A New Flirtation and a Heart Full of Love

I have a new love. A crush, really.

It’s one of those crazy things that make the whole world seem shiny and new.

He leaves the room and you’re anxious. Will he return?

He comes back and you can’t help but smile.

He’s a little unpredictable, but not dangerous. Not really.

He doesn’t let on if he has any doubts. He has a silly grin plastered on his face -  all the time. And I don’t even mind.

I really want him to stick around. I want this to work. But I’m just not sure we travel in the same circles.

And he travels in SOME circles, let me tell you.

I met him the day after Thanksgiving, through our friend next door.  Even though I only saw him for a short while, I kind of miss him already.

But the cat was not so sure.... (scroll down)

See what I mean?

crush

That's Copper on the left and my crush on the right, Roomba.

So the robotic vacuum was sort of fun to watch. We're seriously considering getting a refurbished entry level model just to keep up with the dust and hair. He's not going to jump up and do baseboards or move furniture himself, but still, we could keep the sneezing down in between serious vacuums, right? Thanks to Nehal for this new flirtation.

Now on to Giving Thanks...

Orphans, Refugees and Procrastinators Thanksgiving 2010

This year's Thanksgiving was for me, the best in a long while. I love it every year but this year, we had wonderful friends, mostly new and many new to each other, join us. We were part of precious little Zander's first Thanksgiving ever (he's just 2 months old!) and I got to do some serious cooking. You just can't make a dozen sides and two pies and truffles for four people. Well, you can, but they get a little frightened and that's not a nice thing to do to your guests.

mcgee_bird

To find out why I call this the McGee bird, please read here: Tips for Roasting a Holiday Turkey.

I don't know if any photos of the whole table were taken and I have a vague recollection of one of the turkey being taken, but I distinctly recall thinking about getting up to grab the camera. Deciding against interrupting the moment, I just took in the feeling of a heart full of gratitude. Happy chatter, clinking glasses, laughter and yes, a few compliments. I've been asked to share the menu and I will.

Thanksgiving 2010 Menu

Apps:

Thyme-scented pecans (v)

Smoked salmon dip w/red bell pepper, jicama sticks, endive leaves

Virginia’s wilted greens bruschetta (v)

Charlie’s Stone Crabs

The dinner:

Bob’s Turkey

Kim’s Chard & Lentil Shepherd’s Pie w/onion gravy (v, gf, oops)

Stuffing: Mushroom-herb

Killer sweets (v)

Kick-ass Cranberry Sauce w/persimmon (v)

Mashed potatoes and gravy

Green beans w/shallots, lemon (v)

Brussels sprouts, radicchio ribbons w/balsamic glaze (v)

Carrots & Parsnips w/cardamom cream

Dale’s Corn w/bacon salt

Salad - mixed greens, fennel, celery persimmon, orange (oops)

Savory Monkey Bread

Dessert:

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie

Taza Guajillo/Mexican chocolate w/Kahlua and Bourbon/orange/pecan chocolate truffles

Quady D eviation, Elysium, Turtle Creek Late Harvest Zin; Coffee

♥ ♥

About the notations: v = vegetarian; gf = gluten-free; and oops means I forgot to put that out. The vegetarian shepherd's pie is meant to get an onion gravy which we forgot. Still, the dish got happy reviews even from the "where's my meat" husband. The salad accompanied me to Rachel & Doug's Turkey & Gumbo fest the next day (after my nooner with Roomba).
Since the salad was dead simple but got raves, I'll share the ingredients here, too. It's really lovely to have something fresh when everything on the table is braised, roasted, glazed or sauced (including the cook.) I used Olivia's Greens (mixed and spinach). Added peeled and chopped: fuyu persimmons and Asian pear, pomegranate arils (seeds). The vinaigrette, proving the adage about simple recipes getting a boost from quality ingredients, consisted of the following: Pasolivo Citrus Olive Oil, Katz Gravenstein Apple Cider Vinegar, bit of Dijon mustard, one clove of garlic grated on microplane, Yuzu Salt - Earthy Delights and freshly ground black pepper. You could use simply good quality EVOO, good cider vinegar and boost the salad with grated organic orange peel. Shake it up in a jar and toss w/salad just before serving. Tart, sweet, luscious, crunchy, bitter all in one. Bonus for entertaining, that Asian pear doesn't brown when peeled and cut.
Next up our wines...

And our Thanksgiving 2010 - Wines

Sparkling Wines: Dale Cruse AKA my personal champagne sherpa brought these:

Bollinger - Special Cuvée Brut 60% PN, 25% C, 15% PM

De Chancey - Crémant de Loire Brut Méthode Traditionnelle 70% Chenin Bl, 15% Chardonnay 15% Cabernet Franc

Delamotte Blanc de Blanc Brut 1999

Schramsberg Brut Rosé 2006 Méthode Champenoise

Gruet Demi Sec - Méthode Champenoise

You can find Dale at DrinksAreOnMe.net.

Still Wines - Doug “it’s not a party without a magnum” Cook brought these:

Verduno Perlaverga DOC 2009, Comm. G B Burlotto

Moulin-a- Vent Domaine Diochon, Cuvée Vielles Vignes 2007

Elan de Ros Coucou Blanc 2006, Vin de Pays du Marmandais

Lucein Crochet La Croix du Roy Sancerre

You can find Doug at AbleGrape.com.