The few days leading up to Thanksgiving are always full of potlucks and I wouldn't have it any other way. I made an easy meringue cookie recipe for S's office's potluck. I had almost an entire week off for Thanksgiving and most of it was spent in the kitchen cooking and baking, which feels like a perfect pre-holiday to me.
Later, when we finally had an evening to get our things together before we left town, S finished a drawing of his grandfather that he started many visits ago. Trimmed and tucked in a frame, it made a thoughtful Hanukkah gift.
And of course, every year I make biscotti for Thanksgiving. Baking biscotti for me is like kicking off the holiday season, kind of the way that certain smells do for others. For me, this sweet treat is the taste of the holiday season. I've been making a variation every year since I was in high school, and I have to say the recipes only get better and better. I think next year I might add a little baking soda to get my biscotti to rise a bit in the oven. This particular recipe calls for baking powder (to tenderize the dough) and I think combining it with baking soda (like many recipes do) will give it the perfect balance.
Thanksgiving was spent at my grandparents house with my uncle, aunts, cousins, extended family, and of course my dad as well. I paired up with my cousin for most of the day, catching up, relaxing, and toting our cameras around. She shares a bug for photography with me.
Even S said that although the food is always great at my grandparents house and during Thanksgiving with them, this year was particularly amazing. I have to agree; every dish was cooked to perfection (except my aunt's attempt at a new vegan recipe for pumpkin pie that she wouldn't let anyone try!). My grandfather said that even my biscotti came out the best batch I've ever made. With only one imperfect dish, I think everything else was spectacular. We had leftovers for three days and I never got sick of it.
We enjoyed bottles of beaujolais nouveau, malbecs, and my dad's tomato juice and beer concoction. At the end of the night, guests trickled out during The Godfather on TV.