Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Today I am giving thanks for a simply wonderful day. We spent the whole day with family. Everyone helped cook or clean something. It was a relaxed day. No major kid meltdowns. Lots of really cute loves from my niece Aubrey who is a couple months younger than Camille would have been. 

And the food ... ahhh yes the food. Did I mention my family is full of great cooks? And Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE meal. And I am thankful I got to enjoy the meal fully with no sick stomach to hinder the enjoyment.

We had all the traditional foods. Turkey with my dad's stuffing that he, Jon and my brother Darren made together last night. Darren then took half and headed to Utah with his wife. It was unbelievably good. I wish I could give you all a bit. My dad knows how to season things so well.

Mom made an old family favorite jello salad. I made homemade sour cream rolls. Hot out of the oven, they almost melt in your mouth. I also made my grandmother's candied yams. No marshmellows allowed. We actually "candy" the yams by baking them for hours in brown sugar and butter. Pretty much they turn out to be dessert, and they are my favorite dish at Thanksgiving. 

Jon's sister Marleen and her husband Spencer brought fresh green beans and mashed potatoes. Yummy! And my mother in law brought a pecan pie, Dixie salad (a Las Vegas pioneer dish with pomegranates, apples, nuts and other things in whipping cream), and 2 amazing homemade cranberry relishes. 

Just before we started our dinner, our friend Chris Herrin (the head pastry chef for the Venetian Hotel) showed up with a culinary student assistant named Lenny. He brought us some extra pies from the Bouchon. A pecan, 2 apple, and the best pumpkin I have ever had. 
Pumpkin pie with roasted pumpkin seeds on top of whip cream that looked like marshmallows because it was so perfectly piped.

To top it all off, Lenny brought us some of his "homework." A chocolate yule log mouse cake with pumpkin truffles on top. It was beautiful! And it tasted even better than it looked, though that seemed impossible. Thanks Chris and Lenny!
Chris and Lenny had a tasting plate of our food. Chris said it was better than anything they were serving at the restaurant. Normally I would think he was just being nice. But today -- Thanksgiving -- well we do Thanksgiving right. And I honestly don't think there was a better meal anywhere in the valley today. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am thankful for all of you today and everyday. You truly enrich my life in so many ways. Tonight my heart feels full in a way I have long wondered if it ever would again. I know Camille is feeling that full joy as well which tops off the joy in my heart this day. It is a wonderful thing to have your heart as full as your stomach at the end of the Thanksgiving meal.