Thanksgiving Dinner 2010

Thanksgiving dinner is over and done with thank you very much.

As some of you know, it was Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend.  Time for fall fairs, crunching leaves, and pumpkin pie.  Oh! And family.

Before I get to the results of my Real Pumpkin Pumpkin Pie versus Canned Pumpkin Pumpkin pie taste test, I’d like to fill you in on a couple of the highlights from the Thanksgiving dinner I hosted for my family this weekend.

It started out wonderfully.  The table was set beautifully, all rustic and Thanksgivingly.  Thanksgivingish.  Thanksgivingishly.  It looked like it was going to be another warm and loving family dinner.


The Noteworthy Events

2:00 p.m. My sister’s friend Marilyn and her sister Maggie arrive out of the blue with a Thanksgiving gift basket filled with organic maple syrup, a candy apple, Hershey kisses, and homemade CRANBERRY SAUCE! And just like that, I knew this was going to be the most perfect, magical, soap opera-like Thanksgiving EVER.



3:45 p.m. My first guest (my 15 year old niece) arrives on time for the appointed dinner service of 5:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. The rest of the guests start to trickle in.  For my dinner that was scheduled to begin at 5:00.

5:05 p.m. General mayhem as the house fills up with parents, kids, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and a couple of grandmothers.

5:10  p.m. My other niece shows up with an armful of ingredients asking if she can cook something.  In my oven.  Which is full of the food everyone else brought.  All she needs is a pan, some butter, full access to the stove and oven and about half an hour in the kitchen.  For my dinner that begins at 5:00. Um.  (we compromised, she sauteed the escargot in garlic butter, but didn’t stuff them in the mushroom caps and put them in the already very pregnant oven.  The escargot were good all on their own anyway)

5:15 – 7:00 p.m. Unbeknownst to me, my boyfriend has paid my 15 year old niece $2 to stand in the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room making it almost impossible for me to get in and out of the two.  She is spewing random facts she finds on the Internet the whole time.  Um, no.  I didn’t know that about Justin Bieber. This was a plotted plan concocted for the sole purpose of annoying me. Both my niece and my boyfriend think this is hilarious.  One of them is 15 years old.  The other only thinks he is.

7:00 p.m. We sit down to my 5:00 p.m. Thanksgiving dinner.

7:02 p.m. I look over and notice one of my sisters is eating her dinner with a grapefruit knife.

7:05  p.m. Dinner is done.  And it only took 15 hours to prepare for.

7:07 p.m. All families have a Thanksgiving tradition that is passed down from generation to generation.  Many begin their meals with a prayer, or just declaring what they’re thankful for in their lives.  My family is too busy fist fighting over who gets the most stuffing for these distractions, so we like to END our meal with a tradition.  The Gobble Off.  It goes something like this.



Congratulations Barry!  You get to take home the bedazzled pumpkins on the dining room table your wife told me she hated.

7:25 p.m. Everyone is milling about, mostly hanging out in the dining room waiting for coffee and dessert … the aforementioned Pumpkin Pie!  I enter the dining room to clear the table and this is what I find:



Inside one of those crackers you see in the first shot of my dining room table, was a measuring tape. And so my family, is measuring each other’s heads.  As I’m sure most families across Canada were doing on this fine Thanksgiving Day.

And that pretty much sums up the entire evening.  NOTHING went according to plan.

And that’s your little take-away from this post.  Remember it the next time  you host a dinner party.

It will NOT go as you planned. Things will not be perfect, and it will not resemble something you see on a soap opera.  At least one food item will be served cold, children may end up climbing into the house through an open window and your sister may end up eating with a grapefruit knife.

Roll with it.  Honestly, for your own mental health.  It’s a lot better to have your head measured than have it explode.

As it turns out I’ve lied to you.  I don’t have time for the pumpkin pie results today.

I’ve been too busy recalling this Thanksgiving dinner which, quite frankly was no different than any other family dinner we’ve had.  Except the one time we set the dining room table on fire a few Christmases ago.   My sister’s gel nail caught on fire that year too.  That dinner stands out a bit from the rest.

Check back tomorrow to see which pie won the Pumpkin Pie taste test!

21.5 ” by the way.



  1. J9 says:

    So…this is my first time commenting on your blog despite Stumbling Upon it a month or two ago. I am back-reading tonight because it was between that and folding laundry so…
    Anyway, the reason I decided to finally comment was because I was compelled to tell you that my family decided we should measure OUR heads on Christmas Day this past year. And FYI, there were no crackers with measuring tapes, this was an idea someone came up with. So maybe it’s in the Canadian water…?

    • Karen says:

      J9 – Hah! Yeah, that’s even weirder than measuring your heads because you got a cracker measuring tape. Very weird indeed. I approve. ~ karen

  2. ev says:

    “The Gobble off”! Too funny. Thanks for a laugh out loud moment once again! My sister-in-law does a great gobble, but you and yours was wonderful!

  3. Pam says:

    I enjoy your blog a lot! Very funny. Your table setting was very lovely. I tried copying your gold stripe on the little pumpkins. Obviously I don’t have a “gold” enough paint as mine looks like green baby poop. I used Metallic Pure Gold by Plaid. Please tell me your color as it is soooo much better.

    • Karen says:

      Pam! Oh no! The swirls and stripes on my pumpkins are made out of jewels actually, not paint! They’re just from the dollar store. I stuck them on with little pieces of 2 way tape. Yes. I bedazzled my pumpkins. No wonder you couldn’t get the “gold” paint right! However, just so you know, whenever I paint anything gold, I use “24 Karat Gold” spray paint. :) ~ karen

  4. Korrine says:

    There were so many similarities to my family here and when I got to the head measuring I peed myself a little. We all have huge heads and did measure them one Thanksgiving. Happy to say mine wasn’t the largest even though men’s hats look like beanies on me. Thanks for the giggles!

  5. Tickled Red says:

    You set a gorgeous table!!

  6. liz a. says:

    i had to laugh! and i too, have a man in the house, who thinks he is 15…actually he is 12 …so 15 years old is a step up! i was happy to see we aren’t the only people who are crazy when we all get together for the thanksgiving dinner coming up….and the 12 year old grandpa will have fun torturing the little ones, and yes, at least one dish will be cold! actually with 7 children, 10 grandchildren, 2 gg grandchildren, all get-togethers, especially the volleyball games, get very crazy! ain’t life grand!

  7. Rosalie says:

    Makes me miss Thanksgiving in Canada and being close to family for holiday get togethers.

  8. Sandy Myers says:

    I think that T-Lo should have won for clearly making the most effort to try and win even though she didn’t like the prize. Barry looked a little like a ‘try-hard’, he hates to lose!

  9. mimi says:

    LOL at your boyfriend paying your niece to stand in the doorway!
    I must remember that one, it’s classic.
    Your table looks wonderful, before the meal, that is!

  10. Janelle says:

    Plotting any revenge for the $2 annoy-fest? Who knows what that fiendish niece would do for FOUR bucks!?!

  11. Shannon says:

    Without the context of this being thanksgiving & people seem to eat turkey for thanksgiving the gobble off would be a very peculiar video indeed. Even with the context it is a little strange!

    If it is any consolation Karen, I think your pumpkins are darling.

  12. Zina says:

    In my family, there’s certain people we tell to be there for dinner at 3:00 if we want them there for a dinner at 4:00, and certain people we tell to be there for dinner at 5:00 for a 4:00 dinner because the people who will show up at 5:00 for the 4:00 dinner (same as the first group of people) will otherwise mean that all of the people who we’ve told to be there at 5:00 will otherwise have to eat appetizers until they have no appetite left waiting for them.

    Naturally, the main course is timed so it’s done at 5:15.

    We once told people to be there at 8:30 because the people who told us they’d be there at 7:30 we figured wouldn’t be there until 8:30 for dinner. We were wrong. They didn’t get there until 10:00. We finally gave up and ordered pizza at 9:30 instead of going out.

    When they got there, they had appetizers for dinner instead because all the pizza was gone.

    Christmas dinner is the one exception: if you’re not there when I told you to be there for Christmas, you get to pick on what’s left. While standing in the kitchen. :)

  13. JennyM says:

    Ha! Usually by the end of Thanksgiving dinner someone in my family starts hanging a spoon off his/her nose and before you know it, spoons are everywhere and everyone’s shouting about the best method for achieving spoonful dangliness. You know, something like that. So measuring heads sounds not at all unusual to me.

  14. sk says:

    omg i have been reading your blog religiously for the last couple of months or so and i just have to tell you that the gobble off is maybe the best thing you have ever posted. i am literally laughing out loud to myself alone in my apt. happy thanksgiving!

  15. Julie says:

    I can’t believe it! We did the measuring thing too! We did head circumference and length from hair line to chin, ears and nose!

    • Karen says:

      Julie – You did NOT! If it’s true, that may be the funniest/strangest thing I’ve ever heard. – karen

    • Julie says:

      It’s totally true! We started with the head and then just kept going. My husband and my friend’s boyfriend both have abnormally long heads so we had to do the length as well. I sent everyone a link to this post so they would know we weren’t the only family who did this! Thanks!

  16. Natalie says:

    Haha this looks awesome :)

  17. Shauna says:

    It looks like you had a great time. And I think it’s always certain for dinner to be 2 hours late!! I love how everyone had their own garbage bag for a place mat, the table looked great. And by the way…the maple syrup whipping cream is good enough to be a dessert all on it’s own! I love it!

  18. Sharon North says:

    I love your sense of humor. I laugh every time I read one of your posts!

  19. j. says:

    Yay! Real cranberry sauce!!! I want some right now.

    Your dinner looks wonderful, niece in doorway included. ;)

  20. Alexandra Dare says:

    Hahaha! Gobble off? I. Love. It. I am so jealous of your fun family! My family is itty bitty. You should not take it for granted having this strange and wonderful family gatherings. My family gatherings are not usually eventful at all… My parents and my grandparents only. And the holiday part is that we get to sit at the dining room table. And my mother actually cooks. And SOMETIMES we break out the good China. LOL. But it’s still nice just to know that everyone in the world is getting together on this day to celebrate family and love :) Even though Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day… But I digress :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    -Alexandra Dare

  21. Rebecca says:

    Well, your pie won at my Thanksgiving. Not that there was an official taste test or anything. But I forgot to take the whipped cream – so I just rolled with the punches and found non-maple ice cream!
    I think young adults should be forced to prepare a big Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. They just don’t get what goes into it, do they? But then again, I didn’t either when I was a young’un. My nephew likes to come into the kitchen and offer to clean up right as the last dish is being dried and put away.

  22. marilyn says:

    ok that was the funniest! love the turkey gobbles, who knew that barry could be so versatile! that will come in handy with three kids although tl was no slouch!

  23. Liz says:

    The urge to measure my head whilst sat at my desk at work is immense and all-comsuming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • About Karen