Outside Yale Bowl, Plenty of Wine and CheeseThe game, was, well... we don't talk about the score. But the reunions and signs of intense procreation happening all around us were fantastic. We arrived back in Guilford that afternoon to find a table set for 15, perfectly dressed with foliage, berries, and nuts from the yard, and a kitchen already bursting with fantastic smells.
After unfurling a white linen tablecloth over the hood of his Jaguar sedan, Maurice Barry carefully assembled his tailgate spread. Barry and his brother, John, came prepared for the occasion, armed with an Italian white wine, a red French Bordeaux, some cheeses and green grapes, shrimp cocktail, mushroom soup, sandwiches for lunch, and brie for dessert.
2. First Thanksgiving champagne cocktail: Why in the world has this not been a tradition of mine before 2009? We sipped on simple cocktails made with sugar cubes, bitters, orange peel, and champagne, and I loved the flavor combination to kick off the celebration. I have all the makings for new ones this week, and the fixin's to dream up a cranberry champagne cocktail, too. Gotta be seasonal!
3. First deep-fried turkey! This one shocked the Connecticut crew, who figured a Southern girl like myself would know my way around the deep fryer. But no: straight-up roasted turkeys from my mom's stove. I actually really enjoyed the turkey, although I might be cheating since I didn't really eat the crispy skin. The white flesh inside the skin, though, couldn't have been any juicier or more tender.
4. First dining-out experience on actual Thanksgiving: That's right, folks - we had so much fun in the kitchen on Saturday that we didn't feel the need to replicate the experience this week. We're just exhausted after a hectic New York City adventure tacked on to the end of the weekend. So dining at Craft it will be! We're taking along an extra-special guest, too. I'll probably wistfully miss cooking tomorrow, but right now, I'm pretty thankful for those reservations.
6. First time hosting a Thanksgiving Sips & Sweets gathering! Since we're not cooking a real meal, we decided to host a little dessert party and celebrate an excuse to drink lots of champagne. Our place should be bursting with goodness: actual baking by this non-dessert girl (no promises - we'll see how it goes), a slew of libations, and no doubt many festive outbursts from this gal.
7. Oh yeah... first married Thanksgiving :-) I think of our "first" Thanksgiving as being two years ago, when it was just the two of us in Dallas and I made approximately 16 dishes that would feed about 40 people. Just us, in our apartment. There were even snow flurries. That's the 'Giving that'll always give me cheesy "way back when..." feelings. But our fingers were a tad heavier this year than that one. So to Thanksgiving Bling!
Happy week of food and drink, everyone!