"It's not much but it's ours"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Well, Sunday was certainly a life changing day. Two firsts in fact.

I ran my first ( and I dare say, my last ) Marathon and I also got to experience my first ( and hopefully not my last ) Thanksgiving supper.

What can I tell you about the Marathon? Eight months in the training and 5 hours in the running. Without a shadow of a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and, possibly, the most rewarding. Mind you, I didn’t think that when my hip went ‘pop” at the 23 mile mark. Still, being the very epitome of the brave little soldier, I hobbled on and managed to cross the line about half an hour after my target time. Not something I will forget in a hurry. New York at its best.

Likewise the supper that my very dear chums Alan & Sandy had offered to host for me, HP and a number of other estimable NY chums. The evening showed New Yorkers at their best. Chatty, combative and incredibly gracious.

I hobbled over to their place about an hour late due in no small part to the fact that, this being New York, it was nearly impossible to get a cab after I finished the race and it took HP ( who was kind enough to meet me at the finishing line ) nearly 90 minutes to hail a taxi. Still, after a quick soak of my aching tootsies, I was fit for the fight and found my way to their place and let them all make the appropriate cooing noises over my medal before diving headfirst into my first drink for two weeks

As Sandy explained, she had tried to represent lots of traditional dishes from different regions of the country and, without knowing too much about Thanksgiving, she certainly seemed to do a damn fine job.

Unfortunately, due to my allergy to oysters, I was unable to try the first course of a New England oyster Stew but it was deemed a huge success by everyone else.

I made up for it for the main event though when Sandy presented a splendid looking Turkey which had none of the dryness that I associate with my yuletide attempts at this bird. Moist and delicious and with perfectly crisp skin.

Side dishes were again, I am told, traditional. A “dressing” made of cornbread and sausage, roasted brussel sprouts with chestnuts, baby baked sweet potatoes and a wonderfully tart cranberry sauce.

Given that I had used up nearly 5,000 calories during the race, I felt no guilt at returning to the trough time and again. Mind you, with food this good, I would have had no hesitation in beating someone to death to get second helpings particularly that stuffing.

An interim cheese course came with some extraordinary sourdough “chapeau” made by another of the dinner guests. Then to dessert.

The reason Sandy chose the Thanksgiving theme, I suspect, was so that she could end the meal by introducing me to a proper Pumpkin pie. The first time we met, we had lunch at Pete Lugers and I sampled their pie which was, quite frankly, disgusting. What Sandy served up was so far from this as it is possible to get. Wonderful stuff.

Washed down with lots of good wine ( my particular favourite a Dashe Zin ) it was just what I needed to restore body and soul.

I definitely have a great deal to be thankful for and, at the very top of the list, is that I am lucky enough to know people like Sandy and Alan.
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Blogger Unknown said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, although I'm still not convinced that it wasn't silly to try to make Thanksgiving dinner almost a month in advance, no matter how good the reason. Sometimes a notion grabs hold and you just can't shake it.

N.B. That was a pumpkin tart, not the traditional pie. The filling is the same, but there is less of it, the sides are shorter and straight up rather than slanting out and the crust was sweet and cookie-like rather than savory and flaky. The pastry was a bit bruised because of an accident early that morning, in which another dessert -- apple crisp -- in a heavy baking dish, slipped off the cooling rack set above the tart, grazing the tart's edge before falling to the floor with a sickening crash, apples and crockery in a heap. Fortunately, there was time to make a second apple crisp (not pictured.)

Thank you for your kind words, Simon, and congratulations on finishing the marathon. I'm sorry I didn't have the chance to admire your medal. I was wrangling coat hangers at the time, in a scene my son said could have been in a Laurel and Hardy movie.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 2:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can I convince you it wasn't silly, Sandy? No excuse for a fabulous meal with excellent company could be such. And this was a damned good excuse.

Los Hermanos missed the nibble with pre-dinner drinks, unfortunately. It was a rich, heavenly pâté of chicken livers, with currants and cognac.

Saturday, November 11, 2006 12:07:00 am  

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