Seriously. Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. As much as I would love to have been the perfect hostess on this favored family day, it’s always been quite dysfunctional for me.
As much as I would love to imagine me as the perfect Thanksgiving Hostess. It’s just not meant to be!
Growing up, Thanksgiving is a fleeting memory. My dad was a New York City police officer and there were many Thanksgivings when he worked and on those Thanksgivings, the meal was eaten so fast that it was akin to a food eating contest at Coney Island. On other more “normal” Thanksgiving, we would share the meal with my grandparents.
THIS was more of a Normal Rockwell illustration of Thanksgiving with my family when we were growing up. 30 seconds to finish the meal. I’m not kidding.
And eventually by meal’s end, one of us would end up fighting with each other. Usually me and my sisters over an article of clothing or the phone!
As my own children were growing up, Thanksgiving was spent at home. My favorite Thanksgivings were the ones where we were living in Manhattan. My girlfriend Jeannie and I would get the kids up at seven in the morning then head down to Central Park West to hoard space for the parade! I miss the City during the holidays. I miss the City period!
I can’t even remember what year I snapped this pic of Spiderman–I’ve got plenty and these were the best Thanksgivings ever!
Thanksgiving returned to become another rush job during the years that Oona and I had to travel to Philadelphia for the Irish Dance Oireachtas. Don’t even ask. All I’ll say is from the time Oona was 8 up to 21, Thanksgiving was more in tune with dance than food. As soon as the last dish was cleared, it was Girls weekend for us and football weekend for my ex-husband and the boys!
From the early days through...
High School and onto…
her final awards during her senior year in college. Thanksgiving didn’t mean turkey. It meant soft shoes, hard shoes, recalls and awards–those were the main courses!
And even on those Thanksgivings when we did travel to my sister’s home in Long Island, traffic on the Belt Parkway and the NJ Turnpike was an unfortunate reason to leave early.
Yeah. Thanksgiving just isn’t my cuppa tea. Christmas is my Holiday!
And I’ve already started!
Jake is out in L.A. now and had dinner with my sister Theresa, and other relatives who live out in Los Angeles. I was thankful that Jake was able to enjoy the holiday with family. Roman spent Thanksgiving with his dad—and I was thankful that they had each other to enjoy the holiday. Oona spent Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Sam’s family. I was thankful that my daughter was able to spend the holiday with her boyfriend and his family.
Bonaparte and I had a fun Thanksgiving too. We had dinner with my sister Germaine’s family at her in-laws! The travel was twenty minutes away, and I brought three desserts that I made. I’m thankful that we were able to enjoy our Thanksgiving with my sister, her family and more of her family!
Pecan Pie Tart ready for baking. Desserts were from THE Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie Tart –recipe from fellow WP blogger ….
Out of the oven. Note the platter. I picked it up at the Dollar Tree. It’s plastic and rather than bring it on a plate from home, it’s an extra little something for the hostess…
Another tip from me–line the bottom of a tart or springform pan with parchment paper. Trace the bottom and cut a round big enough to fit inside. This makes for sliding the dessert onto a plate. This is a must for when you are bringing your desserts elsewhere!
Ina Garten’s Perfect Poundcake. Made my way. Her recipe calls for a cup of heavy cream. I used half a cup and substituted the other half cup with Grand Marnier. A Grand Marnier pound cake. It doesn’t look like much but this is the best pound cake recipe ever: Ina’s Perfect Pound Cake Recipe
Look at that crumb!!!! I made two of these. One for Bonaparte!
While I realize our Ina has a thing about “good” vanilla. As long as it’s real–it’ll work! It’s good!
The last dessert I made was my recipe from the days of St. Ignatius Loyola School. I’ve made this for years. HOWEVER, I now bake this in a Bain-Marie. Ad the food processor is actually better to make the filling because it provides for absolutely no lumps at all!
Another tip. Use a measuring cup to press down the crust. It makes for a more even crust and makes it easier for filling in those edges!
Placing a towel at the bottom of the pan for the Bain-Marie (water bath) will keep the Springform pan from moving around.
Springform pans are notorious for leaking. Now matter HOW secure they seem! Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom and up the sides. Think of it as a Depends for the older pan!
Make sure ALL ingredients are room temp! Especially the cream cheese. I beat the cream cheese or a bit in the Kitchen Aid before adding to the food processor.
Out of the oven. No cracks just a beautiful cheesecake…
Plain and no toppings is how I like my cheesecake. How about you?
My apologies for not having any photos of the day, but my husband kindly suggested that I not take photos, not use my iPhone and just concentrate on the company of others. He was thankful when I complied! Sometimes, it’s just good to take a step back.
Hmmmm. Can I actually go one day without my iPhone’s camera? Yeah. I can!
And since it was a long weekend for him—i.e. he didn’t have to work on Friday, we spent the weekend seeing two movies.
I’ll tell you—the pickings for film has been pretty miserable as of late but things seem to be taking a turn for the better.
On Friday we saw “Three Billboards”. This movie by Martin McDonagh is just as great as his “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths” I’m certainly not going to ruin the story with spoilers; it’s a film about a woman, played to perfection by Frances McDormand, who questions the inability of the local police department’s failure to solve the mystery of who killed her daughter.
I can’t recommend this movie enough. GO SEE IT!!!!! It was incredible!
The movie is a dark comedy/serious drama/thriller all rolled into one.
The acting from McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Peter Dinklage is superb. My only criticism of the movie is the casting of Abbie Cornish as Harrelson’s wife. Her Australian accent pops up after she speaks with an American accent in parts. That was weird.
Anyway, if McDormand is not up on that podium to grab her Oscar for this movie, then something is very crooked!
Yesterday’s movie choice was “Murder on the Orient Express”. Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation was two hours’ worth of pure entertainment. Visually, the movie was spectacular. The story, loosely based on the Lindbergh baby’s kidnapping, has always intrigued me. Branagh was the best Poirot (I’m biased because I’m a huge Branagh fan!) ever and the man can direct!
Pure escapist entertainment–the perfect whodunit!!!!
It almost hurt me to make a big meal last night. I’m so “fooded out” from Thanksgiving that my body needs to heal. I’m not kidding. I’ve eaten far too much bread and rich foods the past week that I’m aching for a simple omelet or a bowl of my beloved Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup.
I’m just so fooded out right now (I used to use that term when the kids were little and they ate too much). I just want soup!
I’m thankful that my clothes still fit. Speaking of which, here’s what I wore to the movies.
Friday’s outfit was a pair o torn jeans from AG jeans. I’m thankful they still fit. The movie theater as a tendency to be on the cooler side so I wore a J. Crew merino wool turtleneck and a J. Crew Factory plaid schoolboy blazer. No socks please–no matter HOW cold it may be!!!
I dressed up a bit more for yesterday’s film. Camel pants–oh, I love these. 40% off at J. Crew. A wool blend, these pants are lined and comfortable. I paired with a black merino wool turtleneck from J. Crew and my newly-repaired Repetto ballet flats. No socks!
Hey. Am I the only one out there who is happy that Thanksgiving is over? I can resume my Christmas prep. Do you feel the same way? How was your Thanksgiving? No matter how we look at it, I hope you all enjoyed this Thanksgiving and embraced family and friends.
And I’m always thankful for all my wonderful friends who continue to enjoy this blog. Thank you!
And now—the trailer for Three Billboards! (Warning—there is saucy language in the trailer!)