Thursday, November 25, 2010


Well, the house is quiet.  Twenty-six people were fed and fed well.  The dishes are done and things are mostly put away.  My fridge is stuffed to the brim, just as our two 23lb, birds were a few hours ago.  Our feast will clearly last for days.  Guests brought so many pies that a full five remained untouched.  I hope they freeze well, because I don't see how we'll even get through the nearly full pecan, apple, pumpkin, and chocolate pies crammed in with the rest of the goodies in my overworked fridge.

There are so many things I'm grateful for today, but I won't bore anyone with a long list, just one essential:  Mark Grove, my brother in law.  The feast detailed above, in all its fantastic and delectable glory was prepared almost single-handedly by him.  This man comes to my house every year, armed with cases of wine he's made from the winery where he works, and he cooks for a huge crowd of friends and relatives.  Every year!  How cool is that?

This tradition came about quite by accident.  We've had Thanksgiving in the mountains for nearly thirty years, but prior to us moving up here, it had always taken place at my father's cabin in Lake of the Woods.  When we moved up five years ago, we decided it would be better to transfer the festivities here because there was more room and my Dad's health wasn't great.  I was a bit nervous, having never made the meal for such a big crowd, but I was all set to give it a try.  Then I got sick, really sick, the day before Thanksgiving... "barely could get out of bed" sick.  Obviously nobody wanted me anywhere near their food.  So my sister volunteered her husband to take over.  He graciously agreed and made such a spectacular meal, I knew it was an act I would never be able to follow.  Since then, he has always been our Turkey-Day chef and there's nobody in the world who can feed a crowd like he does.

So today, I am grateful to Mark -- chef (and brother-in-law) extraordinaire!

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