With Two Dogs in The Yard

Oh so long ago and far away, when MizShoes lived in Manhattan, there was a dj who did a Thanksgiving show where he opened by lighting a fire (aka: crinkling cellophane near the mic) and playing “Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I thought of it yesterday, as the RLA and I took a break and sat in the fairy garden and watched the koi and the dogs frollicked in the yard.

This was the first Thanksgiving we’ve ever spent together, by ourselves, and at our own home. It had, as I mentioned earlier, gotten me very melancholy. But in the event, it was soooo pleasant, and soooo relaxed and sooooo easy to remember the things that I’m thankful for that are right here under my nose. I could get used to this. Of course, the GirlCousin called and told me not to, because all hands will be back on deck at her home next year.

I haven’t seen a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in decades. Really. I cannot remember the last one I watched. So I watched this one. In high-def on the giant screen. Boy, was I surprised to find myself in total tears, sobbing at the Rockettes. Who knew? When I told the GirlCousin about this startling turn of events, she told me that one of her earliest memories is of going to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. She was maybe three or four, and turned to her mother and declared that when she grew up, she wanted to “be a croquette.” I told you people. Cooking is in our blood.

I loved seeing the new balloons. I loved the floats. I loved the marching band from Florida comprised of people who had marched in bands in high school or college and were now well beyond those years. They were great! Once a marching band wonk, always a marching band wonk. Most of the folks were decades beyond their marching band heyday, although there were a few faces that seemed considerably fresher than the rest. Mostly, these were folks my age or older, and they had baton twirlers and color guards and everything. I wonder if the GirlCousin still has her batons?

After that, there was something called the National Dog Show. Who knew? I only know from Westminster. There were lots of nice doggies, and the Cavalier won its group, which is nice to see. The setter who won best in show was stunning, and her markings were exceptional. I rolled around on the floor with the Dog of Very Little Brain to celebrate the dog show.

Eventually, I rousted myself from the beading I was doing to cook. We had a standing rib roast (with only one bone, it fell over, making it a laying down rib roast), sauteed brussel sprouts with fresh chestnuts (American, which is a digression I may get to later) and that epitome of 60’s glamor, twice-baked potatoes. There was a little green tea ice cream for desert. And coffee, of course. And cranberries in port wine as an accompaniment. The pumpkin pie I’d baked earlier in the week was long gone. It is my opinion that there is nothing in the world so fine as a breakfast of hot coffee and cold pie. I may go back in the kitchen today to make an apple pie, just to prove my hypothesis.

We watched a movie, and appreciated each other, and the animal companions, and the families and friends that we love and were not with. And it was good.

Now. About American chestnuts. As you may or may not know, the American Chestnut was almost wiped out by blight in the early years of the 20th century, with virtually no trees left by the 1940s. Genetic engineering to incorporate the blight-resistant properties of the Chinese Chestnut has proven effective, but the groves are still young, and so the chestnut industry in the US is still baby-sized. This was the first year that I was able to find American chestnuts at the grocery store, specifically at Whole Foods. I grabbed them. Unlike the Italian chestnuts which are readily available in the grocery store, not a single nut was revealed to contain mold when I cut the shells for roasting. NOT A SINGLE ONE!!!! They were sweet, and they were much easier to shell when roasted. I was very favorably impressed with the quality. Let’s hope the resurgence of the American Chestnut continues.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/28 at 10:20 AM in Random Crap

(2) Comments
#1. Posted by RJ Flamingo on November 28, 2008

I predicted this outcome, did I not? I almost called you during the dog show to tell you that the PBGV was up, but then I turned to MJ and said “But I’m sure she knows.”

Nice change of pace, no?

#2. Posted by gigi on November 28, 2008

My family is flung so far afield that we’ve gotten used to relatively quiet Thanksgivings (just us, a few friends). We’ve grown to almost prefer them, or at least appreciate them.  As you say, it allows you a moment to take pause and yes, give thanks.  I’m glad yours was contented, after all.

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