It’s not that we don’t have seasons in Houston — it’s just that they tend to not be very dramatic. It’s been unseasonably warm this fall — too warm for the leaves to turn color — and the signs that Thanksgiving was approaching were subtle. One clue was the ripening pecans hanging in clusters, which made the squirrels very happy:
Another clue was the appearance of acorns. I pass some kind of oak tree on my way to work that had the BIGGEST acorns I’ve ever seen:
There was an occasional colored leaf:
Soon, turkeys started going on sale at the grocery store, along with canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and Pepperidge Farm stuffing, leaving no doubt that Thanksgiving was nearing. And that meant it was time for my son’s Boy Scout Troop’s 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Day Luncheon for senior citizens living in and around our little community.
When my son was working on his Eagle project (a fence around utility structures in a neighborhood park), a city employee suggested that the Troop might consider hosting this luncheon, which had been abandoned 5 or 6 years ago by the group that had previously hosted it. Sure, why not?
Last year we had 19 guests, but this year word spread and we had close to 50. Through donations of ingredients and dollars, we were able to provide a mostly home-cooked meal (meats and pies were purchased) of roast turkey with gravy, smoked ham, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, Southern-style corn, green bean casserole, fresh cranberry relish, vanilla cranberry sauce, rolls and butter, and assorted pies with whipped cream.
We did most of the cooking two days before, using Senior Services’ well-equipped kitchen.
The day before, Troop volunteers set up the activity room. Working within our budget and the fact that we had to use paper and plastic tableware, I think we managed to make the room look worthy of our guests.
Our guests started arriving about 30 minutes before the start of the meal, and it gave us an opportunity to visit with them. They were excited to be joining us, and many came elegantly dressed. The room was buzzy with happy chatter.
The scouts did a great job of serving up the meal and interacting with the guests:
We sent each guest home with leftovers, for later in the day (because really, it isn’t Thanksgiving without leftovers):
Each guest also received a festively-wrapped loaf of homemade Pumpkin Ginger Bread or Cranberry Orange Bread, for snacking on later in the day:
The luncheon was a great success, and I enjoyed it as much as our guests. As one of our guests was leaving, he called me over and said “I only have one complaint — everything was so good that I have nothing to complain about.” He gave a little chuckle and said “That’s my joke.” That’s the kind of complaint I love to hear! I hope you got lots of “complaints” this Thanksgiving as well. 🙂
(Note: Although I didn’t get to cook for my family this year because of my involvement with the luncheon, my husband’s two sisters made a delicious Thanksgiving dinner that we enjoyed with the whole family later in the day.)