Despite being away from family, Thanksgiving 2006 was pretty nice. It didn't hurt that we brought wine and weren't expected to help clean up or really do anything but enjoy ourselves. It's funny how having a small child exempts me from more activity than a broken back ever did . . .
Anyway, we were entertained by the lovely Naomi and her man Adam, who live in a great house in Clarksville. Gorgeous old wood floors, tiny riotous kitchen, a huge enclosed balcony and a fun circular layout that kept Sabrina happily occupied for hours. Naomi put on a fantastic spread, including the most beautiful turkey I've ever seen and so many delicious side dishes that the dining room table seemed to groan under their weight. Before dinner several plates of what turned out to be puff pastry laid flat and covered with carmelized onions and blue cheese, baked and cut into squares. I ate maybe ten of these things and still dream about them. Seems like an easy thing to make, so I'll find out soon.
Great food, a really fun group of arty Austin weirdos and a happy baby made it a really nice time. So did not having to clean up and going home to our own bed. But I really missed the Thanksgiving dinner my mother makes. I guess everyone must feel the same; it's not really Thanksgiving if you don't have a certain food item, or if it's not done a certain way. For me it's the gravy. My mother makes a perfect natural gravy, just slightly thickened at the end with flour, or maybe it's corn starch. It saturates the stuffing and to a lesser degree the turkey, making them warm, salty and delicious, and it's absolutely essential to my enjoyment of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I'll eat creamy giblet gravy, but I won't enjoy it or the holiday. It ruins everything and is basically worse than the Holocaust.