It's here!  It's here!

I love Thanksgiving.  I love the food, the family, the friends, the togetherness of it all.  And I love that the very next day I can start putting up Christmas decorations.  I love the smell of leaves and crackling fires and pumpkin pies.  And the next day, I love the smell of hot apple cider and pine trees. 

Here is what I am most thankful for from this year:

1.  The family.  Every last one of them. From my parents to my siblings, from my nieces and nephews to my in-laws.  And for those who are not blood- or marriage-related but are family nonetheless.  

2.  The running.  The day after day of putting one foot in front of the other at quite possibly the slowest pace.

A run in the rain...
3.  The unexpected moments of beauty.  The surprises.

4.    The new friends as well as the old friends.  Their presence, unexpected and familiar, is a sweet reminder.  

5.    The many wonderful trips to the beaches (from Point Reyes to Monastery Beach (also known as Mortuary Beach), from Ocean Beach to Mendocino).  I love the water and the smell and the company I have kept there.

6.   The music.  This year, the husband and I have been to many shows.  So many shows.  I don't know why he decided to do this little activity this year, but he  did.  And I have loved it. But my favorite was a show that I snuck away from Steinbeck camp, drove two hours, saw the show, woke up early the next morning, and was back at class by 8 a.m.  It felt decadent.  

The Avett Brothers
7.  The books.  From Steinbeck camp to refalling in love with Mrs. Dalloway all over again.  The dedicated time to think about literature and place. 

This little photo is from the Hamilton Ranch, as it figures prominently in East of Eden by Steinbeck
8.  The last 16 years with Jujubee.  She died about a month ago.  She was a traveller, that one, living in Illinois, Ohio, DC, Colorado, and California.  She saw it all.    

Juubee is the third one back. 
9.  My parking god.  He was the recipient of last year's Thanksgiving letter, but I have appreciated his presence again and again this year.  He has found me spots when I was ready to give up and he kept me from getting a parking ticket just this past week.  He is a good man.

10.  And this little place to write it all down just for a little while.  Thanks for being here...  I have enjoyed having this place to think about food and literature and friends and family.  And I have been glad to have you here to share it.  Thank you.

May your Thanksgiving be wonderful and full.


By Popular Demand

Ottolenghi's Semolina, Coconut and Marmalade Cake

Ottolenghi's Lamb Shawarma

Classic Frisée Salad (Salade Lyonnaise)

Ottolenghi's Lemon and Eggplant Risotto

Ottolenghi's Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce