Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I have so much for which to be thankful...although I would be even more thankful if I hadn't just wiped out this almost-completed blog entry by moving tooooo fast. I live close to a big chunk of my gourmet chef family, so we can share holidays. Thanksgiving is my second favorite after Solstice, where I welcome the incremental inching back of the sun.

Don't get me wrong, in the Olympic Peninsula, rain is fine, and the early dark of winter gives me the opportunity to stay inside and blog and make Art, but Sun is Stupendous! We all get a little giddy when it shows its golden face.

Last Saturday: " A wonderful Saturday, staying in bed late, sun, a fantastic view of Mt. Baker from my front yard, warm enough to wear just a sweatshirt over my insulated underwear and fleece, visiting a craft fair with Barbara and chatting with friends, nice Asian food, book store, talking about money and time and how to get and spend them.
It's good to see green grass in December, know a wide variety of people, some of whom are doing interesting things, and to have a warm home to which to retreat with abundant projects and possibilities for the long dark night." Tonight rain, rain, and more rain, and home from the lively party at Gray's Warehouse to turn on my propane fire and chat with all of you.

I feel like quite a celebrity around here recently, with an article about the HOT FLASH book in Peninsula Woman and an interview on Karen Hannen's Art I agreed to do one of Mark Harvey's shows on KONP...pretty good for a formerly shy person! You can listen Saturday 1/29/11 on streaming radio. I have lots to talk about, apparently, with years of practice making conversation with my patients, following the time-honored advice to: get them talking about themselves, and they'll think you're a brilliant conversationalist.

Doug and Brian start with the pumpkin-filled won ton skins that David made.

Deb Alwine has been with us for the six Thanksgivings I've been here, starting as my mortgage broker. Her family wonders why she isn't hungry when she gets to their house.

Casey Groff, who built my house, loves family gatherings around food, too, and made my kitchen/dining/living room perfect for cooking and eating together.

Serene fractured the end of her little finger playing frisbee just before Thanksgiving. As a hand therapist, I hate that the surgeon in Seattle put her into a full cast after pinning...I'm looking forward to getting her
least as much as possible...when I see her at Christmas time.

Doesn't that plate look tempting: Doug's pumpkin rolls, Brian's whipped mashed potatoes and pumpkin, Amal's green beans with roasted pumpkin you sense
a theme?

Connie, Seattle's Queen of Pies. Don't worry, Barbara, you're still Sequim's Pie Queen.
I've been practicing for the Port Angeles title, but I won't go up against either of the Queens!

Hugh, sampling the first piece of his vegetable and stuffing Panade, made in a pumpkin-shaped mold.

Further back, you'll see Connie's pumpkin cake, made from the same mold, and glued together with cream cheese frosting, and more on the side. Doug made pumpkin cheesecake, and Serene made bread pudding.

Instead of the traditional smoked
turkey from Sunrise meats, I did a fresh
turkey--love the aroma throughout the house on Thanksgiving morning. My never-fail recipe: put an apple, an onion, some celery, and a bottle of cheap white wine in the cavity, smear the outside with butter, salt, and pepper, sear at 450 degrees for 20 minutes and finish at 325 degrees. I didn't have to start baking until 8am--very civilized.

Fun with the turkey-shaped turkey baster that Connie and Hugh brought last year.
I'm still looking for a red
flour sifter for when Connie bakes at my house. They wanted to stay for the Tamale making the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll take some to Seattle for was much easier tying the tamales with string this time, instead of shredded corn husks. I have a lot left in the freezer, and they came out well with corn oil instead of lard this time. No point in making just a few tamales!

The southeast
view of the table.
Good thing the snow melted off the roads in time for everyone to get up my hill.

The north west view of the table. I'm thinking that I'd like to have both a smoked and a fresh turkey next year...but we'll need another table worth of
people to make it work out...Steve and Linda? any of the Bickfords???

After dinner digestion in preparation for a May I? tournament. I was doing very well until Brian and Connie did me in.

The Art Part: In the upper right corner, you'll see a chunk of the 9.5 foot tall big doll, who has joined us for every meal for the last few years now. She's actually getting close to finished now, and I think we'll all miss her when she goes to the OK Hotel Gallery in Seattle...I do have another Big project in mind for the back yard, my Stonhendge in the front yard worked out so well.

Question for the world at large: I am on my last box of HOT FLASH books...I'd love to hear from people who have successfully used printing on demand.

Plan your Solstice Festivities Now!



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