Sunday, November 29, 2020


Thanksgiving, when isolation is punctuated.  Fortunately we are old hands at doing stuff on our own and though the change was a big blow to my parents, who I don't think have been alone for Thanksgiving... maybe ever?  We three, on the other hand,  were just fine.  I did miss cooking with people though.  It's hard to justify cooking at all, let alone when you're doing it by yourself for a holiday that is celebrated by eating.  It's taken me a long time to come to terms with Thanksgiving but years spent with Sean's family where people have often been staying with us (his brothers, mostly) have taught me that the cooking together—let’s call it “party cooking”— with others is the best part about the whole thing, even more than eating the food, which says a lot, because I love food. 

So this year was chill. Since it was just us we decided to eat later, closer to dinnertime as a large midday meal will personally set me back for days. The bad side of this was that we ended up cooking all day as opposed to half a day. Hmm.  Not sure I thought that through. Julian was in charge of the jello and pumpkin pie, his pie of choice.  I made the other pies and we left EVERYTHING ELSE TO SEAN.  Ha ha ha, he was so wiped by the end. So sorry, Sean.  I'll do better next time. We whittled down the menu, something Sean has always wanted to do--he hates the hodge-podginess of Thanksgiving potluck dinners-- and we had:

1. The most delicious turkey I've ever had in my LIFE.

2. hasselback sweet potatoes, where you slice them and splay them and stick stuff in-between. Love those sweet potatoes.

3. Mashed potatoes.

4. Stuffing, sort of the weak link for me.   

5. Other stuff? I don't even remember. Gotta scroll down and look at the pictures, I guess.   

Let's have pictures:

Here's Julian setting the table like a pro and being super precise about it:

Seannnn! It was so good. 

Here are the pies:

Psych! That's a picture of date mousse pie or some disgustingness from my vintage Good Housekeepings I had my face in the entire holiday season. Here's the recipe if you want it:

actual pies: 
apple, chocolate torte w/caramel, and pumpkin. we ate all three of them by the end of the break. 
Good job, us. 

We spent our time going on walks and watching John Candy movies.  Planes, Trains and Automobiles which I had never seen and which was hilarious, as did Julian.  And then Uncle Buck, since that one got me all in the mood.  

Some beautiful leaves from a walk Julian and I went on that was so blustery. Oh, you know what? It was ELECTION DAY.  One of the most nerve-wracking days of the whole year.  And it was weird and stormy and rained for the first time in months, as what happens when there's finally a break in the interminable doom and gloom. So these leaves are symbolic and sacred. 

Speaking of holy beauty, our little japanese tiger shrub was the star of the show this fall:

More than one neighbor let us know how happy it made them. I agreed and said it was the hero we needed right now.  What i love is that when it's all done it looks like NOTHING.  You can't even tell there's anything growing there.  And then it starts budding in summer and then KABLAM--out bursts that come falltime.  It was like a beautiful fairy friend, come for a short time to carry us through. 

Speaking of my magazines, I was obsessed this year.  They are so amazing, especially the holiday ones and poring through each page was a favorite pastime. 

 I came upon this recipe, tried it, and loved it.  I recommend you do the same: 

What?? Are they not amazing.  Fluffy egg white clouds with the yolk in the middle.  So fun. 

I can count on one hand the number of days we've received precipitation of any kind this whole year, and one of them happened this fall when we got a sprinkling of snow in the valley. But a sprinkling in the valley means a good-sized smattering in the mountains so I donned my snowy apparel and drove myself to investigate.  I couldn't get over the beauty. It had been so long since I'd seen anything beautiful in nature and it was a welcome shock to seize upon.  I recklessly drove through and took pics from the wheel.  

Here's my "can't handle it" face. 

So beautiful. 

I love a good, quiet, winter walk in new snow. 

Here are some more pictures on a different day, different spot, perhaps same snow.

End of post.

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