Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Pies Will Come Out, Tomorrow...

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  Okay, that title is so silly. But are we all crazed? With travel or plans or cooking?  Or not?

I have to write my 1000 words today, and do laundry, and somehow find three pies to take to our pals' house tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

I'm missing my dear family, spread far and wide. And missing my mom. And almost inspired to make black cherry Jell-o mold with black cherries, a staple at our Thanksgiving dinners since the sixties. 

My mom and stepfather were married on Thanksgiving, and coming home for that anniversary/holiday was always a command performance. Now, although no one lives there anymore, I am counting blessings like mad. What a tender time of year. 

I know we're all busy--so quickly, what are you all up to today?

HALLIE EPHRON: Today we're traveling to Brooklyn to be with the people I love most in this world, counting my blessings all the way. Tomorrow we cook!

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Well, we had plans to travel for Thanksgiving to Lake Forest, IL. (You may remember the Sailor is stationed at Great Lakes, just a little way up the road.) We were finally going to do the big city Thanksgiving getaway - see the huge parade, stay in the wonderful Deer Path Inn and eat out instead of cooking.

Then the Sailor pulled duty on Thanksgiving Day. Plus, he found out today and Friday are also regular duty days, which means the only times we'd be able to see him would be a few hours in the evening. Ugh. Since he's coming home for two weeks around Christmas (yay!) we decided to can the plan. And instead - sssh! Don't tell anyone! - we're playing hooky for Thanksgiving.

We're going to watch the Macy's Parade in our pajamas in our not-cleaned-for-guests house, then watch the Westminster Dog show, then eat some of Ross's wonderful lamb stew, which we all like a lot more than turkey, and then we're going out to see Disney's Moana! We'll even have the best part of the day, since a neighbor is making us a pie. It feels VERY wicked and indulgent, and it's just one break in our usual round of hosting/guesting/traveling to DC for family, but we're all looking forward to it like crazy.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Julia, yes, the Westminster Dog Show!!! And the Macy's Parade! I will be watching those, and then we are going to my aunt's for early-afternoon dinner, and then stopping by to visit with my hub's family--although I, at least-will not manage to eat TWO Thanksgiving dinners. I'm only making my traditional Cranberry-Orange-Jalepeno relish, so easy peasy Thanksgiving for me and I'm really looking forward to it.

Julia, traditionally, we've gone to hub's family on Christmas Eve, then to mine (aunt, cousins, cousins' kids, and now cousin's son's baby!) on Christmas Day. Then a couple of years ago we got snowed in on Christmas Day and it was fabulous!!! I decided that was my new tradition.  I do miss seeing my relatives, but so lovely to stay home with just us and kids and our friend Gigi (and now grandbaby Wren!!!) Bliss.

LUCY BURDETTE: We will be very very low key too, as we're gathering with all the fam for Christmas. We were invited to have dinner with some neighbors, and my contribution will be leek, pepper, butter butter butter biscuits. (Last year I had a Meniere's dizzy episode after Thanksgiving so I'll be very cautious. Probably no gravy, sad to say.)
Here's the recipe for the biscuits, which is from the fabulous CT bakery, Four and 20 Blackbirds:

HANK: Okay, you all. Tell me about the parade. I do not understand the parade.  Why is it fun to watch?

Reds and readers…do you watch the parade? And we know you’re crazed, but just check in! What are you doing today?  (And as our dear Ramona often asks--how much butter is in your house right now?)  

And then—good luck! Happy Thanksgiving, all!  (And just so you know: tomorrow, turkey tips. Friday, a quiz. Saturday, a fabulous author. And Sunday—a call to arms.)


  1. Are we watching the Macy’s parade? Of course; we always do. I think it’s the Broadway show performers . . . or maybe it’s the balloons. [We never miss the Rose Parade, either.]
    Light cooking duties this year since we will be gathering to celebrate with all the family that’s close, so I won’t be cooking the whole dinner.
    Butter? Well, five or six unsalted sticks for cooking; a tub of whipped butter for the table and a spare in the freezer . . . .

  2. Julia, your plans sound wonderful. Maybe this will be a new tradition!

    The whole famn damily is coming here, and everyone is cooking or bringing something. Except my mother, but she is the whiz-bang gravy maker of all time, so that's her job.

    My daughters live all over the country, so we only get together once a year most of the time. They have not all seen one another since last Thanksgiving. Best of all, they're staying through most of the weekend. I am in Mama heaven.

  3. I have worked all day and night (Tuesday) and am sitting down to unwind before heading off to bed. Cleaning, dusting, decorating, and getting a lot of books sorted (always a big part of straightening up). I am so happy with the way the main bathroom turned out, decorated for Christmas with a new Christmas shower curtain. I still have a few things to put away, but for the most part the housework is finished. I got a jump start on fixing my chili by browning the beef tonight, at 11:00 p.m. Tomorrow I will finish fixing chili for tomorrow night's supper. Both kids will be in for the first time in forever, and we will have a wonderfully full house, with beds full of son, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters. I'm so excited that they will all be here. Oh, and tomorrow night the grandgirls and I will make cookies. Like you, Karen, I'm in Mama heaven.

    I will have to wait until Thursday morning to make the asparagus casserole and scalloped oysters. The turkey breasts are done and awaiting slicing (I have them cooked at a local restaurant for only $7 a piece, and they are always delicious). I bought the ham and had it sliced at the grocery store. I might make some mashed potatoes, too. My mother-in-law is making the dressing and gravy, and I think she's making macaroni and cheese for the grands, too. My daughter is making the pumpkin pies. I'll also make a little key lime cheeseball that everyone likes and have some cheeses, too. We're going to take our dishes to my mother-in-law's house. I'd rather have it at my house, but as she is 88 this year and she wants us to come to her house, we will do so.

    Butter? Let's just say that butter makes everything better and leave it at that.

  4. Oh, and I will be watching the Macy's Parade while I cook Thursday morning. Hank, the thing I love about watching it is that it puts me in a wonderful holiday mood. Love it!

  5. OK… I think the bands are cute, and I love the idea that they all came to New York to march in the parade. But I'm very annoyed with the anchor peoples pre-scripted "banter." Joan, I forgot about the Broadway show performers… OK, that's good!

    And I am more and more taken with the idea of just cozying up at home on Thanksgiving.

  6. Kathy, you have a chili tradition? So fascinating! Where did that come from… ?

  7. Never watch the parade. I have both sons home and our dearest friends coming tomorrow, so it's a happy time. I do the (locally raised) turkey, stuffing and pies and everybody else does everything else. Today is last minute groceries (leaving in fifteen minutes to avoid the rush) (must get four more pounds of butter) and pies. It's my favorite holiday of the year. Have a great one, Reds!

  8. Edith, I know it sounds nuts, but I love to go to the grocery on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I think it is such fun to share the shopping craziness… Everyone, hilariously, is on the same mission… I kind of love it.

  9. YES, pounds and pounds of butter. The parade? I've never watched it.
    In the morning I'll be peeling apples and saving the spirally skins for my kids who will be snoozing.

  10. Cleaning. Checking recipes for any missing ingredients. Pick up more butter. Clean some more. Work. That's today--tomorrow get the turkey on early, then prep the broccoli and onions for a broccoli and bacon side. Everything else being provided by family. Set the table (plaintive query from youngest nephew: 'Can we leave the table decorated all year?')

    Hank--we always watched the Rose Parade--loved the creativity and colors of the floats, also the marching bands (but the canned banter has gotten to be too much--haven't watched any of the parades in years).

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all--blessings to all who gather in love and friendship!

  11. Okay, just between us...I'm staying home and having lobster and Prosecco! I know it's cheating, but I just had the second cataract surgery yesterday and driving in bright lights during heavy traffic sounded like not so much fun. I'll just have to settle for a walk on the beach watching the seals and my "sea pigeon" as my father liked to call lobster. Enjoy your Turkey-day all!

  12. The last couple years we've drive to Buffalo to spend Thanksgiving with my family. But my dad fell and had surgery on his leg, so when he told me they weren't up to hosting and my sister informed me that her husband was working, I was secretly glad to stay home (shhh, don't tell).

    My brother-in-law is coming. Today I will make pumpkin pie. Tomorrow, Dutch Apple so it's all warm for eating. The Hubby nixed my usual brined turkey, so I have to find some tips on plain roasted turkey. Mashed potatoes, dressing, salad, biscuits. Oh and gravy, of course.

    We do watch the parade. I love the bands and I like the Broadway show numbers. Hank, I wish the commentators would shut up, but I can usually ignore them. And we will watch the Westminster Dog Show where I will hope one of the bigger dogs win and will be disappointed. But as long as one of the yippy "mops without a handle" doesn't win, I'll be okay.

    And I'll do all of this in my fleecy lounge pants. Oh, and there will be a fire in the wood stove.

    Happy Thanksgiving (and feel free to send me your turkey tips in advance of tomorrow)!

  13. I didn't comment earlier because I was traveling yesterday to Cabo San Lucas with my whole family. We're now settled in a fabulous resort and looking forward to someone bringing me mojitos and margaritas all week. But the hotel has promised Thanksgiving food on Thursday.

  14. Flora-broccoli and bacon side? We want details!

    Michele--that sounds fabulous~

    Mary--my turkey secret is cheesecloth. It soaks op the butter an holds it onto the skin. Carefully...take it off at the end so the turkey will brown evenly. And I just heard on TV that you should let the turkey rest for an hour before you serve--that makes it juicier!

    I say--how about letting the COOK rest?

    And what's your position on hors d'oeuvres on Thanksgiving?

  15. Hmm, cheesecloth, eh? Do you just rub the turkey with butter then lay the cheesecloth over it?

    And do chips, pretzels, dip, cheese, crackers and a veggie tray count as hors d'oeuvres? If so, I'm all for them! LOL

  16. We're traveling just a couple of hours to my dear niece's home where my family will gather. We're bringing an appetizer (a wheel of camembert topped with onion jam and fresh rosemary, popped under the broiler, served with fancy crackers) and a couple of pies (apple and pumpkin). Though I'm a good pie baker, I confess this year we took the easier route and ordered them from Two Fat Cats here in Portland, which makes the yummiest pies in the world.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  17. And the winners of LINDA FAIRSTEIN's new book are: Coralee Hicks and Pauline Dudley!

    Hurray! Email me at hryan at whdh dot com and we will arrange for your books!

    YAY!!! xooxoxoxox

  18. Two Fat Cats! I have to remember that for next year, Brenda--I had a bit of a pie crisis this year. Have you ever tried to order pies from a bakery on the Saturday before Thanksgiving? They actually laughed at me...

    Oh, Rhys, sounds lovely!

    Mary, I melt the butter, soak the cheesecloth in it, they lay it over the top. Make sure you cover the tips of the wings--then they don;t burn! Then as I add butter, I just slather soft butter on the top of the cheesecloth. At some point you have to stop opening the the cheesecloth keeps it moist and buttery. YOu have to take it off about 30 mins before the turkey is done so it gets brown.

  19. Thanks, Hank. I'm going to try that. Off to buy a cheesecloth!

  20. I love watching the Macy's Day Parade. I remember the first time I went and I got prime seating and saw everything. Now I prefer to watch it on TV. It allows me to see what's new or coming on Broadway and smile that I'm inside where it's warm.

    This year, I decided to stay home. Just me, my TV and my books.

  21. Happy Day Before Thanksgiving, all you Reds and Lurkers.

    I will be cooking my turkey in the new oven for a table and house full of neighbors. The menu is the usual, turkey and sausage dressing, mashed taties and gravy, butternut squash and roasted parsnips, green bean casserole (yes, that one) and two kinds of cranberry sauce, home made rolls, AND, if I get to the store for leeks, Lucy Roberta's leek pepper biscuits. Those look easy and why not.

    Also pumpkin pie and apple pie. And wine. Lots of it.

    One neighbor is bringing appetizers, no idea what, but the more the merrier, and she insists on making the apple pie. I'll make another this weekend because I am positive I make the best apple pie ever. She is also known for bringing a bottle or three of prosecco. Oh well, we can always establish our own AA chapter afterward.

    This is our first big dinner since the completion of the new kitchen. I'm pretty excited about giving it a good workout. Since we knocked out a wall, I can see from the kitchen thru the dining room and into the living room, where the parade and then the dog show will be on -- at least until the guests arrive and the ball games begin.

    I am thankful for many things, especially to be here and to feel a part of this, all because I said something nice about one of Deb's books and she friended me on Facebook! Thank you Deb, for being my friend.

    I don't go to Facebook much thee days, still grieving after the election. None the less, Jungle Red is a safe place to be, for me anyway. I remain in awe of all of you who write and publish and tour and have families and lives and still have time to engage with your readers. That's my record for "ands". Deal with it.

    So thank you for having me. Here is my wish for you, for thirst indeed is a dangerous thing.:

    “Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ”

    ― Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat

  22. Wow, ANn, that sounds fabulous in every way. A new kitchen is a challenge--every stove works differently, right?

    ANd that quote. Perfect.

    ANd prosecco goes perfectly with turkey.

  23. Love that quote, Ann - it says it all.

  24. I'm working today. The older daughter, husband and two sons are on their way to Texas to visit her husband's family, esp. the brother who had a stroke a couple of months ago. The younger daughter is dog-sitting for them. We were just going to fix chili tomorrow, but the next-door neighbor couple invited us to join them and another couple for Thanksgiving dinner. I'll be baking a pecan pie tomorrow morning to take next-door.

  25. I grew up in New York City and on Long Island. My mother worked for Saks 34th St. which was directly across the street from Macy's and as a little girl I got to watch the parade live from one of the Saks' windows along with lots of children of employees. Cherished memories - but I never watch the parade on TV.

    There will be six of at the Thanksgiving table at dear friends' home - and since we share a last name we call each other cousin. We are very thankful that our specially dear friend Bobby, who has been in rehab after breaking both ankles (long story) is being allowed out to join us. I get to make the dressing and my world-famous corn casserole and we're also bringing an apple pie.

    Happiest of Thanksgivings to all the Reds!

  26. Jayna--corn casserole! Sounds wonderful--tell us more! (and watching the parade from that vantage point--how marvelous!)

    JOdy--pecan pie is not easy. What a group of wonderful cooks we have her in the jungle!

  27. Preparations for tomorrow, and a couple of meals today. Granddaughters have half day school so they are coming for lunch. I plan to have them do some crafts, like place cards and decorations. If they cooperate, we will write our own grace. They will probably have some TV time!

    My husband is at the grocery store, and I am baking and cooking. We will have spaghetti tonight for the daughter who is driving from DC and the local daughter with husband and three little girls.

    Tomorrow we will all gather. We are now fifteen, including two 2016 babies!! I am ready to relax, hold babies, drink a little wine, and inhale my family.

    Logistics may be a challenge in our little apartment, but we are not "Martha Stewart" in our presentation!!!

    Have a wonderful day, Reds and friends. Gratitude is good for your health.

  28. On Thanksgiving morning I'll be watching the Macy's parade at my friend Ann's house in Whitefield, Maine. We will be keeping an eagle eye out for her son in law who will be holding a tether on one of those giant balloons. It is considered quite an honor to be invited to do this. Who knew? Last year he was assigned to Thomas the Tank Engine but sadly was on the wrong side for the cameras. Maybe it's an even higher honor to get the camera side. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  29. Having a family crowd, including toddler and baby, at my house with the small dining room. We will be cozy! My refrigerator and freezer are packed with food now, and everyone will bring something too - vegs, sweet potatoes, desserts. Today? A last trip to supermarket for forgotten items, then a pie to bake. Maybe two if I am energetic. And move all the frozen items to the refrigerator. I'll do stuffing, too, and probably appetizers.

    I love Thanksgiving. And a happy day to all of you.

  30. Hallie, I will keep my eyes open for you in Brooklyn. Assuming I ever leave the house tomorrow.:-)

  31. Dotty--the camera side of the balloon! Things we NEVER thought of!

    Denise Ann--aw. I'd love to hear that grace.

    Triss--sounds wonderful. We are going to a friend's house, too..but Friday I'm going to make a turkey (and stuffing) for just us. It smells SO good!

  32. I am working today. We are having a quiet Thanksgiving, with just our daughter who lives in town and her husband. I'm cooking a chicken instead of a turkey, but we'll have all the usual fixins to go along with it. They are bringing her famous homemade cranberry sauce (yum!), pies and wine.

    I love watching the Macy's parade, the bands, Broadway performers and balloons. It gets me in the mood for Christmas and I might watch Miracle on 34th Street in the evening! Then I'm working again on Friday and decorating on Saturday. I love to decorate for Christmas! It's my favorite time of year and I like to make it beautiful.

  33. Our family celebrates Thanksgiving two days later than everyone else. That way, folks can be with in-laws or friends on Thursday and we all gather on Saturday. My mother started this tradition years ago and it's stuck through a wide range of family changes. So I will spend tomorrow home by myself (happily) and finish all the prep for the out-of-towners who arrive on Friday and get ready to seat and feed about 20 on Saturday. I'm responsible for a turkey (we have two -- we like leftovers), dressing and squash; the rest of the menu is contributed by other family members. And, at some point in the meal my youngest grand-nephew will remind us that's it time to do our "gratefuls" as he has every year since he was three. It will be loud, filled with memories of those no longer with us, and more than a little chaotic and I love every minute of it. And after everyone leaves on Sunday, I will take a very long nap.

  34. I love that, ChrisR! It's Thanksgiving when you say it is..and that is perfect.

    Oh, my gosh, the gratefuls. I almost started crying at the thought. For instance--what?

    And Beverly, what is the cranberry sauce secret???? xooxo

  35. Ann, we are lucky to have you!! And thanks for the Jerome K. Jerome quote. Love it (love the book.) So perfect.

    Hank, yes the commentators are extremely annoying on the parade, but thinking about it made me realize that I mostly tune them out, and I'm usually watching while doing kitchen chores so only half paying attention. I'll turn it up for the Broadway numbers. Fingers crossed for good weather in NYC.

    Mary Sutton, I'm with you on the big dogs. Maybe this year:-)

    I'll be doing a good bit of thinking about my "gratefuls," and high up on my list is our REDS community. You are all a bright spot in every day.

  36. Hank & all: Broccoli & Bacon: serves 4-6; prep 10 mins; cook: ~20 mins

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 lb. bacon, cut into ~3/4 inch pieces
    1 medium head broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 small Spanish onion (or any kind except red), thinly sliced
    pinch red pepper flakes
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    juice of 1/2 lemon

    Heat oil over med-high heat until it shimmers, then add bacon, stirring & scraping often until edges browned and crispy (2-3 mins). Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl, leaving fat behind (the fat is for flavor, so adjust as you please).

    Add broccoli to pan, stir well then top with sliced onions. Cook, without stirring, until broccoli begins to brown a bit, about 3 mins; then cook, stirring frequently, until onions are tender and lightly browned, about 3 mins more.

    Reduce heat to med-low, add red pepper flakes and bacon. Cook, stir occasionally, for about 5 mins. Season with salt & cook about 5 mins more until broccoli stems are crisp-tender. Transfer to serving dish and squeeze lemon juice over top.

    Red pepper flakes may be omitted, but not the lemon--and fresh is best. Enjoy!

  37. What a lovely quote to share today, Ann. I may borrow it to use later, and now I want to get out my copy of Three Men in a Boat.

    Hank, the chili isn't a tradition, just something that I can have for everyone to eat, no matter what time they arrive later today. I hope my chili mojo is working, as I always guess with the juices I add.

    I've so enjoyed reading through the comments to see how everyone is celebrating the holidays, be it with family, friends, or self. Dru, after the chaos begins here, I may be thinking of you fondly with your book. Happy Thanksgiving to all here, a place I look forward to coming every day!

  38. Happy Thanksgiving, Reds! As to the parade: It's all about the floats, especially if they get up to some shenanigans --
    T-Rex dinosaurs crashing into light posts, Sponge Bob almost leveled by rain, Buzz Lightyear making obscene hand
    gestures - I'm not picky. LOL!

  39. Oh gratefuls, what a sweet reminder. Grateful for this community!! all your plans sound perfect. Though I know every holiday can't be perfect--humans are too complicated. But even if the day isn't every thing we hoped or we're lonely or sad about the world, you all belong here. And it's only one day (I've told myself on the worst holidays:).

    Hank, I used to do the cheesecloth butter method too--glad to be reminded. It always turned out amazing!


  40. Debs, so funny--the first thing that came to mind after "parade" was "chop celery." SO I guess that's what I do, too!

    Flora--YUM! Thank you!

    Dru--that sounds SO COZY!! xooxo

  41. Jenn--that'd be great. Rogue floats. Wouldn't Sponge Bob EXPAND in the rain?

    Yes, holidays are sometimes difficult. But then--there's stuffing. And now, broccoli and bacon casserole.

  42. Going to my husband's brother's ex-wife's first cousin's house for the holiday. Got that? Dinner for 26. We'll be bringing the second turkey, second stuffing (cornbread) courtesy of Bill Carito, and I'll be making apple pie, mincemeat pie (mincemeat is already made), and yellow turnip.

    I always have the parade on in the background as I work in the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning. It makes the day different from all others and connects me to my late mother who loved it. The dog show comes on after, but we always have to leave the house before finding out who won.

    My kids are both with their outlaws this holiday, but that means we get them for Christmas, so I can't be sad about it.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all the Red!

  43. Husband's brother's ex-wife's first cousin...okay, Barb, that's a story. xxooo and have fun!

  44. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Reds!

    Macy's Day Parade - Hank! It brings in Christmas, Santa arrives at the end of the parade. Can't have Christmas without Macy's and Santa. My Dad who believed his daughter had to experience everything at least once took me to the Macy's Day Parade. I was very young, maybe three, we got there early to score a place on the curb. I watched the entire parade sitting on his shoulder craning my neck up 6th Avenue to watch the next float approach. He took me to Horn and Hardart after the parade. My favorite part was feeding the coins into the slot to get my food.

    We're playing hooky tomorrow too. Hubby is grilling steak and making his famous stuffed baked potatoes. I'll nuke the asparagrus. Easy Peasy.

    Debs. will you share the recipe for the cranberry relish. Sounds delish!

  45. Wow, all that cooking, all those guests, all that house cleaning. I'm tired just reading about it. Those biscuits sound good, send over a dozen, will you?

    Just two of us here, kids and grandkids stay with their own families and don't travel all the way to the Pacific Northwest. Sigh. So a small turkey, stuffing, gravy, that green bean casserole, pumpkin pie. Also chocolate cake for the non-pumpkin pie eater (me). Wife does the cooking, I do the carving, for the dinner and all the leftover, and do the cleaning up.

    I remember the Macy's parade as being a lot of fun decades ago, but it's so star-powered, star banter-filled we barely watch it any more. I want marching bands, not floats with pop stars. We'll also have football on most of the day, though how much actual sitting and watching there is, we never know. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Reds and others here!

  46. Kait, what a wonderful memory! And my Dad took me to Horn and Hardart, too! I LOVED it. I thought it was magic.

    And yes, Richard, I THINK Lucy is taking biscuit orders... And totally agree about the bands. They are adorable.
    BANDS NOT BANTER. We could make a bumper sticker.

  47. This year is definitely different. Mom (96 yrs old) doesn't really feel like going to my niece's for a few hours and sitting there. My niece hosted the last two turkey days. We all bring food so it is a big Thanksgiving potluck. But this year my sister asked what Mom really wants to do and I told her. Turns out her neighbors had invited all of them over for turkey day. I told my niece we didn't really have plans and they should absolutely join her mom and dad at the neighbors. So my husband, son, and I will be doing Thanksgiving at Mom's apartment, along with my little brother. To rebel against the same old tired menu I am fixing King Ranch chicken casserole. Although I did see my husband buy a teeny tiny ham too. I will make a fresh cranberry orange pecan relish. We'll have cornbread. A big green salad. Some other veggies. No dressing or turkey. No infamous green stuff made with jello and is really quite good. We'll save that for Christmas. I bought a box of Walker's mincemeat tarts. My little brother will bring a pie. We're set. Happy Thanksgiving all! And yes, I'll be watching the dog show.

  48. Wait… You had me at King Ranch chicken casserole. That sounds absolutely amazing… What is in it?

  49. I'm with Rhys...not actually with her in Cabo San Lucas, but heading to Hawaii tomorrow, which is what the hubby and I did last year for Thanksgiving. When we moved to Seattle, we decided that we would go back east for Christmas, but not Thanksgiving. Some years we've stayed put in Seattle and others we've gone to the Washington coast and walked the beaches and watched the waves. Last year we had a traditional Thanksgiving meal on the Big Island, but we're traveling tomorrow and have already decided that sushi appeals more than turkey and stuffing. I know some people will think it's sacrilegious, but I love this approach to Thanksgiving. On a beach with the one I love, a good book, and a pina colada? Works for me!

    Regarding the parade, I'm a sucker for a parade in person, but I usually find the TV commentary a bit grating. I think muting it might be the way to go!

  50. I am getting so hungry reading these comments. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  51. We are playing hooky as well. We did the family gathering a few weeks ago. Tomorrow it will be just the two of us. We will make some of our favorites and just hang out together and relax. We will probably visit friends tomorrow and go see a movie.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  52. Correction - Friends and movie will be on Friday. I was already thinking that today was Thanksgiving. :0

  53. I'm going to my uncle's house tomorrow, which I've been doing for my whole life, which is a long time. He always makes a special dessert for me because I liked it when I was a teenager. (It's a custard.) Tonight I'm cooking a vegetarian/gluten free meal for my nieces. There's something about cooking for people you love that's very special.

  54. The winner of my annual butter poll had 10 lbs plus 2 sticks. It was not me. I have a measly 7 lbs.

    Today I spent with my brother who is visiting from Houston. We went to the airplane museum near Dover AFB. Troop transport planes are terrifyingly huge and. WW2 era ball turrets are terrifyingly small. We had a great and educational time. I also bought a Rosie the Riveter clock for my kitchen.

  55. Hank, you asked for the cranberry sauce secret. Robin's cranberry sauce has orange juice and orange slices in it as well as sugar, water and a cinnamon stick. I don't have the recipe with me at work, but if you would like it, send me an email at texhombre at and I will email it to you. My husband likes to heat it up a little and spoon it over ice cream (after we're done with dinner, of course).

  56. Okay Hank. King Ranch casserole has layers: cooked chicken, pieces of corn tortillas, onion, shredded cheddar, and a sauce with Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, and chili seasoning. You layer all that twice, more cheese on top and bake. I put it together this afternoon and will bake it at Mom's tomorrow.

  57. We just got home from a Thanksgiving dinner with our new friends the Beshirs, who have been taking Youngest to the mosque. Sulafa Baeshir made the best turkey I've ever had: brined, then rubbed beneath the skin with garlic, curry, coriander, dill and yogurt, left overnight, and then roasted. It was divine. Also fluffy jasmine rice, home made hummus and spicy tahini, these little deep-fried rolls and... a bundt cake.

    So much food, and we got sent home with enough for a whole other dinner tomorrow. If you ever get the chance to experience Sudanese hospitality, go for it!

  58. Hank, it WAS magic. The last time I stopped in was in the late 1970s. By that time, I think there was only one left in NYC, I stopped for coffee on my way to the Port Authority and ended up feeding the wall for a slice of pie. Couldn't resist the lure of the experience.

  59. Ingrid-- you are so jet set! Can't wait to hear all about it-- safe travels, and happiest of holidays.

    Ritter, I am so with you! I am asking her all the recipes!

    And Angela, hearing you is so reassuring! I haven't known what day it is for weeks.

  60. Susan, you are so right… It is very very special.

    Ramona, that is awesome! So fascinating. That clock sounds great : you can do it! Maybe put it by your writing desk…

  61. BEverly, thank you! Will do!

    Pat, I am honestly swooning.Swooning! Send a photo!

  62. Oh my all this great food. I'll have a serving of the King Ranch and then a piece of chocolate cake! Biscuits are on the way Richard! Ramona I knew I couldn't win the butter contest-only 2 lbs here...

    Julia what an amazing menu!

  63. Roberta, No guests. Family crush fest. Major holiday meltdown. So I'm counting on this. "But even if the day isn't every thing we hoped or we're lonely or sad about the world, you all belong here." Love, Reine

  64. Kait--I never realized there were people restocking. I thought the food just appeared. Somehow.

    Julia--that is transformational.

    Lucy, I know. Totally agree. King Ranch Chicken Casserole. Deserves it own Sunday on Jungle Red. Pat, are you up for it? Someday soon?

    Reine! SO happy you are here. We love you beyond all description.

  65. Sending good holiday thoughts your way, Reine! You definitely belong here! Hopefully, you have a good book to keep you company.

  66. Ingrid, I do have a ton of good books. Good thinking!

  67. Hank, you know I love you and all the JRWs.

  68. I'm happy to share the recipe and picture of finished product. However I am tech-challenged.