We had a really long weekend, beginning on Wednesday afternoon. I took no pictures of the Thanksgiving meal, nor of all the kids together. I did however get a good picture of #1 son whipping cream.

He appears to be gazing intently at the pecan pie.

We also had mince and French Silk pies, berry cobbler, and truffles from Andres, brought by Aunt L. She is a very fun lady. She’s 78 and, according to #2 son, “acts like a 25 year old.”

I guess it takes clean living, a youthful attitude, and a very expensive hairdresser.

It struck us, as we were finishing off the pies yesterday, that both pecan and French Silk pies were recent, probably American, inventions.

Pecan pie is so basic to Thanksgiving that this seems surprising, but our cookbook says that pecan pie was developed in the Karo kitchens.

We also had turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, carrots roasted with orange juice and thyme, and hot rolls.

The following day, I made strata with croissants, a combination of pancetta and American bacon crumbled into small bits, grated cheese, grape tomatoes, 6 eggs, and cream. This is delicious. Just slice the croissants, layer them with the cheese and bacon and tomatoes, and cover it all with the custard. Bake for about 45 minutes.

We went out shopping on Black Friday, a very rare thing for us. #1 son had to work (he’s in retail), but the rest of us went to the mall, where they had a few things on clearance and otherwise things were mostly about 10-15% off. I don’t get why this is considered  exciting. However, I did buy a couple of Christmas gifts at 40% off, so I guess I did my part in the Black Friday phenomenon.

We then repaired to a local Thai restaurant for lunch, and headed home for a game of Civilization. We love this game.

We had planned on going to the art museum yesterday, but #1 son, who finally had a day off, persuaded us to stay home and play Civilization some more instead. Great game.

It is the first day of Advent today. I’m skipping church, since the kids are leaving this morning, but I have a great Advent carol for you: “Prepare the Royal Highway.”

This Swedish folk tune was given its words in the 14th century, when carols were dance tunes. It is very lively and makes a great processional. Find the sheet music at the New Church Music site, and gather up your friends to process somewhere.

1. Prepare the royal highway; the King of kings is near!
Let ev’ry hill and valley a level road appear!
Then greet the King of glory, foretold in sacred story:

Chorus:
Hosanna to the Lord, for He fulfills His Word!

2. God’s people, see Him coming: your own eternal King!
Palm branches lay before Him! Spread garments, shout and sing!
His promise will not fail you! No more shall doubt assail you!

Chorus.

3. Then fling the gates wide open to greet your Lord and King,
that ours and ev’ry nation their tribute here may bring.
All lands will bow before Him; with singing now adore Him:

Chorus.

4. His is no earthly kingdom; it comes from heav’n above.
His rule is peace and freedom and justice, truth and love.
So let your praise be sounding for mercy so abounding:

Chorus.