Kramer Family Get Together

As you are reading this my house is full of people.  The kids are all home.  The grandkids are all here.  It’s crazy and chaotic.

We’re getting together partly because Easter is close and partly because we’ve had some birthdays here and want to recognize them.  It turned out to be a good day for us all to gather so we did.

I spent much of yesterday prepping.  There was food to make and bedrooms to care for as some are staying overnight.  There were floors to vacuum and toilets to clean.

I debated about what to make for food.  Traditionally we are a ham at Easter family.  But being this wasn’t technically Easter and being grocery prices are what they are, I decided to make something different.  I’m doing the meat and the potatoes…and grandma treats but the kids are bringing the rest.  Oops.  I almost forgot deviled eggs.  I always make deviled eggs.

I decided to make Pork Tenderloins.  This is my recipe.  It’s a family favorite. I’ll team up with Karl and we’ll make them when everyone is here.  I love my kitchen as we can gather around the island and make them together.  I think there’s nothing worse than being a hostess and being stuck in the kitchen by yourself.

Gannon and I went to the grocery store and got the pork loin on Thursday.  This is more than enough meat to feed all of us.  So much cheaper than a ham would have been.

For my potato, I decided to… have a baked potato bar.  The recipe you see below is a huge favorite of Karl’s.

He likes it so much that he requested I have a baked potato bar for his graduation party…and that’s exactly what we had.  It was different and definitely had Karl’s flare by serving food of his choice.

This is much like chili over baked potatoes but better.  I ended up using one pound of hamburger and one pound of pork sausage.  I used corn I froze from last year.

Rather than open a can of diced tomatoes with chillis I had my own canned salsa and used that instead.

The recipe calls for diced tomatoes.  Last fall as my tomatoes were getting done for the season I picked ripe ones, cored them, and froze them as is.  I took four out of the freezer, let them thaw and the skins easily peeled off the tomatoes.  I chopped them up and threw them in.  The best news, they taste exactly like summer sun-riped tomatoes.  They are fabulous!!

I will definitely freeze more like this next year.  So good!!  They do take up a lot of room in the freezer but I’ll happily give up the space.

After that, I let it all simmer.

Kalissa is bringing broccoli so someone can have that if they don’t want this concoction for their potato.  I have all the goodies like butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, and Top the Tater.

I’m so excited to eat!!  I love good old comfort food and that’s what we are having.

I made my grandma specialties.  Puppy Chow…find the recipe here and Ritz Cracker Cookies. They taste like a cross between a Twix candy bar and a Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup.  I spread peanut butter on a Ritz cracker then put another cracker on top.  After that, I melt chocolate almond bark and dip them in.
The grandkids love both treats.

As the matriarch of this family, I made an executive decision.  I’m done with who is bringing this and who is bringing that.  It just adds stress prior to the whole event.  No one wants to commit.  No one answers a message.  So, at the Kramer family from henceforth…

Kelli brings a dip and salad
Kayla brings some type of relish or charcuterie board
Buck brings drinks and something the kids will eat
Karl makes a cake and helps me in advance of everyone coming
Kalissa brings green bean casserole and something of her choice
I do the meat, potatoes, bread, and deviled eggs

It will be this way from now on…No one cares what everyone brings so if Kalissa wants to deviate and make a different veggie, no one cares.  We just need to someone assign something to everyone so we don’t have to think about it anymore.  It’s one less thing.  I think you all can relate.

Buck is the only other one who hosts events at his house so if he does, he and I will hash out how the two of us will change assignments.  MUCH easier.

The funny thing is that we all already have somewhat already done this on our own.  HA!  Now it’s just official.

I’m writing this on Friday night and just looked at the weather.  UGH.  It says we could get 3-5″ of snow overnight.  Oh no.  Now we need to decide what to do about that.  Worst case we get the snow and postpone everything until Sunday.  It’s always something, isn’t it?

I’ll let you know what happened and hopefully, I’ll take lots of pictures.  Stop back for an update!  Will everyone bring the food they were assigned…will they even get to hold their get-together.  It all sounds like such a soap opera.  HA!!

15 thoughts on “Kramer Family Get Together”

  1. Great idea to have a standard assigned contribution list! I have 6 adult children and we go through the same chaotic process for family meals,
    and i usually end up making a variety just in case someone doesn’t respond!

  2. Your family is so much fun! I love hearing about it because it reminds me of days gone by in my family when my parents were living and we got together. I didn’t know tomatoes could be frozen like that so I will pass that info to my sister who is the gardener (with her son-in-law). I hope whenever the get together takes place you have/had a grand time!

  3. Sounds like fun. We are preparing for Emilies 8th Birthday tomorrow in the park. 30 kids from school… I’m planting my tomatoes tomorrow. In Nebraska I did a topsy turvy beefsteak planting and they were the best. I didn’t know about freezing either. If I get an abundant crop then I will. What was the name of those candies you wanted a few months back? Our store got some dried fruits in and I couldn’t find the post from you. Hope you have a great meal.

  4. Joy in NW Iowa

    Good idea on the pre arranged assignments! My hubby’s birthday is this week. The kids made an executive decision that we would go out! Grandkids are all getting older and enjoy going out. We will see how it goes. Hope you didn’t get that snow! Enjoy your family!

  5. What a smart way to feed the crew! Preassigned tasks work great if everyone got their favorite thing to make. Definitely a stress saver for everyone involved, Jo! Here’s hoping the event went off without a hitch.

  6. Oh, there’s nothing like an iowa pork tenderloin. I still remember how disappointed I was the first time I ordered one here in SD! Since then I too make them at home. My recipe is just a little different: no cornmeal just flour and I dip them in beaten eggs instead of water. When I get back “home” to Southern iowa there’s always at least one trip back to a little diner for a tenderloin! Might have to cook some next week!

  7. Sounds like a great family get together, Jo. I hope y’all were able to have it today. Looking forward to the day’s story and photos!

  8. Your family get togethers are so fun! Its a good thing your house is so large :-)
    Enjoy your time – hope the weather co-operates!
    Love and prayers

    1. To freeze tomatoes whole, cut out the core and toss them in a bag. That’s it. When you need them, take them out and the skin peels right off. They taste like summer fresh tomatoes.

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