For those of you not in Venice, Florida, it is 75 degrees out with bright blue skies. Not more than a few wisps of cloud to make the sky interesting. Our beautiful Gulf beaches are mostly peopled by visitors from up north.  Traffic is slow and quiet because everyone is gathered with friends and family.

I spent last night and this morning in the kitchen babysitting the TurDuckHen we feasted on at noontime. We discovered this ultimate indulgence for a feast about three years ago. It is a Turkey stuffed with a Duck stuffed with a Hen. The dressing is packed in around the Duck and the Hen. It is absolutely delicious.  The mashed potatoes were made with shallots and blue cheese and the spinach was creamed. Michelle, my oldest son's girlfriend, made us homemade cranberry sauce. Arthur, my younger son, made a Brussel Sprouts dressing from a Paula Dean recipe. Very tasty. He made a cornbread pudding which immediately became a new family traditional favorite for the holiday. Maybe, he'll make it for Christmas? We'll have to work on that.

There were eight of us gathered around the table this year. Thomas and Michelle were obligated to eat with her family on the other coast . My sister, Carol and her husband were at the airport in Jacksonville. Carol is cooking her turkey in a crockpot, so it will be ready when they get home tonight.  We are a family that enjoys fixing food, socializing and eating the food. There is always plenty made, because we seem to enjoy the leftovers more than the official dinner. The family will be found grazing in front of the fridge for the next day or so. There will be questions raised over who got the last of what. There will also be relief expressed that there in no longer any goodies to tempt us.

Mostly it is the happy reassurance in the air that the family is doing well and happy to be together. Plans are already being made for the next holiday's celebrations. Attended the Wake Up Venice with the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce last week. Emcee Kathy Lehner shared a poem she had found. It gave me a chuckle, so I'm sharing with you.

"The Little Pilgrim"

Cranberries dripping down my chin

Have stained my pilgrim suit

I ate too much Thanksgiving day

But I don't give a hoot.

I slurped a pile of dressing

Gobbled down a turkey thigh,

Dribbled messy cranberries

Devoured some pumpkin pie.

Within me on this special day

It's a thankful heart that beats.

For all the things that I enjoy

But mainly for the eats.

Authored by Unknown. Can't we all picture an elementary age child proudly reciting this at the annual Thanksgiving Day Pageant. Enjoy the feast and treasure your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Turkey Day from Venice, Florida.

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