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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Grass Valley

I've had Thanksgiving with the same group of friends now more than 20 years - yes, 20 freakn' years! We called ourselves the Thanksgiving Orphans because we were all, for the most part, some distance from our families. So we decided we would be our own voluntary family. In the twenty years that have passed most of us magically became families of our own.

Getting the meal started; 2 tables, no waiting

Adan, Mark and Diego (who is eating a green bean, not a green worm)

This year we gathered in Grass Valley, and damn me if I didn't forget to take a group shot. So I only have the odd shot. Our feast was a collaborative effort.

Mark : juicy, brine-soaked style Tom Turkey (brined by Mark, baked by G.H.) & loads of great wine, all made or gathered by Mark (the little not-so-old winemaker). Of interest, at one point after the turkey had been in the oven for two hours, it was noticed that the oven wasn't turned on, but that was quickly rectified & the day saved;

Fran: Delish cranberry/orange relish and her world renowned 'Yammies': pineapple ring, topped with mashed yam, cranberries and a mini-marshmallow. How did I miss the opportunity to photograph the yammies???

Rick & Nancy: yummy, buttery mashed potatoes, fresh sauteed green beans with almonds, and Italian style salad made with loads of lettuces (butter lettuce, romaine, etc), mozzarella balls, black olives, tomato and tender hearts of artichoke. *drool*

Adan (son of R & N): It was stunning how rapidly he whipped up tasty veggie fare on the spur of the moment, using what bits and bobs he could nick on the fly; vegetarian apple/mushroom gravy and stuffing (for those mindful of not eating our furry/feathered brethren).

Me: stuffing and mushroom laden gravy, (chock full of our furry/feathered brethren)

So we ate all of the above, and frankly, more pies, in more variety than our waistlines will admit to.

Dinner was a wonderful, and sort of a medieval feast, not because we threw the bones over our shoulders (naw, but I did think about it) but because we had three happy dogs and one puppy romping around during the meal; Spencer (big-arse Newfoundland type), Tippy (bassenji/sighthound cross, sort of, maybe, who-the-hell-knows), Landau (beautiful blue merle Aussie Shepard) and the puppy Rebel, also an Aussie. the other, less delightful highlight was the toaster oven bursting into flames when MY bagel was toasting - bugger.

Rebel, just rescued after falling into the puddle pond

Rebel's batteries went dead rather abruptly

Everyone, save for Crystal and her hubby, stayed the night. Next day we were sort of pie-laden and slow so the day was spent playing Bananagram (free range Scrabble). So much for our usual window shopping in downtown Grass Valley.

Rick (center) with his boys, Adan (L) and Diego (R)

All in all it was a lovely Thanksgiving. Hope all of my friends/family enjoyed one every bit as cosy as mine.


  1. Yes, it was, fast tho. Just ma, juan, dad and my two.

  2. Ooo! Was it the traditional Thanksgiving meal? But substitute peas and rice for the potatoes? (am drolling) Haven't had a family Thanksgiving since your Grandma and Grandpa Miller were around.

  3. Not just any peas & rice, pigeon peas, coconut milk and rice. Delish as always.

  4. Oh DANG! Pigeon peas, coconut milk and rice - like your Grandma Miller used to make! Yum! Must get out recipe books and learn to fix so much rice & peas I won't need a recipe book. Miss home cooking. Will be making bread pudding again tomorrow. Must have BP often! Love you!