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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Giving Thanks

My gratitude list, Thanksgiving 2011. In no particular order:

1. My roommate, Kurt, who opened his home to a virtual stranger. In addition to keeping a roof over my head, introducing me to his friends, treating me to theater outings and being an amazing cook, he is also an adventurous eater. Case in point: this lamb stew I concocted and served over grits before I flew to Quincy for the holiday.
2. My mom, who helped to cultivate my love for cooking and culinary adventure, and who cooked several tasty meals for me while I was home. One of my favorites was this salmon salad, which she makes often with the barbecued salmon recipe I taught her.
3. Old friends and their new babies! It was pure joy to meet my friend Anna's daughter Sarah Page. What a gift that last Thanksgiving we celebrated Anna's wedding to Jim, and this year I got to meet their little girl. (I enjoyed holding her so much, I didn't even mind that she puked a little in my hair.)
4. Pop-in visitors. This is one of my favorite things about going home -- the unexpected visit, like Anna's dropping by with Page.
5. Family meals. We had several great meals over Thanksgiving, with blood relatives and friends who feel like family. (I would venture to say Uncle Howard is grateful himself my sister and I evolved from holy terrors behind the wheel of our go-cart to Visa-packing grown-ups who buy his dinner!)
6. High-quality meals are everywhere. We had a most impressive dinner at Mozaik in Tallahassee. I love marveling over the way food has changed since I was a child. My rabbit tagliatelle and Korean barbecue were both excellent. I would also like to note I was in fact able to purchase quinoa at the grocery store in Quincy for my wild rice pilaf. Who would have thought! Never underestimate your hometown Winn Dixie. (FYI, they also stock Manischevitz. We're strill trying to figure that one out.)

7. Cooking for friends. I had so much fun making a kick-ass pumpkin pecan cheesecake with candied pecans for Thanksgiving. It was a huge hit! Just as awesome as it looked on the cover of Southern Living. Too bad my own sister didn't get a slice. Looks like a remake is in order.

8. Trying new things. Leigh Ann and I shared a b.b. gun as kids but never really did much real shooting. Over Thanksgiving, cousin Ashley helped me try my hand at firing a pistol. 

Ready! Aim! Fire! Grateful for a year full of new discoveries in 2011 and excited to see what's in store for 2012.

It's always good to go back to Quincy and remember that matter how far I roam, there's no place like home.


Grayson said...

You are a prime example of how precious gems can be found even in tiny little towns like Quincy, Florida.

And.... I. Love. Your. Blog. #thebestreading

Neil said...

We are thankful you've come to New York!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness, I will have to show Wade the pics of you shooting a handgun. He will be so proud!! You go Lyns!!