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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: September 20, 2012

The Family Dinner

“They’re coming—they’re coming.”

The grandchildren are about to make their annual invasion of the old family homestead. Get everything that is breakable out of sight and definitely out of reach of the diminutive bandits. The favorite toys are brought up from the basement to distract and divert them.

The table was set the previous night and the place settings reveal just how many people are coming. The knives, forks and spoons are arrayed in an almost military fashion. Getting enough chairs around the table is a formidable challenge. Everyone will have to squeeze in a little closer for comfort.

The guacamole and the chopped liver with crackers surrounding them are placed in strategic spots around the house. Drinks, both alcoholic and non, are available with ice in a cooler. The conversation begins. The first and most cogent question is “Was there any traffic?” followed up with “How long did it take?”

Time to sit down at the main table. Kids are placed between parents for control purposes. Those helping with the meal are seated closer to the kitchen for obvious reasons.

“Here comes the soup!”

It should be hot but not too scorching or scalding. As Goldilocks said, it should be “just right!”

“Here comes the turkey!”

“Who’s going to slice it?”

“Not me!”

You can order it pre-sliced, but Lorraine thinks it dries out if you have it sliced beforehand. The side dishes are also very important. One should be a vegetable (string beans or broccoli almondine) and a starch (potato or sweet potato). The cranberry compote with nuts and pineapple goes very well with roast turkey.

Apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, pecan streusel, coffee cakes, rugelach and a large platter of fruit, plus coffee and tea, makes up dessert. Everybody grab a couch and relax! Next year: same place, same meal.