Here’s my handsome family. We had a very nice Thanksgiving Day. I chivvied everyone into helping me in the morning. We had a proper Thanksgiving feast around lunchtime,  took the dogs for a walk, and then went over to my parents’ place for tea.

I took along all the tiny deserts. I’m not sure they were as successful as an actual pie, even though they were pretty and they did get eaten.

I didn’t take a picture of the whole feast on the table, but I have pictures of some of the new things we did. The tiny desserts were a big change. I made tiny lemon chiffon cakes, tiny fruitcakes with rum, tiny cheesecakes with a fresh cranberry topping, and tiny pecan pies in the form of pecan tassies.

I also made Parker House rolls. The dough for rolls is always the same, the various names referring to the shaping of the rolls.

I usually make cloverleaf rolls. To do this, you put three small balls of  dough into each opening of a muffin tin. Fantans are also made in muffin tins. You roll the dough and cut slices, which you put into the muffin tin, fanlike. But Parker House rolls are cut with a biscuit cutter. You butter them, fold them over, and lay them close together in a pan.

They were immortlized in the limerick:

A corpulent maiden named Kroll
Had a notion exceedingly droll
At a masquerade ball
Dressed in nothing at all
She backed in as a Parker House roll.

The Parker House Roll is named for the Parker House, a Boston Hotel where they came up with this thing sometime in the 19th century. Mine were not uniform; perhaps it was the wrong kind of pan or they were not close enough together. They tasted good, though.

I also made a different salad. I used the lettuce from our garden , along with cucumbers, carrots, and mushrooms. Then we candied some walnuts and added them along with some dried cranberries.

Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, roasted carrots, cranberry sauce, and mandarin oranges completed the menu.

#1 daughter’s boyfriend’s family came over for a bit, and we played Oxford Dilemma, which is quite a fun game. It calls itself a trivia game, but the trivia is stuff like what an isotope is or the composer of “Flight of the Bumblebee,” neither of which is that trivial.

You can also play it just as a spelling game, which would not be fun in our family. First, we have two exceptionally good spellers. #2 son is such a good speller that it seems a little unnatural, and can spell things backwards as well as forwards. #2 daughter is another unreasonably good speller. The #1s are not very good spellers — they’re not bad spellers, they don’t misspell ordinary words, but they’re not sure to get Georgia O’Keeffe right on the first try. (Me neither — I think I’ve misspelled her name in this blog, in fact).

Anyway, we’re too unevenly matched in spelling for the game to be fun played that way.

It’s a lot like Monopoly in terms of play, but instead of real estate you have to know science, geography, and stuff. There are Credits and Demerits, and some of the Demerits are harsh — like you have to swap all your money and letter cards with the player who is currently losing. This means there’s a lot of luck in the game, so the best speller won’t always win. Pretty board, too.

#1 daughter’s bf’s mother, grandmother, and sister in law were heading out to shop all night. They wanted #1 daughter to join them. #2 son also got a call inviting him to camp out in the parking lot of Best Buy. They said no and stayed in.

Yes, it is Black Friday. #1 son works in retail, so he’ll be out there in the trenches. I am very thankful not to be. I do have to work a bit, but my work doesn’t involve slavering hordes of shoppers, so I’m not complaining. If I get to it soon, I can get the most essential stuff done before the kids get up.Then we plan to watch Jeeves & Wooster and put up the Christmas tree.

If you’re out shopping, you have two good choices of theme songs: Santa Baby, an unashamed paean to Christmas consumerism which I actually kind of like; or Silver Bells, a happy though sappy song about Christmastime in the city with bits about shoppers. I’ve linked you up to the classic takes, Eartha Kitt and Bing Crosby, respectively, but both of these are very singable songs. “Silver Bells” has the advantage of having an echo type of chorus: if one person in the car knows it, the rest can just sing “Silver Bells!” after the frst person sings it.