My Turkey Helper

On Saturday I had two of our children help with baking: Saturday Baking with My Kids. Yesterday I had our middle child help with our turkey dinner.

We had a lot of fun preparing the bird. I love teaching my children the art of cooking. Giving explanations to the “hows” and “whys” when cooking is always important. From temperatures to spices- it’s all important.

Once the bird had been cooking for a few hours, it was back to making the side dishes. Vegetables and mashed potatoes were about to be prepared. Our daughter thought her helping out was over after the bird so she had gotten changed into some nicer clothes. Little did she know that making a feast takes a lot of effort! But she willingly assisted.

Our dinner turned out delicious. We now have plenty of leftovers to last the week. From soup to sandwiches- we will be eating turkey leftovers until we are sick of them. Much like everyone else who is celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend.

So enjoy your meals with family and friends. Don’t let the Tryptophan knock you down. I’m ready for a nap just writing about it.

Pepto and Gravy circa 2000.

In the year 2000, I spent my last Thanksgiving with my father.  I could say to you that I didn’t know it’d be his last one, but that’d be a lie.  My father had already been battling cancer for three years by this point.  Even the Christmas before, it didn’t look like he would make it through the winter.  But here it was, ten months after that and we were gathered around the table to eat as a family.

We ate as a family for the last time that weekend.  My mother, my father, my sister, my girlfriend (who ended up being my future wife) and me.  The entire experience was awful; and not just because of my father’s cancer.


First of all, the dining room at my parents place now had a hospital bed in it.  A bed that my father refused to sleep in.  He preferred to sleep in his recliner. So, because this large bed was in the dining room, the dining room table moved into the spare room.  A Pepto-bismal pink painted bedroom. It was enough to make you not want to eat.

But the worst part of the dinner was the hangover.  My sister, my future wife and I had gone out drinking the night prior.  Heavily drinking.  We were destroyed the next day.  So much so that my sister had to call me in the late afternoon to wake me up and see if I was still going to show up.  We got to the house and at dinner, my sister drowned her plate of food in gravy.  I couldn’t handle it, so I had to excuse myself for a moment.

At the dinner, my father knew what was up.  Even in his morphine induced state, he knew we were recovering. He made fun of us. But he did so with a smile.  Perhaps he saw youthfulness in us.  Perhaps he enjoyed watching others suffer their own stupidity.  I’ll never know. 

So today, as you spend Canadian Thanksgiving with your friends and family, just remember that they may not be there next time.  

My father wasn’t able to make one more turkey dinner…

Dinner is served.

Today my family and I are celebrating Thanksgiving.  I’m not sure celebrating is the right word.  We are having a turkey dinner with all the fixings followed by apple pie for dessert.  

Home made apple pie.


Eating dinners as a family is one of the most important things that I have found we need to do.  On long days, we will still eat dinner together at 9pm.  It gives us time to communicate and share about our day or plans for the next few days.  We encourage our children to help prepare meals or set & clear the table.  We have done this their entire lives in order to make it a habit.

Getting some videogames ready on the Wii-U.


Tonight’s dinner is no different.  From preparing the apple pie yesterday to stuffing the bird today, we all work together.  Most of our afternoon involved relaxing reading books, playing videogames, practicing piano, or in my case-taking a nap.  All of this whilst we enjoyed the aromas of the garlic and stuffing as it emanated from our oven as the bird cooked to perfection.

Best invention EVER!


We peeled potatoes, set the table, and poured the wine into our good crystal (Sprite for the kids).  Everyone hustled around to get the dinner perfect.  It was only for us, but the kids wanted it to be special.  


Today I raise a glass and give Thanks to my family and friends.  May you all have full stomachs and hearts as we journey though the holidays over the next few months.

High quality cranberry sauce. Still in can shape.