Saturday, November 26, 2005

The day after

Well, technically it's the day after the day after, but it still feels post-Thankgiving to me.

The dinner went really well. We tossed a tablecloth on the expanding coffee table, gave the littler ones plastic wine glasses full of sparkling cider, then poured the real stuff for the grown ups to enjoy. The salad was perfect: the contrast between the crunchy, salty pecans and the crumbly feta against slightly bitter greens and sweet, soft caramelized apples was something I'll be making again many times. I'm finally happy with my stuffing after many years of tinkering and playing with things. The turkey still has a way to go, though it was moist and quite tasty. The Dobos Torte proved tricky. I didn't time the caramel quite right and didn't get it poured onto the top layer quickly enough so there isn't anything covering the sides of that layer. I had the cake out for a little while before we had dessert and learned the hard way that buttercream doesn't do well with heat. The rosettes of ganache that I so carefully placed under the caramel wedges to prop them at an angle melted by the time we ate everything. Ah, well. Lesson learned. It was still delicious.

We've all been nibbling on leftovers for the past two days, picking at stuffing and mashed potatoes and polishing off those rolls. I made shepherd's pie out of some of the turkey and mashed potatoes yesterday (it came out really, really well - saving that recipe, too), and made gumbo from the rest of the meat and some frozen sauage tonight. There's almost nothing left, after sending everyone off with leftovers and our two day's worth of picking.

There's something rich and deep about Thanksgiving for me. The time spent with family, the preparations and cooking of such a bounty of food, the realization that we have so very much to indeed be thankful for. It ushers in the holiday season in such a warm and gentle way to me that I want to make that feeling last for a little while before moving on. Christmas decorations can wait. Let me savor the feeling of thankfulness for just a little bit longer.