Tag Archives: Napa

For lack of a better word

Thanksgiving was…more than week ago. It actually seems much farther in the past now. I want to write something about our gathering and meal before I forget!

Lee, a friend, and I went to my dad and his wife’s (it seems strange to call her my stepmother) house in Napa on Thursday morning. I had baked my dessert contribution (this Chestnut Pound Cake) the night before. Smelling the cake in the oven really got me in the mood for the holidays!

I also brought a giant cooler full of food. There was a huge head of cauliflower I planned to roast for dinner, ingredients for Beet-Ginger Chutney, and some other random goodies like a pomegranate and several persimmons in case we needed another salad. Oh, and there was an emergency container of Trader Joe’s shelf-stable whipping cream just in case!

Napa is beautiful in the fall and it’s the perfect place for a Thanksgiving gathering. We hung out at the house, snacking and cooking. Snitching crumbs of dried out cornbread and biscuits meant for the dressing was the best part. It felt like such a luxury to be able to lounge around all day, not to mention spend the entire day with my husband and family. Doc liked it too.

Eventually, people started to dribble in. There weren’t really that many of us there for dinner – eight I think. We took went for a lovely little walk before the final push in the kitchen.

Someone set the table as the sun was sinking to window level. There was slight panic when we realized we needed a second oven, followed by relief when we discovered that the microwave doubled as a convection oven.

We sat down for dinner at a pretty normal dinner time (maybe 7?). Here’s the menu:

Turkey + gravy (for the omnivorous majority)

My grandmother’s cornbread dressing

Pumpkin ravioli with browned butter and sage (omg this was so good – like a dessert!)

Curry roasted cauliflower and Beet-Ginger Chutney

Green salad with hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds

Homemade cranberry sauce

Green beans with bacon dressing (and a bacon-less portion for me!)

I think that was it…The cornbread dressing, beloved timeless classic that it is, was the star of the meal. There was enough for days of the best leftovers ever! I will have to find out what brand the ravioli was. I think it came from Whole Foods. It was absolutely delicious with a slight almond flavor.

Dessert was bountiful. We had homemade pumpkin pie, homemade pecan pie, and my Chestnut Pound Cake, all topped with whipped cream.

After dinner entertainment was lots of fun. We got everyone to play Cranium, making the homey-family gathering complete. After that everything is a fuzzy food-coma memory.

Isn’t he cute?

The rest of the long weekend was equally great. No Black Friday shopping for us. Lee was sick, unfortunately, so I did a good bit of running on my own. I even went to a Body Pump class on Saturday morning, something I haven’t done for a long time. We visited my dad’s cousins a my second cousins on Saturday (wow, there’s a lot of ’em) and went to see Skyfall (loved it!).

Lee and I spent the night at the boat on Saturday and went sailing with my dad, his wife, and a friend of mine from work on Sunday. So yeah, it was a pretty idyllic weekend. I’m hoping that becomes the new norm! This weekend looks like it’s going to be pretty great too (It’s raining in SF and I love the rain!).


Filed under inspiration and musings