Special Occasion Wines

Thanksgiving Recap

Photos by Valerie

candied oranges

I still have a happy heart about this past holiday weekend. So, even though it might be passé to bring up Thanksgiving when we only have three weeks until Christmas, I’m going for it. Our house was full of family and friends. It was an absolute joy of a day— I’m sure you know the feeling.

bloody mary bar

We had guests stopping by the house all day long—so fun!  A revolving door of friends filtering through the house makes it feel like the holidays more than anything else.  Hence, the importance of having the bar set-up and ready to go…and go. Yes, we did go through that entire bottle of Tito’s.

post it notes

I used post-it notes to remind myself of what we were serving. Probably not the finest choice in notepads, but too many Bloody Mary’s can lead to forgetting things like mashed potatoes, butter…or shoes.

turkey girl

I was most nervous about the bird.  I’d never cooked a twenty pounder before, leaving me anxious that she would be dry and bland. She did me proud.  The butcher at Whole Foods recommended the Diestel Turkey Ranch Heidi’s Hen.  I dry brined the bird for two days a la Russ Parsons a la LA  Times. I was bestowed the honors of slicing the turkey and my mom snapped a photo.

centerpiece flowers

The table was the most fun. I was after a warm and organic feeling. This trough was for the middle of the table and I loaded it up with succulents, protea, branches, tangerines and cymbidiums.

thanksgiving flowers

I finally plucked the lone pomegranate from our tree and added tangerines, branches and candles to fill in all along the table.

thanksgiving table

The candied oranges doubled as an edible gift or holiday ornament, pick your fancy.

candied oranges

These Parker House Rolls from Bobby Flay were a big hit with the little and big people. We shaped them into two spring form pans and plated one for each side of the table.

bobby flay parker house rolls

Pumpkin, pecan, tarte tatin, mincemeat, oh my!

pies tarte tatin mincemeat

We washed the pies down with our favorite Austrian dessert wine. Cheers!

Austrian Wine

It was the perfect entry into the holiday season (and a precursor for that January detox). The best moments always seem to happen around the table with good friends, good food and good wine. That’s going to be my mantra for this Christmas season—keep it fresh, keep it simple, keep it delicious, keep it fun.