Baking, Dinner, Life

Goodbye, Hello

Another table is set. People find a seat, a thanksgiving blessing is spoken, and dishes are passed quickly…after all the food is getting cold. There are many stories happening all around – they are told so quickly that my mind is working on remembering the plot of the first one as someone else offers up another tale. ¬†Another meal is eaten. Have you stopped to think about just how many tables you will set and meals you will help cook in your lifetime? Is that too much to think about on this post Thanksgiving Saturday? Maybe…but here is the thing…I wanted to share with you two celebratory meals with you….the first occurred the evening before Sweet Z went halfway around the planet. Not your everyday situation…but a once-in-a-lifetime event. I wanted to create a delicious meal as a part of his send off. I set to work and wanted something hearty, flavorful, and fairly easy. In situations such as this I usually turn to roasting. It is so simple…yet, so satisfying. I had two bone in chicken breasts…which got the royal treatment..

Herby butter

This herbed treatment lets the chicken roast up all pretty. I also created carrot and parsnip ‘fries’. Easy stuff really! Some thyme, oil, dijon mustard, salt and pepper dressed up the sticks. And then they were off to roast.

Sweet Z, my Mom and I gathered around my little dining room table, lit with candles, and we shared this meal. Conversations ranged and it was a relaxed evening. I could not taste a single thing (thanks cold) but I enjoyed the time together. And…what about the Cat Scholar? Yes, he has adjusted quite well since his owner flew thousands of miles away…

Typical Saturday morning

I pushed on through the crazed pace of work until Thanksgiving break. And then? I spent the first night prepping pie doughs, breads, fillings, and bars through my utterly exhausted, yet strangely exhilarated, self. There is just something that carries me forward and I cannot explain it. So carry on I did, packed up the car the next day and headed to meet the rest of the family for the Thanksgiving feast.

If you have ever helped in cooking a big meal for a lot of people (17 was our count plus 2 kids)…you know it takes a lot of work. The preparation alone takes weeks. The half hour before the targeted dinner hour is a frantic rush. But there are reprieves. There are snacks, drinks and conversation.

There are new people to welcome…

PS – this nice man on the right totally loved those desserts I made. I think he called me a dessert goddess or something like that. Hey, new friend…you scored major points!

with love, apple pie

Pies were warmed, sliced and served a la mode. Oh heck yes. This pie…really, I think it has some kind of magical power. I swear it does. It was a perfect marriage of lovely apples, a bit of caramel and a flaky crust. I wanted to weep with happiness at the beauty of each bite. But I didn’t.

Love and good cheer were all around…

Sweet brother, sweeter nephew

Books were read…

Spanning Generations

And just like that…it was over. All of the planning, preparation, and organization worked….everyone was happy. I hit the road the next day and started my drive home. I drove back towards the land of technology. I drove back to my home yet I could not help but feel a little hollow and empty. These moments with family are few and far between. Embrace them. These meals you gather ’round the table to eat? Savor them. The unexpected Friday night phone call from your best friend who calls out of the blue, just because? So grateful.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading! I am headed back to my kitchen now…after all there are some new recipes that need to be tried out.

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