24 November 2007

Yesterday we had the most magnificent Thanksgiving, all about family, friends and sharing traditions. We traveled up to Novato with Dale's Mom to spend Thanksgiving with some special friends, John & Anne. These are family friends that have known Dale since he was in his Mom's belly. They showered our sweet Elliot with love (he was on his best behavior as usual) and they made us feel so welcome.

John cooked his superb turkey on the bbq, the same way he has been doing it for over 30 years, yum! The bounty was plentiful and everyone contributed. Anne made a wonderful cornbread stuffing, a cranberry relish with apricots and sweet potatoes with juicy bits of pineapple! Penny brought a roasted corn and edamame succotash, Jane made a glorious apple pie using my favorite apples of all - Pink Ladies! I baked a pumpkin pie with streusel topping (don't look too closely at the crust) and Grandma brought a yummy salad adorned with of course, cranberries. I am not sure who made the scrumptious cucumber and radish salad, but it was crisp and refreshing and along with the salad really helped to lighten the meal! I think this was the first Thanksgiving where both Dale and I were delightfully full but not so stuffed that we felt sick.

hat really made this Thanksgiving unique was the Chinese tea tasting provided to us by a friend of J&A's. Johnny put together a wonderful tasting for us and we learned how to prepare, pour, drink and just love tea! Johnny first began by tempering all the tea cups and tea pots. Notice how sweet and tiny the tea cups are. I had to feed Elliot during the first tasting of an English Red Tea, but joined back in time for the second tasting of a Chinese Red Tea which was preferred to the English version by all. Each tea steeped for a few minutes in special steeping cups and then Johnny poured the steeped tea into a special serving pot using a very specific pouring technique (notice the placement of his fingers when pouring the tea). The next tea which I do not recall the name of was extremely bitter and often used after dinner to aid in digestion (if you can actually swallow it!).

One of the most wonderful teas to watch be prepared (and to taste) was the Jasmine tea. Johnny had whole Jasmine blossoms that would bloom as they steeped; they were so beautiful! Just like tasting wine, we learned how important it is to breathe in the wonderful aroma of the tea before sipping. Our last taste was of the most exquisite of Oolong teas. This tea had gorgeous leaves and the taste was favored by everyone except me, as I was partial to the Jasmine and Chinese Red Tea. This will be one of my most memorable holidays and cannot thank Johnny enough for sharing this special tasting with us.

This was Elliot's first Thanksgiving and I am so happy that he (via me and Daddy) had such a positive experience. He smiled and giggled all night long, took an after-turkey nap in my arms and we made sure he wore a special bib worn by all the babies on their first thanksgiving (my side of the family) and since Elliot cannot yet eat turkey, he adorned the bib with lots of drool instead.


hannah m said...

How fun & delicious! I think your pumpkin pie with the crumble topping looks divine!

Yum yum yum!

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