Last week we had the best Thanksgiving ever. We say that every year, but this was really the best for several reasons: There were two new baby faces at the table—our seven-month-old grandson Nicolas Jose Baltodano Gage, and Efro and Sy Suire’s six-week- old son Stone. (Efro is the daughter of Eleni Nikolaides who lives with us and she grew up like a sibling to our kids.)
Here is a picture of the two new moms comparing their babies’ weight to the 15-pound turkey. Stone, at nine pounds, was out-weighed by the bird, but Nicolas, at a pudgy 18 pounds, took the prize.
And Efro and Sy posed for a family shot with baby Stone and new grandmother Eleni Nikolaides.
Another new face at the table was Carmen Oyanguren, mother of Emilio, mother-in-law to our daughter Eleni, and co-grandmother of Amalia and Nicolas with me. She’s at the left in the photo above. We remarked on the fact that there is no word in English for our relationship to each other except for the non-specific “in laws”, but in Greek, Carmen is my “sympethera” and in Spanish my “consuegra”. In the photo, daughter Marina looks dashing in the coveted turkey hat which has become part of our Thanksgiving tradition.
Another reason this Thanksgiving was extra special is that everyone pitched in and used their talents for the holiday table. Granddaughter Amalia made the turkey place cards from a kit…
and her little brother Nicolas tried to eat his.
Amalia also decorated the pumpkin pie with candy corn, while her Aunt Marina fixed her hair.
Eleni cooked a Spinach Gratin, while, in the background, “Big Eleni” Nikolaides is making her famous chestnut stuffing.
And Marina made a persimmon salad with toasted almonds.
Early in the morning, Big Eleni and Amalia set up the Christmas village in the kitchen’s bay window.
Later that night Nicolaki practiced standing up by himself….
And his Abuela Carmen taught him to play the maracas.
And although he couldn’t eat a turkey leg, because he only has three teeth, Nicolas had his moment of glory wearing the turkey hat.
Next Thanksgiving, we promised, both he and Amalia will get a drumstick.