Holiday greetings! Thanksgiving was a total blast. We rented an 8 foot table, moved the couch and ottoman, and put that big ol’ table right down the middle of our living room. Ten people gathered round it for a feast of turkey, sage and sausage stuffing, cornbread, whipped sweet potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, cranberry sauce and green beans. My dad (pictured with me) and I did most of the cooking and baking (that’s me rolling out the biscuits), which is more like performing an elaborate piece of choreography in our tiny shoebox of a kitchen. But we had a fabulous, fabulous time. Moe’s mother and sister came, along with my parents, our good friends G&K, and our other good friends B&S, along with their one-year-old daughter.
But what was most special about this year’s Thanksgiving was not what we ate, but what we ate it on. Our table was adorned with some very special pieces of china and silver, all from my grandmother. Her china is white and ivory with a band of gold around the perimeter, delicately etched with a lacy floral pattern. It dates to the 1930s, when my great grandmother bought a 20-piece set at Marshall Fields in Chicago. (My mother now has the other half of the set.) The sterling set consists of goblets, serving pieces, and a butter dish. My grandmother had a stroke nearly ten years ago and, sadly, can’t entertain like she used to. But it made her happy this year that all of her most cherished pieces were being put to good use.
And Hanukkah is here already! We celebrated and lit the menorah last night with cousins from out of town and I whipped up a dinner to make my Jewish grandma proud: whole roasted chicken, matzah stuffing, and crispy potato latkes with sour cream and apple sauce. For dessert, we devoured a platter of homemade baklava given to me as a holiday gift by a dear friend. We had a wonderful time talking and laughing over wine and delicious, traditional food. This, to me, is what the holidays are all about.
And for Christmas and New Year’s? We are off to Vietnam and Thailand for a two-week tropical trip of beaches, sand and some of the world’s freshest seafood. Not terribly traditional, I’ll give you that, but I think we’ll have a great time. We’ll be on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, for the first leg of our journey, then Railay Beach, Thailand through the first week of January.
Photos of food, beaches and paradise to follow shortly.
Happy holidays to you and yours.