Somehow, despite the heavy snow in central Maine on Wednesday, everything went just the way it should on Thanksgiving day. Shoveling the wet snow was arduous, but Clif and I got it done without collapsing. We didn’t lose our power, and our daughter Dee made it to Maine from New York with nary a delay.
Thanksgiving Day itself was bright and sunny, and to South Portland (SoPo) we went, to our daughter Shannon and her husband, Mike’s, house where, for the first time, they hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Into our little Honda Fit we packed green bean casserole, pumpkin bread, and frozen gravy, made several days earlier. (I wrote about the gravy in a previous post and wondered if I had made it too thick.) Our dog, Liam, came along as did Mike’s mother, Gail, who added an apple pie and a chocolate cream pie to the bounty going to SoPo.
Shannon and Mike rent an apartment in a lovely old house, and they have the whole first floor, complete with a dining room and China closet. As soon as we walked in, we were met by the wonderful smell of turkey and herbs. The buffet in the kitchen was ready for the food, and the dining room table looked so pretty with its fall place mats and napkins.
I know this is going to fall under the category of braggy old Mom, but Shannon and Mike did a bang-up job of cooking their first Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was delicious, and ditto for the stuffing. The sweet potato casserole was creamy, and Shannon’s homemade yeast rolls, made ahead of time, frozen, and cooked right before the dinner, were an absolute delight. The cherry on the sundae, so to speak, was when Shannon announced, “90 percent of this dinner is local, and at least half is organic.” Words to make a foodie mother proud.
As for the gravy…it was exactly the right thickness for my husband, Clif, who likes it very thick indeed, and it was not too thick for the rest of us. (The gravy thickened during the freezing process.) For those who would like a thinner gravy, I would suggest 8 tablespoons of fat and 8 tablespoons of flour, rather than 10. As I wrote in that previous post, this really is an exceptionally good gravy, time consuming but well worth the effort for one (or perhaps even two) special days a year.
As we gathered around the table, we toasted Shannon and Mike and their first Thanksgiving dinner. We also toasted the dedicated volunteers at the Winthrop Food Pantry who braved the extremely slippery roads on Wednesday so that they could open the food pantry for eleven families who were in need of food.
Truly, it was one of those Thanksgivings that will stand out in our memories.
Addendum: Braggy old mom got the numbers wrong. It was 90 percent organic and 50 percent local. Great numbers however you look at it!