THANKSGIVING DAY, that quintessentially American feast of feasting, lasted three days for us, beginning on the designated Thursday in this dining room, seen just before eight of us sat down to dinner in the Santa Rosa home of one of our best and oldest friends, the woman who introduced the Contessa and me to one another all those years ago.
The dinner was conventional and classic and extremely satisfying: roast turkey and dressing; mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes; Brussels sprouts and pearl onions; gravy and cranberry sauce; green salad; rolls and butter; and a delicious pumpkin pie, the traditional pumpkin purée ingeniously coated with a thin layer of caramel, then decorated with toasted sugared pecans set around the rim. It was a delicious dinner.
NEXT DAY AT HOME fourteen of us — our local extended family — enjoyed exactly the same menu at our own dining table : oven-roasted turkey and dressing; mashed potatoes and (I am told) sweet potatoes); Brussels sprouts and pearl onions (and cippolini); gravy and cranberry sauce; green salad; rolls and butter; and a delicious pumpkin pie, without it must be said that suave thin layer of caramel. But also mince pie, made with mincemeat Cook had put up perhaps twenty years ago, deep and old and rich and evocative, like Cook herself.
Ribolla gialla, Rodaro (Friuli Colli Orientali), 2014 (alas no better than it might be);
Garnacha Tintorera/Monastrell 70/30, Laya (Almansa, Spain), 2014 (quite nice);
Château d'Yquem, 1980 in half bottle (faded but impressive, and thanks, Elin!)
YESTERDAY WE WALKED down the hill to the neighbors — who are in fact part of that local extended family — for a taste of something different. We'd enjoyed fireplace-roasted leg of lamb there just a few nights ago, and returned to the rest of it: rare at the center, full of flavor; accompanied by roasted potatoes with salt and rosemary; green salad; pumpking pie; a fine blue cheese whose name I did not get.
And tonight we've begun attacking leftovers.
this photo: Eric Monrad (cropped to protect the diners!)