Thanksgiving: wonderful, though perhaps Owen could have thrown one or two fewer tantrums. And perhaps I could have been a little nicer when Isabel turned up wearing my new shoes. Fire crackling then finally roaring. Nuclear family plus Grandpa John. The turkey: a non-organic 15-pounder from Safeway roasted Barbara Kafka-style at 500 degrees. Alas, the high-heat method did our turkey no favors. Coal black in places, brown and leathery in others. The pan drippings burned and the resulting gravy: inedible.
Fortunately, turkeys are big birds and there was still lots of beautiful dark meat tucked away. It's hard to ruin a whole turkey and we feasted like drunken pilgrims.
Isabel made the pies, crusts and all. Not to boast about my girl, but, wow. The pumpkin pie was excellent, another annoyingly perfect Alice Waters recipe. In the pantry-cleaning spirit Isabel made the pecan pie using a can of Steen's cane syrup that came into our home sometime during the Clinton Administration. Conveniently there was a recipe on the back of the can which yielded a delicious, swarthy, craggy pie. It wasn't the kind of pecan pie with a pale, jellied interior (which I happen to love, thank-you Karo corn syrup) but a dark, rich, complex dessert. I wish I'd taken a picture of the handsome pie instead of the can of cane syrup. Fortunately, I did capture the baker.