Monday, November 30, 2009


A few days before my shopping for festive foods was complete and my guests assembled, I read an article about Thanksgiving in The New Yorker.

The story, by journalist Jane Kramer, shared the trials and tribulations of preparing Thanksgiving dinner in seven countries.

Her most-trying experience, however, was at home in New York City when her stove broke down and she served tuna sandwiches with cranberry sauce to her patient guests.

I felt a certain comradeship with Ms. Kramer last Thursday, when my Weber charcoal grill which appeared to be roasting my family's annual turkey to perfection, suddenly came off its moorings.
The kettle section came off the supports, dumping the bird. Fortunately, my son caught our main dish as we both watched the pan filled with delectable drippings hit the patio.
Dinner was only slightly delayed as the turkey finished cooking in our indoor oven. The necessity of lingering over the beet/watercress/arugula/avocado salad gave everyone time to share their favorite Thanksgiving disaster stories.(Jonathan, Karen, Chris, Ev)

Each year, our dinner features old favorites and a few new offerings on a theme-- such as France, Hawaii, Cajun country and Italy. This year Buenos Aires provided the inspiration for empanada appetizers, chorizo stuffing (we had traditional kind, too) and dulce de leche cookies.Fresh herbs --parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, par-cel, and mint -- from our garden went into several dishes and also appeared as colorful nibble-if-you-like garnishes.
(Renita's back in her seat!)

There was much to be thankful for-- good friends, good health, and good food.
(Claire, Rachel, David, Fred and grandma Ruth)

Belgium, our golden retriever, had his own party and guests.(Belgium, his brother Ike and Ike's adopted sister Belle)

Belle and Ike thank Lorna for the extra trimmings on their evening meals. Even though they missed out on the pumpkin and pecan pie...

Fruit membrillo (guava paste confection)...

Grandma Ruth's famous cookies...And dulce de leche alfajores (sandwich cookies with caramel filling).
I hope your Thanksgiving was equally sweet.


Natasha Burns said...

oh yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!
So sorry for the little disaster, but I'm so glad your turkey was saved from death, and that you didn't have to serve tuna sandwiches!

Blondie's Journal said...

Turkey mishaps happen...and things have a way of working themselves out.

That said...Wow!! What a feast you had!! And the sweets looked...well, sweet.

Your crowd looked happy so I think you did good, Barbara!! :-)


Jane said...

OK...we need recipes!!! I have never heard of dulce de leche cookies. These sound incredible...and possibly just the thing I need for our neighborhood cookie exchange. (We're told to bring something from our state, our heritage, etc.) And I have never thought of serving guava like this. I can't wait to share with my mom.

We have had our share of turkey disasters...last year the new lab puppy pulled the half-carved bird off the counter and ate it. This year, he was occupied with 3 other dogs and lots of friendly hands under the table.

Glad you had a wonderful time with our family and friends...that's what holidays are all about. We have so much for which to be thankful...
Jane (Artfully Graced)

Alison Gibbs said...

Oh no what a thing to happen. Lucky Fred is a good catcher!!
Looks like a yummy meal and everyone looks like thay are having fun.

Barbara Jacksier said...

So glad your pup survived his thieved carcass. As for the Argentinian sweets. I cheated. The cookies were Vanilla wafers filled with Goya's dulche de leche. it comes in a handy ketchup-like squeeze bottle. The membrillo is sold in a flat can that you soak in some hot water to unmold. It's traditionally served with a slice of cheese.

Cathy said...

Wow that meal look delicious. Especially the sweets. The pecan pie and those cookies! 2DIE4.

I'm glad you had a festive holiday.

xo Cathy

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Barbara, looks like you had a lovely Thanksgiving...can you believe the holiday season is here already??? I just cannot!!

What a lovely family of Golden's that came to visit you and your Belgium.


sarah { abeachcottage } said...

oh the disasters are the memorable ones!

looks like a lovely gathering


FrenchGardenHouse said...

Looks like a great time was had by all.:) These are the tales memories are made of! I have one with a rotten Turkey {!} and a store bought one that came to the rescue. It's the Thanksgiving we all remember.
What a darling group of friends your Belgium has, btw. xo Lidy

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I was delighted to have you visit The Vintage Nest. When Bobby G. graduated from college (a 1000 years ago) we almost ended up in Clifton, Va. with a teaching position. Love your book and Waterside Wednesdays and would love to join in the New Year. Happy Holidays.