romancing the bird

     Well, my favorite of holidays is upon us and I have been scurrying around like a squirrel hiding acorns for winter. A warm, walnut coffee cake was the star of our holiday breakfast. Two pies, one homemade pecan and a small store-bought pumpkin, ready for the big day. My daughter, never tiring of dress-up materializes clothed in fur and feathers. We wait impatiently for the Pilgrims to arrive.

     Four kinds of cubed bread, baguette, challah, whole wheat and pumpernickel were dried on racks for the dressing. I made a pan of plain dressing with only celery, onion and sage, as well as a more adventurous one with added diced apples, mushrooms, raisins, dried cranberries and pecans. The adventurous one turned out to be the fave.
     A spinach and romaine salad with candied pecans, crumbled goat cheese, diced tart apples and dried cranberries await a toss with Bacon-Apple dressing. Rice was steamed for the rice lovers, baby sweet potatoes tossed with a small amount of olive oil, then sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and kosher salt and roasted in the oven. Sheet pans filled with croissants wait for a place in one of the ovens.
     Our formerly-feathered friend, Brother Tom as he's known in our house each year, is golden brown and waiting to be carved. He has been massaged with an herb-garlic butter paste scented with lemon zest and cooked in a brown-in bag. This is the only way I ever cook turkeys and they turn out perfect every time. He is stuffed with bunches of fresh rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley, plucked from my yard, plus an onion and a lemon. The house is filled with the most amazing aroma!    
     The Rowes, who are our Georgia family arrive with armloads of goodies. Green beans, squash casserole, mashed potatoes, two kinds of cranberry sauce, grandma's eight-layer chocolate cake and a pumpkin bread pudding with two sauces. Both sweet and unsweetend tea sit on the sideboard. I haven't even eaten and I can hardly breathe looking at the spread. None of us will need to cook for a week.
     It's Thanksgiving... gluttony is okay for one day, isn't it? Each takes turns saying what we are thankful for, then my husband thanks God for His love, patience and never-ending provision. We are truly blessed. As we got a late start, our dessert-only guests, in a progressive dinner of their own design, begin arriving with chocolate pecan brownie pie in hand and the din increases. Happy voices mingle with the mmm's and oohh's. Plates are scraped clean with a final bite of crescent roll. Coffee is brewing and desserts are plated. Have I mentioned how much I love Thanksgiving? I really think it should last a whole month! Don't you?

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