I wouldn't go so far as to say that we're getting used to holidays alone, but kind of. The last few Thanksgivings I wasn't exactly feeling it. The first year I felt heartily sorry for myself as I ate alone after a long day of work. Last year we mustered a late night meal when I finished at the restaurant but even though we splurged on a duck kit it still didn't feel that different from any other night after work. This year, wow. Let's just say no one needed to feel sorry for us, small as our party was. We had a real Thanksgiving. We decided to hold it on Friday so that we could really celebrate. Thanksgiving itself was spent as usual at the restaurant but Zeb helped out this year so we got to spend the day together. Guests nicely thanked me for working on a holiday and we packed home leftover prime rib, sushi, scallops and pecan pie for a mini meal that night before we fell into bed.
Friday we feasted. Val came over early to start the day with mimosas and Orangette's Everyday Souffle. We took a walk to snag some dried lavender languishing in a neighbor's yard for homemade herbes de provence for the main course: Duck with Honey. Appetizers were olives and smoked oysters. On the side was a Pine Nut Cauliflower Brussel Sprout Gratin and a beet and chevre salad. We drank Oregon wine and finished the evening with friends enjoying Tacy's butter cookies and Val's Pear Gruyere Pie. The day was so delicious and contentedly spent with a few good people I care about, that it felt full - full enough to really count as Thanksgiving, not some kind of substitute. In a good way it begins to feel like we're actually living life out here, not just waiting until we can get home. Don't anyone go sabotaging Christmas for us though, just to make sure we're homesick. The crisp East Coast blue skies could never replace the Oregon rain in our hearts. Wait, let me think about that.