Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thanksgiving weekend menu...part 1.

Thanksgiving Greetings,

You might be surprised to read this but I am not cooking a Thanksgiving turkey this weekend.
I hosted a small dinner party for friends...
the family brunch to follow another day...

Upon the guests arrival we sipped on lemon drop martinis

munched on tapenaude,
carrot sticks,
cucumber slices,
Red Leicester cheese and crackers.

At the dining table we started with a cocktail of fresh shrimp atop a bed of torn romaine lettuce, served with a lemon wedge and a dollop of seafood sauce,
for the main course baked chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese topped with red pepper pesto,
sauteed green beans, chanterelles and button mushrooms gently braised in butter,
and crispy oven baked potato slices.

Red and white wines were offered as well as sparkling mineral water for the designated drivers.

Dessert was a rich chocolate mousse served in ramekins upon which I popped a few fresh raspberries.
I love the marriage of raspberries and chocolate.

Freshly brewed orange pekoe and spearmint tea capped the evening off...
we sat and chatted....the range of conversation ran the gamut...
topics that were near and dear ever so close to our hearts...
there was a comfortable sharing of intimate tidbits of life with trusted friends.
Not surprising, eldercare issues were a common thread linking us all.
Tears welled up in my eyes...threatening to spill...and glancing the faces of my most cherished friends I knew it was going to be alright.

Our children, grandchildren, real estate ventures,  stock market, business, travel and work...all took  the stage as we related the poignant, sometimes troubled, frequently funny diaramas that define our existence.
Owning and embracing our paths as they curve and weave through every day life...not always the happy endings or outcomes that we might wish for, but grateful for the fact that we are alive and able to feel deeply, the sometimes raw emotions that move and shake us to our very core.

The Arts and Crafts English Westminster clock chimed to remind us that it was it was the Cinderella Hour...
we all stop and look at each other...
plans are in place for tomorrow...
it's Thanksgiving weekend...
one couple are off to their oceanfront home on a Gulf Island and have an early ferry to catch,
the other couple are expecting 21 for dinner...
our guests took their leave and depart...

As an experienced Hostess...I would like to share one of the things that I feel is of utmost importance...
Spend as much time with your guests as you possibly can...prep ahead and make dishes that are easy so that you do not have to be in the kitchen too long.

I do not like to make a lot of noise rattling around in the kitchen either...I like to put away any food that might spoil and stack the dishes but do not spend much time in the kitchen in "tidy mode"...
I have a butlers door which I could close but I do not have a butler....if I did, I would have to say dear Jeeves please clean up but be as quiet as a mouse as we do not live in a very large house.

I wait until after my guests have departed before loading up the dishwasher and scrubbing any pot and pans...
Mr. HB assists and we have a recap and a nightcap before heading off to bed.

The exception to this "rule" would be an "all family get together" where we gals roll up our sleeves and get in the kitchen together to laugh, chat and share a little bit of local gossip... there are secrets shared and we often catch ourselves as we divulge information about our spouses...
supportive hugs are given freely...
tears have been shed, health issues have played a role...cancer has touched our lives several times...
all seems as it should be when we go through the motions of homekeeping and domestics...

We put the first of several loads into the dishwasher, package up dinners for the Moms to take home....
this might surprise you to know that this is penultimate quality family female bonding...
Humble Bungalow Style

Hugs from the Hostess.


  1. Part 1 sounds pretty wonderful. I look forward to part 2.

    Again, Happy Thanksgiving!


  2. You are " The Hostess "! I could never manage a menu like your´s. We people are different, which is ok too. Ahaa- I saw a bottle of Finlandia vodka over there-cheers! Such a nice setting too : )

  3. What a fantastic evening Hostess. Your words brought it all home. There is no doubt you are the ultimate hostess!
    Your menu sounds identical to what we ate in Jerusalem last week with exception of the turkey.

    Jeanne :))

  4. Hostess,

    What a wonderful schedule and fine menu! Finer still are your superbly chosen words...The paragraph with the words "Owning and embracing our paths" was particularly beautiful to me...

    It applies so aptly to my family's current situation.

    The poise, calmness and sensitivity you display in this post combined with your fine hostessing skills must have made this evening one that will sustain your family & friends for a long, long time.

  5. hi leslie,

    with your words i felt as if i was a guest there too. your are a wonderful hostess as you put your guests comfort first.

    wish i was there.


  6. My...this all sounds so good - what a lovely meal. I totally agree with all of your hostess tips. I am one of those people who really doesn't like anyone in the kitchen; I find it distracting. This must have been a very memorable event for all attending.

  7. Thank you for giving us that GORGEOUS detailed tour of your Thanksgiving day. It sounds absolutely delightful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all you love.

  8. Thanks for sharing...sounds lovely.

  9. Duchess of H-I am just about to post part's much shorter...but it's getting late!

    metscan-Oh Finlandia...I didn't really notice...Mr. HB is the drinks man, I'll let him know that you approve!

    Jeanne-How interesting that we had smilar meals but geographically far far apart!

    Rebecca- I hope that all is sorting itself out for you and that you are able to find time for yourself.

    Janet- I would love to have you as a guest here and I would serve you vegan style...I cater to my guests' food preferences.

    LaVieQuotidienne-I don't mind company in the kitchen but it is such a small space that we can step on each others toes very easily!

    LaBeletteRouge-We are celebrating Thanksgiving and you are at the retreat...hope to hear more soon.

    Faux Fuchsia-You'd look divine sitting at our table, your taste in clothing, food and flowers is top notch...and I am sure you would add that sparkle that comes across in your blog.

    Jenndon-The pleasure is all mine!

  10. Your thanksgiving looks wonderful! I have the same martini glasses!