Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I've done my share of cooking for the Thanksgiving Holiday and as any of my former guests will tell you, I'm a meat and potatoes sort of guy - no frou-frou recipes for me! I don't even do gravy for goodness sake, so turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, dressing, heated-up buns and you've got yourself a feast. Now dessert you can get a little fancy... It was after Vicki died 5 years ago that I made a cheesecake (from scratch) for friend Nancy's birthday or something. As a result of that "the girls" (Vicki's girlfriends) got me a hand mixer to facilitate more, so now I'm the cheesecake guy. The basic double chocolate cheesecake I can do in my sleep!

So this year buddy (and former cat-sitter) Erica invited us to Thanksgiving to meet family and friends, asking us to bring the chocolate cheesecake (Meredith's from "Joy of Cooking"). I whipped it up Tuesday night so we were able to relax right up till it was time to head to Erica's new house, which we hadn't seen. It is on Tucson's NW side in a quiet neighborhood, which all neighborhoods are on a midweek holiday, for that matter. A beautiful little casita with a big back yard - perfect for her. Got to meet new boyfriend Bill, and re-meet her dad, brother and other friends. Bill got put to work carving the 2 turkeys - I mostly helped by staying out of the way of the bustle of food prep. It was a beautiful feast, lots of the basics I like. I hear the gravy and brandied cranberry was great - but I wouldn't know - frou-frou... While the weather was mostly cloudy, it started raining (most of us were eating outside - Arizona, you know) with a little hail, and most ran for some long sleeves at least as it cooled rapidly. I toughed it out through two servings, then moved into the football room for desert. I had a piece of my cheesecake and a sliver of pumpkin pie, then just about fell asleep while Dallas pummeled Seattle. We finally headed out about 5pm with 2 pieces of cheesecake left and some leftovers for the weekend. Thanks Erica for a job well done!

I rejoice in the fact I have a supportive circle of friends and family that have upheld me through 3 cycles of surgery, the illness and death of a spouse, and the joy of a new love and marriage. I hope you all are equally surrounded by the love of family and friends and that you all realize your blessings on this Thanksgiving Holiday.

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