Nov 26, 2006
The Annual Thanksgiving Feast
Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2006, Saipan USA
For the past couple of years Babs and I along with the Paez family have hosted on old fashioned American Thanksgiving dinner at our home complete with all the Thanksgiving favorites. We like the idea of eating in a home(usually ours) sitting at a single table with good friends, eating all the Thanksgiving classics made from scratch.
Our guest list for this year was:
Carol Paez--Barbara's best friend on Saipan. She essentially cohosts with us and provides the turkey.
Wylie Paez-Carol's stepson and one of my former students.
Keisha Paez-Carol's stepdaughter and one of my former students. She's a co-director of REAL Christian Theater and goes by the pseudonym "Bono Girl" in my REAL blog entries because of her trademark and everpresent shades.
Fredo Paez-Carol's stepson and one of my former students.
Tali Paez--Carol's daughter and one of our students.
Noah Paez--Carol's son and one of our students.
Dan Shor--good friend and filmmaking mentor.
Jie Hua Shor--Dan's sweet and wonderful wife.
Mai Rhea Odiyar--Our 3/4 grade teacher
Britni Gleason--Our kinder teacher
Grant Graves-Our 5-7 homeroom teacher and all-around Mr. Incredible
Virle Gayatin-Our office manager/accountant and all around Ms. Incredible
Joeie Verona--Works at our pre-school and is one Virle's dear friends.
Larene Delos Reyes--Our pre-school director
Namdi Miles--My friend, budding media entrepeneur and serious Bible scholar
Monique Miles-Namdi's wonderful and gracious wife.
River Miles-Namdi's beautiful little daughter
Missy Chamberlin--Our fundraising guru and Left Hand of Barbara (Virle being the right)
Layla Cole--Our French, Science, and ESL teacher
Bev Cabanatan--a dental hygienist at the SDA Clinic and a good friend of us all.
Our menu for the meal included the following mouthwatering delights:
Roasted turkey with gravy
Wild mushroom and leek stuffing
Mashed potatoes (from scratch of course. Thanks May!)
Gravy (appropriately enough provided by Mr. Graves)
Cranberry gelatin salad
Fresh baked bread (made by Grant Graves. He brought like five loaves)
Special K Loaf
Sweet Potato Casserole
Memphis corn pudding
Green bean casserole
a fresh green salad with balasamic vinagrette dressing
Stir fried vegetables chinese style
And for dessert:
Two pumpkin pies
Two apple pies
one cherry pie
vanilla ice cream
fresh whipped cream (from scratch no less! It's so easy to make and SO tasty!)
After our meal we all watched "Mission Impossible III" as a special treat for Bev who'd been dying to see it.
All in all, a lovely and memorable Thanksgiving.
Mai Rhea (better known to us as simply "May") and Bev help set the table.
Dan and his wife Jie Hua. Dan's is my filmmaking and screenwriting mentor. I've been acting in his latest project, Stat e of Liberty.
Here's the view of the table from my end. From the left side of the table running down to the end and then back up the right are: Tali, Layla, Keisha, Grant, Wylie, Mai Rhea, Dan, Jie Hua, Namdi, River, Monique, Britni, Joie, Virle, Larene, Missy, Carol, Babs, Noah, and Bev.
With 21 people at table, getting the food to everyone without having to resort to buffet style, line up and serve yourself and then sent back down, took some organizational skill, and that so ruins the "gather round the table" Thanksgiving vibe. And besides having 21 people getting up and down in our tiny dining area would have been a whole other logistical nightmare. What we did was pass our plates around the table and we just added whatever dish was in front of us to each plate as it came along. This year we had name cards at each place setting which some genius suggested we send along with the plate so you knew whose plate you were filling which made it even easier. In these pictures Carol Paze (above) and Keisha Paez (below) work the plates.