Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Come one, come all!

I just love Thanksgiving!

It's the perfect holiday: food, football, a fire in the fireplace, friends and family. It's my holiday. The one we host just about every year. It's the holiday our children will remember in our home.

I love assembling an eclectic group of friends and family, reading cooking magazines, testing recipes, pulling out multiple sets of china and silver, and eating my Mom's apple pie. I love the smell of roasting turkey. I love our family tradition of going to the park to celebrate what we're thankful for.

The more diverse the group, the better. We've had Japanese cowboys and American cowgirls, former clients, close family and weird relatives. Dave had a Chinese roommate at one time and his family always served Peking Duck on Thanksgiving. We like Peking Duck so we do that, too.

Caryl and I took a Thanksgiving cooking class at the California Culinary Academy before we both had kids. Then we did Thanksgiving together. We hollowed out tiny gourds and put tea lights in them. We made the simplest turkey recipe, which is still my favorite although I've tried at least a dozen recipes since. We used the chef's technique to carve the turkey, and the CCA's recipe for cranberry sauce, which no one prefers to canned.

Edible centerpieces are one of my trademarks. I've done cookie bouquets and Joseph Schmidt sculpted chocolates, among other things. (Hershey bought Schmidt and closed it down this year -- a true foodie travesty.)

Dave took one business trip the entire time I was on bedrest, pregnant with the twins; it was to Sydney over Thanksgiving. Eldest Daughter and I went to my parents house, where a family friend dropped off dinner because my mother was tending to me, her 3-year-old granddaughter and my father, who was recovering from broken ribs and a broken collarbone courtesy of a horse who is much better trained now.

Last year we spent Thanksgiving at the beach and, while it was a great trip, it felt wrong not to spend Thanksgiving cooking up a storm in my own kitchen.

The family picture here is from 2003, when The Pinks were two and six. I am struck by how young Dave looks. And how much I miss that sofa. It was the most comfortable piece of furniture I have ever owned.

If you don't yet have solid plans for Thanksgiving and want to join our gathering of the pygmies, come! Bring your favorite traditional dish to share. You can even RSVP in the Comments section below.


Amy S. said...

Our tradition is to have my parents here and we eat until we can't move. That night, we clean the kitchen and the next day we decorate for the holidays. I love Thanksgiving - I think it is my favorite celebration. We cook all day and there is nothing to do but sit around and baste the bird. I find it calming. It is nice to know if we found ourselves without plans that we could add to your eclectic crew. But I like the leftovers more than the actual meal... and I am not sure how I would survive without them. I have heard of families making their own bird the day after having been guests just for the leftovers. Something to think about...

Neeracha T. said...

Oooh, can we come?! Sis is going to Dubai, Beirut(!) and Damascus(!) and we're not traveling...

Thom Singer said...

I wish we lived in California... as I would LOVE to be there!!!

Ron Hutzul said...

We will be in Berkeley - 4:00 AM departure from Orange County puts us there at about 11:00 AM - in time to help Grandma cook dinner! We're staying the weekend to visit with the uncles and cousins, so perhaps we can find some time to meet up!?!