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New Year's Day Celebration at the White House: Fish Fry!

Fried Fish

The clan gathered at the central Texas White House on Saturday to do all those things that a large group of relatives enjoy while kicking off a new year: Eat, visit, eat, tell fish-story whoppers tales, eat, hold the World Championship in Mexican Train, eat some more, play music, snack, toss the football around (the weather was awesome), sample some desserts, share medical scares and troubles, complain about how much we ate, watch a little football, and then eat some more.

In fact, everybody ate like they all hate leftovers. And there were still leftovers, at the end. As per usual.

Pretty much the whole clan showed up this time, for a wonder. All the Dallas bunch: Penny, Bev and her slave spouse, (except for ‘Bekkah, who had to work); even Lenny made it down. The Lampasas pair, Jeff and Rose, moseyed in on Friday evening, as did their daughter Beth (but sans her spouse, who also had to work). Darrell and Judy, who live close to Mom’s, were naturally there, as were their daughter Amanda (with friend) and the three grand-daughters (known as the three L’s publicly). The newlyweds, Kelly and Anthony, were down from Colorado; escaping the snow, I guess. In any case, that was the first time in years that the DWW sept was all present and accounted for.

PJ and I came over from Seguin, but sans Jessica. She’s off meeting the future in-laws her boyfriend’s family in Florida. (A very serious situation, which somehow Paula isn’t in full panic over.) Paula’s parents came under separate cover, the first time in years for them to attend the White House party to start the year.

The family caboose, Chip, came in just in time to cook the fish. He was controlled accompanied by Sherry and the four daughterpersons. Only Alicia brought a male creature along. Madison’s marrying-tall, but currently unattached. The two yoongsters are not yet old enough to acknowledge boys.

The San Antonio crew came in full numbers. Kevin and Darlene and their two boys, one of them in college now (how’d that happen? I don’t know, but it was a contagious problem with all the former anklebiters). They carried Uncle Don up with them. He’s the patriarch of the tribe, at nearly 90. Every year I think he won’t be with us, but he refuses to give up on the feast. Whatever it takes to keep him going, I guess. Only Bruce, who has wandered off to the nether reaches of the planet (California, actually), wasn’t present.

Fres hFish

We even had Katherine Long in attendance. Katherine’s been a bad influence long-time family friend, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have ever completed a doctorate without her cajoling and browbeating frequent motivational efforts.

Overall, that’s an impressive group of mouths to feed! (At least 32, not that anybody was keeping count.) And they were all looking forward to a world-class feast. Which, fortunately, the clan’s cooks certainly know how to provide.

What was on the menu, you ask? I’m glad you asked. Fish. Fried fish, to be precise. Fish harvested out of the ponds up in southwestern Missouri, during the most recent trip Granny White had made up to visit her siblings. To go with that, we had Hoppin’ John, Darrell Wayne’s Extra-Special Chicken Cheese Corn Chowder, Monster Scalloped Potatoes, Jeff’s Hand-Made Yeast Rising Rolls, Granny’s Cranberry Meatballs and more.

We had the usual sides and trays: Pickles and relishes, veggies and Ranch dip, and the like. We had almost no desserts this year, though. We had to suffer along with only Katherine’s Cheesecake, a couple of pumpkin pies, only two pecan pies, three kinds of cookies, biscotti, and merely two gooseberry pies. Oh, and an extra-large blackberry cobbler. And peanut brittle. And I forget what all else.

See how we had to suffer?

After lunch had settled a while and the domino games had begun, the snacks came out. We had two versions of Texas Caviar (my authentic one, and a green goo-containing lesser attempt) and some sour-cream based dips. Also some salsas; I forget exactly how many. One of the kids said we were short on the chips, as we only had 13 bags. A quick count, though, showed that they were clearly wrong, as they’d missed the overflow storage in the back room where we found another three family-sized bags. We had almost enough to get by.

It was a good thing, too, as the domino games took a long time to settle out to where we pros could get in and start giving lessons. (I won every session I played in.) The talk and the music went on until after dark, so nobody had any reason to complain. Once things got a bit quieter and dinner was done (all leftovers, darn it), we finally headed off to get some sleep.

Fortunately, PJ and I snagged a leftover pumpkin pie as we took it on the lam excused ourselves to go rest. Gotta have a little something for breakfast, you know! I wonder if Darrell has any whipped cream at his boarding house…

Enjoy the (Annual New Year’s Feast) Heat!

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