Thanksgiving Recap

26 Nov

In addition to the traditional fixings (my favorite dish this year was my sister Sarah’s sweet potatoes with goat cheese; recipe below), my family added a few new elements to this year’s holiday celebration.

First, a post-dinner haiku contest. Here are a few memorable ones:

Wild birds land on lake
Farm birds land on dinner plate
Wonders never cease

Potatoes and bread
The devil’s carbohydrates
Thank you, stretchy pants

Cozy in men’s socks
Watching trees dance in the grey
Wondering always

Taters, turkey, peas
Drop from my fork to the floor
Here kitty kitty
(I think this last one was adapted from a previously published poem, but it was performed with great enthusiasm by a 5-year-old, so we gave it the grand prize.)

After the haikus we had some desserts. This year we averaged 1/3 of a pie per person. Needless to say, we had a lot of leftovers.

From the left: classic pumpkin; gluten-free orange almond cake; chocolate/banana/caramel; and apple.

We also heard a variety of readings including poetry by Margaret Atwood and Paul Laurence Dunbar, a couple chapters from The Pushcart War (so timely!), an essay by E.B. White on subsistence farming, and a short remembrance of my mother’s mother. Kris read this poem by Mary Oliver that I quite liked.

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Finally, we all brought books for an exchange and each got to take home a few new finds. I’m thankful for books!

Spanning high brow to low brow

Recipe to save for next year, courtesy of my sister:

Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Bacon

4 large sweet potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch
4-6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pt heavy cream
8 oz goat cheese
salt and pepper
Chop and cook bacon. Remove bacon to towel to drain.
Cook onion in bacon fat, slow and low to caramelize.
Add cream and gently heat, add goat cheese, stir to melt.
Return bacon to pan once the cheese has melted. (Add a little cream or, alternatively, GF pancake mix to adjust sauce until it resembles homemade mac & cheese sauce.)
Layer sliced sweet potatoes with sauce (seasoning each layer of potatoes with salt and pepper) – 3 or 4 layers deep – in a 9×13 pan.
Bake, covered, at 325 for an hour or so.
Remove foil, broil for a few minutes to brown top. Could add a bit of cheese at that point, too.

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