Just Say No


After Thanksgiving at my Mom's, I traveled to Virginia to meet my Dad, stepmom, brother and sister at a farmhouse in the Shenandoah Valley. The farmhouse belongs to friends of the family from back in the day when we lived in Washington D.C. -- they have a set of twins a month younger than my brother and sister, and a daughter a year older than the twins. We have kept in touch over the years, and decided to join them for a second Thanksgiving. We arrived late Friday night, after some flight delays and hideous weather, and proceeded to cook the first of the weekend feasts -- the Maine contingent had brought lobsters (I brought NYC bagels for the next morning). When we finally got settled, we all sat down to our lobster dinner, with plenty of wine to go around. Somehow, during the course of the conversation, we started talking about the internet, discussing things like Friendster, and how it served as a way for people in our generation to meet new people (I am in the process of adding Stephanie, Josh, and Jon to my "friends" list). I mentioned, without really thinking, that I had just met someone through my weblog. "Your what?" Oops. So now they know -- it's really no big deal. There's nothing here that's particularly scandalous or embarrasing (at least I don't think so). Yet.

So -- to the family and friends of the family who are now reading my blog for the first time -- Welcome! (Gulp.)

The weekend was centered around family (10 people in the two families), friends (who joined us for the feasts -- I think there were 25-30 people for the second Thanksgiving), and, of course, food. One of the culinary highlights for the weekend, in my opinion, was Kim's pumpkin cheesecake with bourbon whipped cream (from Cooks' Illustrated). Kim subsituted crushed peanut butter cookies for the graham crackers in the crust. Yum. The other culinary highlight, or more accurately, fascination, for me was learning about something called "hotdish." For those of you, like me, who were unfamiliar with the term "hotdish," it seems to be a Midwestern (Minnesotan?) term for anything that you throw into a casserole and bake. A quick google search for hotdish led me to my favorite definition: Hotdish: 1) midwestern colloquialism for a hot entree that is similar to a French casserole except that it is often inedible; 2) the bastard offspring of canned Cream of Mushroom soup.

As those of you at the farm this weekend recall, I spent a great deal of time snapping photos. Here's a quick preview, but you can find the rest of them here.


comments powered by Disqus