We sit down in the living room of the farmhouse, someone puts in the movie, we turn it on. We digest.
For me, it's not just the food -- it's the day, all of it. Some things did not happen: there was no time to take the family walk outdoors even though it was immensely gorgeous and unseasonably warm. Also, dinner was ready by 6:30 - not 6, as I had planned (blame it on the turkey which came advertised as "never frozen," yet felt quite iced over when I took it out at noon).
But far far far more important is all that did happen. As usual, on the fullest, richest days, I haven't the hours to properly talk about them here, on Ocean. That's a given. But, photos helps and they'll set the theme for today which was -- well, see if you can pick one out.
I'm up at 5. Something about taking the cinnamon rolls out so they get to room temperature. And my head starts spinning about what side dish to serve in which bowl. So I'm up. And I know I'll be tired too soon, but I remind myself that after overnight flights I'm capable of moving through a day without much sleep, so too, I'll be fine today.
Oh, there's the sun: finally, witnessed from the farmhouse breakfast room.
But on this morning, we do not eat breakfast here. We're back in the kitchen.
I place the cinnamon rolls and the bacon and the fruit and the coffee on the table and people help themselves.
There are still two meals ahead of us and so now we must focus and, too, strike a balance: get lunch foods on the roll (squash soup with cheese dumplings, chive scones)…
… but also keep to the schedule with the big meal.
As you can see, I have help. My little one and her guy are in the kitchen with me and we check off one item after the next.
My older girl keeps us entertained with the click of her knitting needles.
And because I have help, the meals stay on schedule. Beautifully so.
We eat lunch at a decent hour...
And then we get back to the main meal prep. In the meantime, Ed, too, has his hands full. With the new orchard. This is the day to finally build those fences around the tiny stalks. It's quite the project and when I go out to say an encouraging word, I'm impressed with how much he has accomplished.
And we have forged ahead too, back at the farmhouse.
In the evening we take one more pause to snack on raw veggies and cheeses and bits of smoked salmon…
And now comes the final push. No, wait, the men need a more extended pause.
Okay, back for the sprint to the end. The turkey comes out, three dishes, waiting for this moment, go in. I carve, others keep an eye on the stove...
We're ready: the herb rubbed turkey with the savory stuffing and mushroom gravy, the mashed potato, coupled this year with a sweet potato, the corn and chilies, the brussels sprouts with maple syrup and roasted hazelnuts, the cranberries…
Followed by the single item that takes almost as much time as the bird -- the apple pie.
Oh, it's all good: all lovingly put together, and appreciatively eaten.
It would be hard under these circumstances, when I have nothing but good will and enthusiastic energy around me, not to love Thanksgiving.
It is too late to try to sound clever here. I can only say that I truly hope that your day was brilliant. As golden as they come. Happy Thanksgiving indeed!