy what is left for a few days. Nothing goes to waste!


In fact, one of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is to make turkey stock from the carcass of the turkey the next day.  I place the carcass in a large pot with a large onion, 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled carrots, stalks of celery, and any washed and frozen vegetable pieces and peelings that I've saved from preparing for our Thanksgiving meal the days before. I add the stalks of fresh parsley I've saved from using the leaves, and a large sprig of rosemary and a bunch of sage leaves from my herb garden.  It is brought to a boil and then lowered to a simmer for hours--I really cook it all down to a rich broth.  Then, when cooled, I strain the juice into a large bowl and discard the bones and cooked vegetables.   I refrigerate the large bowl of broth overnight and then scrape off all the fat that has risen to the top the next day.  Now I have a wonderful turkey stock that can be used to make soup! When making soup add salt and pepper and other seasonings like thyme, parsley, etc.   Add freshly copped vegetables of choice to simmer until cooked in the stock, or frozen cooked vegetables.  Add chopped turkey meat leftover from the holiday meal and cooked rice, egg noodles, pasta or barley.  I add leftover mashed potatoes, if I have any, to thicken.  It really is a delicious way to enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey all over again!


The day after Thanksgiving our town of Littleton holds a delightful celebration called the "Candlelight Walk." Main Street shops remain open for shopping and carolers stroll the street singing Christmas Carols. There is hot cider for sale and one can buy candles to hold in the procession. Around 6:30 PM a parade begins with a few floats passing by and then Santa Claus and his sleigh comes down Main Street. A he passes by he magically illuminates more than a million lights in the trees as he passes each block. When he reaches the end of the street he throws a switch on the big Christmas Tree in the plaza.  We brought our oldest granddaughter this year and she really enjoyed the festivities while sitting on her Pop Pop's shoulders!


Our community has a large ranch house community center that is decorated beautifully for Christmas, and every year Santa Claus makes an appearance for the members. We took our two granddaughters/cousins to see him, dressed up in their matching dresses.  Only the oldest granddaughter was brave enough to go up to tell him her Christmas wish list--the little granddaughter thought he was too scary.  She did enjoy the ladies playing bells and the hot chocolate and cookies that were part of the celebration, however, as we all did.  My daughter and son-in-law and oldest granddaughter later went on a hay ride through the community park grounds, along with other members, and sang Christmas carols along the way as the sun set. It was wonderful fun!


Another fun beginning to this Christmas season was that both of our children and their families gathered with us for a Denver tradition--an outing at Casa Bonita!  Casa Bonita is a restaurant and a family entertainment spot that has been delighting visitors for over 40 years. It is cavernous in size with many different dining areas that can seat 1,000 people. Made to resemble a Mexican Village and local environment, it has at its center a 30 foot waterfall leading to a 14 foot deep pool. Daring cliff diver shows take place all evening from the cliff. The faux palm trees were lit up for the Christmas season and there were other holiday decorations all about. In addition, there are strolling musicians, and "haunted cave walk" arcades, a puppet show, and ride on figures for young children.  The food is simple Mexican, and although far from gourmet, the food portions are generous. All in all it is a fun and kitschy experience that children really enjoy.



This evening my husband and I went with a few friends to a concert at the Lakewood Cultural Center in Lakewood, Colorado, to attend the 19th annual Timothy P Irvin and the Rocky Mountain Stocking Stuffers Concert.  All the musicians and singers were very talented as they sang a combination of Western country and blue grass Christmas songs.  One very remarkable rendition of Silent Night was sung by Jon Chandler.  He told us that when he was growing up his grandparents and great grandmother lived with his family.  His great grandmother told him as a child that that her great grandfather was Franz Gruber, the composer who wrote the guitar music to the song Silent Night.  He then went on to perform the song so beautifully!  I found the video above, on YouTube, of him telling the story and singing the song at a different venue. Click here to go to YouTube if you can not see the video.  There are so many beautiful renditions of Silent Night, but I think you will also enjoy hearing Jon sing it in English and native German.
For all the fun and novelty of the Christmas season that we all enjoy--the lights, the tree, the culinary treats and presents--it is good to honor the very best of all is the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus! 


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30 comments:

Maggie said...

Dear Pat, what a wonderful post full of festive family fun! How lucky you are to have your family close by to share this wonderful season with.
I'm so happy to have you with us for Mosaic Monday again this week.
Maggie

From the Kitchen said...

We had Thanksgiving at the home of friends so no leftovers here. I missed them! Your repast looks delicious and reminds me of childhood Thanksgivings when so many aunts, uncles and cousins gathered at the home of my grandparents. Happy Holidays!

Best,
Bonnie

Snap said...

Looks like the holiday celebrations -- and birthdays -- are in full swing. What fun! I love making turkey-veggie soup ... have to use up all the good turkey. So many wonderful things to see and do in your neck of the woods for the holiday. Enjoy! Happy Monday and a Merry Merry Merry!

Ann said...

I imagine you are a fabulous cook-everything looks scrumptious. The day after pot of delicious ingredients is such a great idea. Colorado has some beautiful towns and the parades so wonderful, we went to one a few years ago in Salida. You have a beautiful family pat.
Ann

Lady Fi said...

Such fun!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Oh wow! This all looks like so much fun.

Daniela said...

Thank you, darling Pat, for the joy you always share, blessed be !

Hope your week is off to a good start, I'm sending my dearest love to you

Xx Dany

Tamar SB said...

What a fun festive time!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's such a fun time of year and I know you are so happy to be close to your family to enjoy all the festivities. We cooked a lot too and froze some of it! I love Thanksgiving dinner better than any other meal! Holiday hugs!

Linda W. said...

You and your family have been very busy post-thanksgiving!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Pat, I've enjoyed seeing all of the festivities you have enjoyed this holiday season. Your turkey stock looks wonderful and I'm sure will make lovely a lovely soup. I always do the same with turkey and chicken. It's so much better than store bought.
Have a wonderful Christmas with your family.♥

happywonderer.com said...

It's wonderful to see your family celebrating and enjoying each other. Love the mosaics and your thoughts about Christmas, too.

Vee said...

How neat to have that family connection to Franz Gruber...I will be listening to the song.

Enjoyed seeing all the family times over Thanksgiving and the grandgirlies visiting Santa.

Have a super blessed Advent season!

Fun60 said...

My. you've had a busy week. So much fun and joy in your photos from the sumptuous food to the Santa Parade.

NC Sue said...

Looks like a scrumptious time!
Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-church-of-transfiguration.html

jeannettestgermain said...

Oh, so long ago that I've been on a candle light walk with little kids (that's when most people do these things:) ) great memories!
Right now it has been a few years I even bought a turkey (because our daughters keep feeding us), but the turkey stock is a great idea, and so healthy!! Thanks so much for sharing these lovely traditions with ALL SEASONS Pat, and have a happy Dec. week:)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

There is surely no shortage of things to do around your town, Pat! Who needs Brooklyn?

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, Your Thanksgiving dinner does look like it could feed a crowd. We had a small crowd too and I cooked way too much food. However, we share too and nothing goes to waste. The stock sounds delicious, and I am going to make it next time we have turkey.

Your photos are all so precious. We are both blessed with loving families that love and care about each other. I could say we are lucky but it is more that luck. It is the way our parents and our Grand Parents raised us.

Happy Blue Monday.
Hugs, Jeanne

Lorrie said...

Hello Pat, what a wonderful feast you enjoyed with part of your family. Leftovers are always great, and your turkey stock looks rich and delicious.
How fun to attend these special events in your town via your photos.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

Wow! Tons of family fun. I like when meals are big and varied. Like you said, there is a bit (or a lot) to take home afterwards. You just remeber the good moments when you are eatign the leftovers. #OurWordTuesday

edenhills said...

Sounds like a wonderful celebration! Love the images from the Christmas parade.

diane b said...

You always write such entertaining posts. There is sure a lot of entertainment for you in your community. I love the feeling of happiness, excitement and family love that shines through your writing.

Villrose said...

Warm and nice celebration!
Making stock is genious!

Rhonda Albom said...

Your town throws a magical celebration. The parade and all the festivities must be a sight. I never thought of using the turkey frame to make soup. I used to just sit down with the family and pick at it the following evening.

handmade by amalia said...

It does indeed look like a lot of fun.
Amalia
xo

carol l mckenna said...

Oh what a lovely array of photos ~ beautiful! Happy Birthday to your daughter ~ all great shots!

Wishing you Happy Days ~ ^_^

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh Pat, what a wonderfully happy post.
I love all your photo's, and the recipe too, but I especially like how you've done the mosaics - so much for us to look at.

All the best Jan

Linda said...

Nice set of pictures! One of my daughters was born November 23 and my husband's middle daughter was born November 22.

Barb said...

Hi Pat, Your family celebrations bring a smile to my face. Lots of happy smiles surround you and Vinny. Bob's birthday is Nov 23. Looks like you are in the Christmas spirit. It's snowing and blowing in Breck today - we sure welcome the snow!

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Pat that turkey stock recipe is very similar to mine. We used to have quite a few turkeys on the farm and I'd make it every year. But now we only have one and she is our pet. You live in such a wonderful community full of fun activities. I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.