Tommy's girlfriend Anastasia was here and helped me get everything ready. We cleaned silver and selected serving dishes, sat on the porch and talked and drank coffee and then set the table together and cooked. Her pet rat Ila enjoyed small scraps of everything, a little mini-composter and is surprisingly entertaining. I never thought I would find a rat enjoyable, but Ila has proved to me that a rat can be a really neat pet.
Here are a couple photos from the beginning of our dinner:
Derek's children are growing up fast.
The beginning of our dinner. Derek took photos for me.
The menu changed a bit; I decided to make the same green beans I made last year with beans, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms. Anastasia made a cranberry-orange relish that was a tasty change from the usual cranberry sauce, and so easy to make. I tried an amazing recipe for sweet potatoes in orange and walnut glaze and I think it should qualify as a dessert--it was delicious, tangy and sweet and rich. I also found something new to do with corn, a spicy pepper and corn mix that complemented the beans and sweet potatoes very well. I stayed with the bacon and dill cornbread, and the mashed potatoes were red potatoes with the skins on. Add the turkey and gravy and a veggie tray and we had a feast.
Our wines were a white that is my all-time favorite, and a red that Derek brought back from Scotland. The white is a Seyval from Cabin Jones Run vineyard in West Virginia and I have only been able to find it at a little store in Glenville, WV. It's a very special treat when we can get it. The red was a 2004 Chateau de Roques Bordeaux that was a perfect accompaniment to the turkey. Lovely.
The day could not pass for me without constant thoughts of Jon. He and his family were here last year and he had such a good time. He shot a deer on Thanksgiving, the first time he'd been hunting in many, many years. he was touching base with his past and enjoying the memories of growing up with his brothers. He was also enjoying his little granddaughter and relishing his new role as grandfather. I remain grateful that he had that weekend at home, a time that he told me later was the best time he had ever had when he came home. His happiness as he talked to me over the phone was obvious, and another good memory I cherish of my son. When I think of that, I remind myself to hold each day close, to treasure all the memories and to be thankful that I have had so many good times with those I love.
Blessings to you all, and I hope that your holiday was filled with good food, good friends, and good memories.