Every year, we invite all the "geographical orphans" over to our house for Thanksgiving dinner--all the people who didn't, couldn't, wouldn't travel to their far-away relatives' homes for the holiday. It is, always, a huge amount of fun. And while I miss my family something fierce at these times of year, there is also something to be said for the family of your heart.
OK. Enough mush. On to the menu. As you can maybe see in the photo above, there was...
- Turkey (brined, of course)
- Cranberry sauce
- Vegetarian stuffing
- Sausage stuffing
- Twice-baked mashed potatoes
- Sweet potato souffle
- Crackling cauliflower
- Biscuits (the drop kind)
- Turkey-shaped salad (see photographic evidence below!)
- Spinach salad
- Raw carrots and string beans for crudite/hors d'oeuvres
- Apple pie
- Pumpkin pie
- Homemade whipped cream (the only failure in an otherwise AWESOME dinner)
"While Em and I were talking," he said, "I made reservations to LA on Thanksgiving Day. I'll be there before noon. Don't tell the kids."
"You're flying 3,000 miles for my cranberry sauce?" I teased.
"Of course! Totally worth it."
And so it was that, at around 10:30 on Thanksgiving Day, I sent Baroy to the grocery store to pick up some almonds.
"It's taking him a long time," Em said to me, about an hour later.
"Mmmm," I replied. "Maybe Vons wasn't open and he had to look around for a store?"
Then we heard the car pull up.
"Why don't you go and see if Dad needs help with the groceries," I said. "And take your brother."
Em look at me, puzzled. Help with a bag of almonds? Suddenly her eyes grew huge, and she sprinted toward the door. (I knew there had been a hint or two dropped, unintentionally, over the weeks, and she was putting them all together.)
And then there he was, and they were both screaming, "Uncle! Uncle!" and running into his arms.
And it became, for sure, a day for giving thanks.
As for the promised photos...
My friend J always comes up with some ubercreative addition to the Thanksgiving table. This year she outdid herself.
This is usually our living room coffee table, but on Thanksgiving, it becomes the side-dish side table.
We pull our kitchen table (which has pull-out leaves) into the living room for Thanksgiving dinner. Can you see the white tablecloth on top of our 'nice' tablecloth? It's our "thankful tablecloth." Each year (we started in 2007, I believe), we take a Sharpie (pictured in the middle of the table here) and everyone signs their name and the year and writes what they're thankful for. It's a useful scrapbook! I forget where I got the idea, but I love it.
Our friends G and M brought their new puppy, Matilda, to dinner, and she and Snug had a playdate. Here's Matilda playing peek-a-boo with Em.
Snug kisses the cook--me. For the record: Yes, that's a shot outside on our patio. Yes, it's after the sun has set. Yes, I'm in short sleeves. Yes, I love Southern California.