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Splendid Thanksgiving

It’s Saturday night and the holiday weekend is starting to wind down, and I’m feeling relaxed and a bit sad because I had such a great time. I almost always cook for a percentage of "The Gang". This year we had an added treat because Connie Willis had called me several weeks ago to tell me that she, Courtney and Cordelia were going to be in NM over Thanksgiving and did I want to get together and gloat over the Obama victory. (Connie was my lifeline during the election. When I would panic that Obama was going to lose to Hillary, or he wasn’t tough enough on McCain. And WE WERE GOING TO LOSE!!!! I would call Connie and she would talk me off the ledge.) I asked what the Willis family intended to do for Thanksgiving dinner, and Connie said they’d do a buffet. I said, "No, you’re coming to my house for dinner."

So we had thirteen people – George and Parris, Ian, Ty and Jayne, Chip, Wanda June, Connie, Courtney and Cordelia, Hank and Sage, and of course, me. I’ve gotten sick of wrestling with 23 pound turkeys, and with my wrist just starting to heal I didn’t want to risk handling such a big bird. Also, they tend to be drier and tougher than smaller birds. I’m also feeling sort of poor after the stock market gyrations so I opted not to buy a really expensive, gigantic fresh organic turkey. Instead I went back to the Butterball. I bought two 11 pound birds which meant all the dark meat fanatics in the group would get enough dark meet, and I have to report that the smaller birds were wonderful.

Ian helped me all morning by fetching things from the refrigerator, and washing up behind me as I prepared pumpkin pies and stuffing, and prepared the vegetables. Then Hank and Sage arrived and we set to work cooking the yams and preparing the cheese sauce for the vegetables. Meanwhile it had been raining all day (which we desperately needed), and then around 2:30 it turned into a snow storm. Huge, fluffy flakes. People arrived out of the snow and the fun began.

Sage had made a chocolate cake with orange cream between the layers because this year my birthday fell on Thanksgiving. She also brought an apple pie and rolls. Parris brought cornbread sticks. Jayne brought mashed potatoes because I hate potatoes and therefore my mashed potatoes are inferior. The real "awwww" moment was when the sweet potato souffle came out of the oven. I had tested the recipe on Ian a few weeks ago, and the result was everything I hoped for. You know, when you make the pan of yams with marshmellows it never gets eaten. There was only a spoonful left of the souffle. I will definitely make it again. In the interest of full disclosure I will state that Sage did the lions share of the work on the white sauce and beating the egg whites because I was running around like a crazy person.

Cordelia was curled up in an armchair making beautiful crocheted snowflakes while Gozer slept on her lap. Connie was visiting with Hank. George, Ty, Ian and Courtney were busy playing every Wi sport game – bowling, tennis, golf. We kept hearing gales of male laughter rolling from the library/tv room.

Dinner hit the table. Hank did an amazing job carving the two birds. It was buffet style so folks lined up and filled their plates. We had a toast to good friends, and a hopeful future (it was a table full of Obama-maniacs. After dinner I built a fire, and we watched the flames reflected in the windows while we kept on talking. Connie and Cordelia gave me a real insight into a question I posed several months ago – how do you design a tv show that will work as a weekly series and as a mainlining event when you rent the DVD. I’ll write on that in a separate post.

At around 10:00 the Willis’s headed back to town and their hotel. I played some Wi bowling and tennis with George, Ian and Ty, but it started to hurt my wrist. (That I had already stressed with too much cooking over three days.) At 11:00 George, Parris and Wanda June headed home. Then Hank, Sage, Ty and Jayne, and Ian and I sat talking until almost 1:00 am. I fi

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