Tony and I hosted Thanksgiving again this year. Our guests were Mark and Hanif, Rich and Vince, Jack, and Bri.
Tony made the turkey the same way as last year, with sage, rosemary, and thyme under the skin and those herbs plus a half lemon inside the cavity.
He made roasted nuts again, which were a big hit again. This year, he made pecans with maple syrup and black pepper, hazelnuts with thyme, and cashews with vanilla and brown sugar. Here's a photo of him putting his nuts on display. Under his three-dome-lidded serving tray.
Tony made four—four!—kinds of cranberry sauce. Now that's just showing off. :-)
There's no cranberry sauce of any kind in this photo of my plate because I ran out of space during my initial helping.
Bri brought the very good bread, and Jack made the enjoyable kale salad with black sesame seeds. I contributed the very-low-viscosity-but-still-tasty Potato–Celery Root Puree, my regular Roasted Butternut Squash With Pumpkin Pie Spices, and the Green Beans With Shallots, which were OK but not anywhere near as good as the fresher, local ones I sauteed regularly this summer. I also made the gravy, which I was pleased with.
Mark was happy to get a leg. I took two photos of Hanif and him. I think this one is better of Hanif.
And this one is better of Mark. So I ran both of them.
Bri and Jack
We all ate out in the greenhouse, where it was plenty warm enough. Tony had gotten two bottles of white wine. I didn't pay attention to what they were but they were both very good, as was the California pinot noir that Hanif and Mark brought.
Tony, Rich, and Vince lined up at the bar.
All eight of us had dessert in the living room. I made Pear Sorbet and Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies, which have become my go-to cookie this fall. I took some in to work for my friend-and-coworker Missy's birthday earlier this month. I think I made them for the first time to give to Andy at his birthday party back in mid-October. As a bit of a tangent, here's a photo Andy posted on Facebook of Tony and me at the party, which was held in the upstairs bar at Sardi's, as usual. I love this pic, especially because of how my boy looks.
The cookies are based on the Gingersnap recipe in Babycakes. I've been tinkering with the amounts of flour, baking soda, and xanthan gum and adding cocoa, chocolate chips, nutmeg, and cloves to make them more like the butter-and-white-wheat-flour-containing cookies of the same name from Martha Stewart that I used to make rather often B.C.: before celiac. Every time I've made them, they've turned out differently but always highly edible.
The pear sorbet was made from two different kinds of fresh pears from the Greenmarket plus R.W. Knudsen Organic Pear juice. And the usual sugar and brown rice syrup.
I think the refreshing and fruity sorbet and spicy cookies went well together.
That evening, Tony and I watched The Incredibles. It was my first time. I thought it was fantastic. So intelligent and so clever.
On Saturday, the Schultieses came over for dinner. I made a chicken soup with carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes using broth that Tony had made a little while ago and frozen. The day before, I had roasted nine boneless, skinless chicken breasts with bay leaf and lemon thyme from the Greenmarket and a whole hell of a lot of garlic.
Here's everyone at the table with the first course, a salad that I made from mixed lettuces and cucumber, with a kaffir lime dressing.
I'd remembered that when we had the Schultieses over for salad and soup last year, the kids hadn't liked the lettuce part that much but had enjoyed the cucumber with dressing, so I gave them mostly cucumber. They didn't eat much of the salad, but it was a nice try. :-)
I liked the soup. It certainly looked healthy and hearty, and it had a ton of chicken in it. Six breasts would probably have been enough.
Zane's birthday was the 16th. We gave him a stuffed-animal schnauzer I found at Yoya. I couldn't resist the bushy mustache and eyebrows. :-)
Zane named his new buddy Rudy.
Here's a photo Jen sent me the next day, at Zane's request, that shows him with Rudy and his stuffed corgi, Cody. And Mr. P, the non-stuffed-animal kitty. I think I gave the corgi to Abbe and then Zane inherited him from her, but neither Jen nor I can remember for sure.
On Monday, I took the Rudester to BluePearl for the last of his four melanoma vaccines. Actually, it's the last of his initial four vaccines. The oncologist said he should come back in six months for a booster, which he hadn't mentioned before. And before that, in three months, for a checkup.
Here's a shot of the big guy in our friendly driver Alice's hybrid SUV on the way to the vets' office.
In addition to the shot, Rudy got a chest X-ray. The oncologist said the boy's lungs looked fine. A radiologist will be looking at the X-ray too, but the doctor said everything should be good.
I feel like our girl Missy reached a new level of comfort with us this Thanksgiving weekend. She lay on Tony's lap for about an hour the other night. And she's snuggling up against me as I write this. She's always been a sweetie, but it seems like she's turning into a cuddler too, which makes me happy.
On Thanksgiving morning, she also blocked Rudy from getting close to me, like he tends to do to her, especially when he's getting attention from Tony and doesn't want her to get some too. I was about ready to get up after sleeping in while Tony walked and fed the pooches. They came up to see me in the bed. She arrived first and positioned herself between Rudy and me when he climbed up the ramp. It was great to see her giving the bruiser a taste of his own medicine. Way to go, Missy!
Missy is getting better at calming down from an excited barking state when we tell her to, too. She got really worked up on Thanksgiving with all of the people arriving, and it took her longer than I would have liked to stop barking. But she was very friendly toward our guests, especially Mark, whom she was meeting for the first time.