Friday, November 26, 2004

The last time I had an old fashioned family Thanksgiving meal was prior to my parents divorce. Can’t say that I blamed my family for finding other places to go for turkey during that time, who would want to spend the holiday with a crazy woman and her out of control daughter even if they were your mother and sister.

With the family otherwise occupied Mom and I were left to our own devices, which usually included eating out and at least one fight. It was considered a successful holiday if these two events weren’t occurring concurrently. When I went off to college and mom moved to Houston, Leah suggested we have a girl’s weekend. This struck all of us as a good idea so we traveled to a resort in the southwest for the holiday. This turned out to wildly successful and I have great memories of those four Thanksgivings.

What started as my desire to cook an intimate family dinner for five became dinner for twelve. Juliette asked her kids along with wife and boyfriend, and I asked Elyse, Michael from London and Dmitri (more on him later). Inviting Juliette’s children, who were excited by the idea of a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, also got me professional help in the kitchen. Mia, J’s daughter-in-law is a souse-chef, though currently on maternity leave.

Juliette’s house has been in her family for about one hundred years. Built in the 1850’s it has been expanded numerous times Juliette’s contribution is a large kitchen and breakfast nook that features many windows, a commercial range with double ovens and a large island with a prep sink. This kitchen along with Michel’s bathroom I want in my own house someday.

With the baby propped in the baby seat and receiving much attention, we spent Wednesday in the kitchen doing prep work and Kim got an education on proper kitchen techniques. I have the recipes that my mother used for Thanksgiving and it was my plan to use those. Most aren’t very fancy having originally come from a Betty Crocker cookbook as I remember, but they’d been modified over time with various ingredients added. My modification started with replacing any prepared/canned ingredients with fresh.

Mom always used cranberry sauce from a can, which wouldn’t do, so I found a recipe for apple-cranberry chutney on the web to try. The stuffing for the turkeys (we decided to cook two) was bread stuffing and I had spent Tuesday baking bread for the stuffing and it was a good thing the bread was an ingredient, for it was pretty ugly and misshapen. Wednesday Mia showed me how to make French bread, though I think it will be a while before I get the knack for doing that. Pies were made, an apple pie for dad and pumpkin. Mia whipped up a mushroom soup and would manage the gravy’s Thursday, and promised to tell me the secret of eternally lump less gravy.

With much of the preparation done we could join the family on Thursday and pop things in and out of the oven as needed. Dinner was in the evening so no one needed to miss work. Dad and Leah got choked up when they recognized the recipes. Much wine was drunk and every one had a great time, especially Mike and Elyse. She was conversing with Mia and Leah when I brought Mike into the room to introduce him and she just shut up and stared, of course he was as bad, trying to sneak peeks at her as he was introduced around the room. True lust at first sight. Coincidently I had placed them next to each other at the table and you would have thought they were dining alone for as much interaction as they had with the rest of us. When dinner was finished and the first opportunity came for them to leave they excused themselves. After they left we all burst into laughter.

Almost is much thought had gone into the seating arrangements as went into the menu. I wanted David between Dad and me, so we could get to know him. At the other end of the table I put Juliette near Leah, so they could get to know each other with her kids near by and the rest were in between.

Oh yes Dmitri. Last month was his birthday and I sent him a card and a small gift, a model of a Twingo in the same color as his. He wrote me a note in thanks and called a few days later. One night we met for a drink that turned into dinner. Then he called asking me out to dinner another evening. Initially I was going to invite Wendy for Thanksgiving, but she planned to go to the states for the week to be with her family and I impetuously asked D if he wanted to join us and he accepted.

He brought me home last evening and I invited him to spend the night. I shouldn’t have and feel a bit guilty now, but making love to him again was wonderful. But now I feel that I’ve let him back into my life and I don’t know how I’ll manage that.



Blogger Garrison Steelle said...

Of such things are the most warm and tender memories made. :) Hope all is well.


12:22 AM  
Blogger HeroineGirl said...

Happy thanksgiving beautiful girl.
May all your happy moments be close and plenty.

3:08 AM  

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