Dinner for 22 in This Lovely, But Small, Place

It all came together for everyone to be home for the weekend–the working couples, the grandbaby, the college students, plus friends.  That meant 22 people in our regular-sized house, ages 10 months to young adult, plus the parents of most of the people.  They came home to a house freshly decorated for Fall with pumpkins, leaves and little ceramic squirrels.  Little girls slept on the couch in our room, those who live in town slept at their houses, college girls slept on two twin beds and a cot in the girls’ pink room, one couple slept on the air mattress in the living room, the rest of the college guys slept on couches and various bunk beds.
I got up early on Saturday and made coffee and loaded the dishwasher from Friday late night snacks.  Then I laid out the bowls, spoons, cereal, toaster and bread and made coffee.  One visitor was running in a track meet that morning so I enquired as to his dietary needs.  Meanwhile, someone went to get a treat–donuts from the donut shop.  We went through four gallons of milk by the end of the weekend.
Everyone scattered to the four corners of the city for the day and most ate lunch at an event at the park.  For supper I made a giant pot of chicken dumplings, at the request of the 19yo whose birthday we were celebrating.  Right after supper I made spaghetti sauce, put it in the crock of a crock pot and stashed it in the fridge.  Homemade chocolate pudding followed gift-opening later in the evening.  Fortunately my 17yo son is the Master Pudding Chef so I got a break.  We watched the old Bing Crosby “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” Disney cartoon on VHS to finish the fun.
Sunday morning was a comedy of errors with everyone trying to get showers, makeup and hair done in two small bathrooms.  I finally had to go to church to find an empty bathroom.  At church, all six of our sons and a son-in-law sang “I’ll Fly Away” while I managed to catch 5 seconds of it on video when I tried to figure out how to video with my iPhone for the first time.  Lunch was spaghetti, French bread, salad and corn.  We celebrated the “Second Birthday” of the 19yo with chocolate cake with homemade chocolate icing (he was born on the 25th but his birth certificate says the 26th).  Microwave caramel corn was the snack of the afternoon, pancakes for supper, and then they all returned to their lives.
Never underestimate the power of good home cooking to create memories and lasting impressions of Home.
photo credit:  https://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=816


  1. I love this! Family bonding is so important, especially as kids get older and leave home. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your life. :0)

  2. Charlotte, that last statement you made is so true. When holidays roll around, the kids’ all-time requests are the same: broccoli-rice casserole, sage dressing with cranberry sauce, holiday beans, etc. They know their favorites. I have a great company recipe I’ll send you. Hope you enjoy it for years to come. Great post!

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