Tag Archives: Zuniga Family Reunion

Turkey Day 2015

My first Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing - all by myself!

My first Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing – all by myself!

I have a confession to make…this is the first year that I’ve prepared an entire Thanksgiving meal by myself.  Yep…that’s right!  I’ve never in all my life done this…but this year I decided it was time.

We had already celebrated Thanksgiving with the extended Odom family last Saturday.  My brother-in-law, Terry, did the honors where the cooking was concerned.  We brought the “big” cookie and some great wine.  Before my sister-in-law passed away, she and my other sister-in-law typically did all the cooking.  We had quite a banter going back and forth about the food.  They would tease me because I didn’t cook and so I was always given the task of bringing the drinks and desserts.  This usually consisted of pies from Costco.  (FYI – This was before the big cookie made it’s appearance in recent years.)  I joked that my culinary expertise was so great that I had sold my pie recipe to Costco so why should I make them when I could buy them!  In reality, I told them one year not too long ago, that it didn’t make sense for me to cook since they were both so good at it!  It was the truth too, not just a line to get out of doing the work.  Their Thanksgiving menu was always fabulous!

Over the past few years, I’ve wanted to learn more about how to make our Zuniga traditional Thanksgiving meal – in particular the turkey and stuffing – so I asked my mother to teach me and my daughters what to do.  I took pictures of the process and also wrote the directions down – which I can’t seem to find now.  She loved doing this with us and we a blast learning her method of cooking.  Anyway, my mother went to Chicago this year to be with my sister and her family and since Eddie and I were going to be home with two of our three kids this Thanksgiving, we decided to get a turkey and make a traditional meal.  Rather, he bought the turkey and “I” made the traditional meal!

Deviled eggs...a little mayo, mustard and sweet pickle relish.  Delish!

Deviled eggs…a little mayo, mustard and sweet pickle relish. Delish!

I made the stuffing (or dressing) and stuffed the bird close to midnight last night.  I had enough for a casserole dish of dressing on the side.  I also made deviled eggs because these are a staple at every Thanksgiving meal!  The heavenly aroma of turkey woke me up early and my husband nudged me out of bed so I could check on the bird and turn the oven off.  We got up to make breakfast for the family – my daughter Anna Marie and her new hubby Ryan came by for French toast before heading out-of-town this afternoon.  While they were here, I made the other preparations… peeled potatoes, got the mac and cheese ready, green beans and almonds in a pan and finally, took a shot at making giblet gravy.  It was a little thick (I think I used too much flour), but it did the trick and everyone seemed to enjoy it on their food.

Enough food for an army!

Enough food for an army!

My brother-in-law and sister-law, Allen and Rhonda came over to join us for our Thanksgiving meal.  It was a small group but it was really nice and relaxing once we got our plates fixed and sat at the dining room table to eat, talk, laugh and share stories.

Pumpkin pie and apple/cranberry pie were the dessert choices.  I’ll have one of each please with a little whipped cream!  It was a great day and I’m tired now but it’s a good tired.  I feel great about being able to make this wonderful meal for my family and we have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow and the weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!  I hope you and your family had a wonderful day together too!

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Gathering of the Clans

Zuniga family reunion 2003 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Zuniga family reunion 2003 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The 2003 Zuniga Family Reunion in Albuquerque, New Mexico was so wonderful!  We had a huge turnout that year and I loved spending time with everyone and hearing their stories.  Looking back at the photos of that reunion makes me both happy and sad…we’ve lost a few family members since them.  That’s why these reunions are so important and we make every effort to attend every two years.  We alternate these gatherings between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado.  Next year we will be in Albuquerque and we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Zuniga Reunions.  It’s sure to be special…

When we left the 2003 reunion, we had a little time to spend in the Albuquerque airport before our flight.  My kids wanted to pick up souvenirs so we wandered into a few stores and they found a few little trinkets to bring back home.  There was a gift shop that had a lot of Hispanic art and Day of the Dead items for sale that got “my” attention though.  As I made my way through the store something else drew my attention too.  There were these pins on the counter near the cashier.  Petroglyphs.  Ancient folkart…they were beautiful.  Each one was on a card and had a saying.  I stared at them for the longest time and then selected the one that kept drawing my eye.

It was called “Gathering of the Clans.”  I turned it over and began reading…

My people came this way.  They welcomed those who joined their journey.  We tell their stories:  The stories of the gathering of the clans. 

 

Petroglyph Pin - Gathering of the Clans by Alice Seeley, New Mexico Artist

Petroglyph Pin – Gathering of the Clans by Alice Seeley, New Mexico Artist

I remember thinking…wow!  Here we were at a family reunion and this was the pin that I picked up.  It was almost as if it had selected me!  I bought this pin…and a few others that day.  Each of their sayings hit close to home .  Each spoke of family, ancestors and stories.   I wore this cluster of pins for quite a while on a favorite jean jacket.  They were always a topic of conversation and it always took me back to that particular family reunion.

NOTE:  These pins were created by New Mexican artist, Alice Seeley.  She is a painter turned jeweler and she creates these designs in lead-free pewter.  All jewelry is marked with her name and the year.

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