Tree Tings to be Tankful for at Tanksgiving

So, as you may have heard/experienced, last Thursday was Thanksgiving…a holiday that exists quite extravagently in the States and that, as of last Thursday, now exists in Wexford. At least with Teach Bhride and friends. We drew up a big ol’ guest list, mishmashed our favorite family recipes (and mishmashed some serious potatoes in the process), and cooked so many turkeys, I could probably stuff a gobbler and his friends in my sleep. But actually not…Nicole came to the rescue with her fearless turkey tackler tactic when I started to become a little wobbly (okay, green-in-the-face) after seeing that my turkey (whom I christened Spook) had decided to keep some of his winter coat (furrows of flaky feathers) for his long haul in the freezer.

HELP ME!!

Anyway, after some of us conquering the bucket list item of “dress a turkey”, we were well on our way to a successful and delicious Thanksgiving feast for many of our dear Wexford family. We began the day with a beautiful Thanksgiving mass, complete with special Thanksgiving readings, a hymn sung for the four Teach Bhride-ites, and a cute little sacred space.

A little Thanksgiving sacred space was set up for morning mass on Thursday
Happy Munchers

On the menu was Nicole’s famous Spinach Stuffing (from a secret recipe you’ll want to beg for), Nick’s famous Gobs (they were as delicious as they sound), Molly’s famous Pumpkin Pie (made from actual whole pumpkins!), and my famous stomach to eat it all. Just kidding. I made some sort-of famous sugared sweet potatoes in orange shells which were yummy too. Monseigneur Denis was kind enough to allow us the use of his home, which is perfect for entertaining large groups, so we all were able to munch away in a leisurely, comfortable fashion.

A roomful of friends
One table of delicious Thanksgiving foods!

Though the food went quite beyond expectations, I’d have to say the capper is always the session which follows the meal. For new readers, a “session” is basically an informal gathering of people at which traditional Irish music is sung/played. There are always a bunch of songs with which I’m not familiar but the tune is usually pick-up-able enough to hum along or insert my own lyrics. This time, we had guitars, an accordion, a tin whistle, a banjo, a flute, and lots of eager voices. There was also a hilarious game, led by Mary Curran, which involved six people kneeling in a circle and went something like this:

Person 1: My aunt went to Brazil one day and brought me back a gift.                                        jkPerson 2: What did she bring you?                                                                                       dddPerson 1: A fan (person 1 begins waving arm back and forth) This action continues to be passed around the circle until….                                                                                                               jkPerson 1: My aunt went to Brazil one day and brought me back a gift.                           dddPerson 2: What did she bring you?                                                                                          Person 1: She brought some scissors (begins “clipping” the air with the other hand) this continues around the circle untillll…..

Each time it passed back to the beginning, the audience laughed uproariously at the next added movement which made the members of the circle look more and more goofy. By the last few, it went more like this:

Person 1: My aunt went to Brazil one day…                                                                        dddddPerson 2: I’ll BET she did….and she brought you a gift, didn’t she?!

The laughter went on, at the actors’ expense with a rocking chair, (everyone had to sway back and forth while still on their knees), cuckoo clock (everyone repeats “cuckoo”, “cuckoo”….) and other goofy movements. I’m pretty sure the members of the silly circle wanted to say, “TELL YOUR AUNT SHE BROUGHT YOU QUITE ENOUGH GIFTS!” It finally ended with “my aunt went to Brazil and brought me back a gift…a bunch of NUTS!” And everyone burst into more laughter (since, frankly, they did look like a bunch of nuts!) Lucky for you, I got a video!

The night concluded with a beautiful (if I do say so myself) rendition of “The Parting Glass”, courtesy of the three House of Brigid ladies. And then we were off to Portugal within hours. So I’ll pass you along to Nicole and Nick to recount our wonderful and awe-inspiring pilgrimage to Alcanena, Santorem, and Fatima, Portugal!

P.S. Tanks to Steve for the Toughtful title of this post. Tink of Tree Tings for which you’re Tankful today!