'Twas the night before feasting...
The last thing I did before I went to bed Friday night was set the table, step back, and take a deep breath.
Bright and early Saturday, I was chopping.
Dad dropped off Mom en route to pick up family at the bus stop. Mom seized the Pete.
Patrick bonded with my Dad.
I had every hour planned out. Early, I chopped and diced and measured. In the afternoon, I cooked potatoes, both sweet and white. When a scrap of conversation caught my ear, I was able to join in, glass in hand. A number of these photos are from my camera, proof that I was a busy, but not over-scheduled Thanksgiving hostess. Wine was poured. Patrick was sent for more wine. Jen and Corrine arrived, introductions were made. It was one of those days where you enact about every social behavior you know: giving compliments, receiving compliments, making introductions, giving hugs, offering food and drink, inviting to partake. The whole thing made me feel very human, very alive, very loved.
My high point of the day:
Okay, be honest. Who notices the napkins being on the wrong sides of the plates? Apparently, I didn't notice, either. Oops.
Everything turned out just about as well as I could've hoped. The potatoes were cooked through, the gravy was hot, the salad was crisp, the wine was red and plentiful. It doesn't take much more than that.
After dinner, there was sitting and conversing, bonding of humans to humans and humans to animals.
No matter how well you plan, there's always an element of luck in an undertaking like this. I'm very thankful to the kitchen gods for the escarole that was snatched from the broiler at the peak of doneness, the pine nuts which burned but still tasted fine, and the cranberry sauce which, after much fretting and cajoling, finally slipped gloriously from its mold, supple and sweet.
And though I spent some time Wednesday contemplating gratitude and making a long list, in the end there wasn't any better reminder than yesterday for what I'm thankful for: family and friends, farmers and food. A warm house full of happy people.And tiny little pies.