Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Early Bird

As I mentioned a few days ago, my daughter came home from Seattle for a long weekend. Since she had to go back today, we all agreed to celebrate Thanksgiving a little early.

She was pretty specific about what foods to include. Last year she wasn't home for the holiday, so the longing for mashed potatoes with the skins left on them and pecan pie the way Mom makes it was pretty strong. I was happy to do it her way.

Our party included Grandma L and nephew W, up from the city. The five of us began the feast on our back deck with an assortment of cheeses, crackers, almonds, dried cranberries, and a few prunes, all lovingly arranged by our daughter. Almost too pretty to eat...almost. I made up a veggie tray and blue cheese dip, but the cheese platter was far more popular. Some DeLoach 2001 Zinfandel sparkled in the November sunshine. Down the hill by the walnut tree we watched a flock of eight turkeys eating blackberries. There was spirited discussion about the merits of really fresh turkey versus the prep required, Fortunately for those birds we already had a turkey in the oven. Unfortunately we were enjoying the nice day so much that the poor bird in the oven stayed in a bit too long. Thanks to brown in bag technology the turkey was still moist.

For the Early Bird we had a 20 pound turkey brown and juicy and full of cornbread stuffing. Those requested mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, jellied cranberry sauce (I know, I know. It's the canned stuff. But tradition sometimes wins out), and a simple mixed lettuce salad with the last of my Early Girl tomatoes filled the plates. Grandma L brought her Green Beans with Bacon which is a secret family recipe and very, very good. Lots of savory bacon and fresh green beans. I'm hoping to inherit the recipe one day.

After a decent pause we had strong coffee, and a little later plates of freshly baked pumpkin AND pecan pies with freshly whipped cream which we enjoyed while watching Mission Impossible III. If you need a recipe for anything other than the green bean dish, leave a comment and I'll get it to you.

May your Thanksgiving be full of great food, family, fun and blessings. We're doing mostly the same menu on Thanksgiving with more family, but only four of us this time. Good thing I love turkey!

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