Shhhhh! Don’t Tell Anyone—But I’m Glad Thanksgiving is Over!

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!)


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Shhhhh! Don’t Tell Anyone—But I’m Glad Thanksgiving is Over!

  1. Debe says:

    Ohhhh you want spices and extracts look no further! Penzeys spices home base in Milwaukee, WI. Go to on ze web. They have stores all over the US.

    I go in to one and leave with a worn out nose!

    Extracts to die for! Trust the badger!

  2. Catherine says:

    Hi Debe! I’m going there right now. To the web!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  3. Enjoyed your post! Thanks for all the great tips. This is an idea I am trying to spread as we move into the Christmas season. If you like it, please share it! thanks, Rita

  4. I will second Penzey’s. I have gone to only going to them for spices. There’s free shipping for $25 and I usually have to hold back not to spend way more than $25.
    I do want to see 3 Billboards. Remember, the other half of that title is “Outside Ebbing, Missouri” which is the state I rarely get out of even if the fill was shot in North Carolina.
    I enjoyed our Thanksgiving. It was at our oldest daughter’s house which meant i didn’t have to clean mine, just make some stuff.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Terry! I’m over at Penzey’s now. Wow! What a collection!! I keep forgetting about the rest of the movie’s title. Everyone keeps referring to it as Three Billboards!! I had no idea the film was shot in NC!!! Glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  5. bone&silver says:

    Oh I’m so going to see that film! Love a strong female lead, and Frances is the epitome of that. Thanks for the tip, G

    • Catherine says:

      You will LOVE the movie. McDormand always plays the strong woman and I love her for that. She’s the greatest American actor if you ask me!!! (Yes. I prefer her to Streep!) XOXOXOXO!!!!

      • bone&silver says:

        I agree, although I do love Meryl a lot. I’ve already booked a date with my 17 yr old son to go together, although we’re in Australia so will have to wait for the movie to come out I expect. xO

  6. patricia blaettler says:

    Three Billboards is on my list. I saw Bad Mom’s Christmas with my 19 year old daughter and I have to say we laughed a lot! I’m not usually big on ‘dumb’ movies, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Patricia. Cut that movie to the top of your list!! Oona and I have Pitchmas and The Greatest Showman on our list when she arrives on the 19th for Christmas!!!! XOXOXOXO
      I loved Bad Moms. I may go see the Christmas one during the week because my husband refuses to see it!! He’s a snob–LOL!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  7. Marsha says:

    I thought it so odd/funny that Frances’ character wears a car mechanic coverall throughout the movie, and her job is working at a gift shop. I read that McDormand debated about taking the part because she was unsure that it would be believable that her character would have children as young as those in the film considering where the film was set. Her husband finally told her she was overthinking it and that she should just take the part.

    My husband and I kept saying that we didn’t think that Missouri could really be the setting for the film, and as you previously noted, it was filmed in Clyde and Silva, North Carolina.

    Another excellent film is Last Flag Flying – a buddy road trip of sorts kind of film. Superb acting by all three major characters.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Marsha. Wow. Frances’ husband was right. We never even considered her age while watching that movie. That’s so incredible!! Last Flag Flying looks like a GREAT movie–Fishbourne, Cranston and Carell? What’s not to love? XOXOXOXO!!!!

  8. michele says:

    You know so much about makeup…how do you suppose Nancy Pelosi achieves that dewey look she has?? My skin (60s) just seems so dull. Tried the Rosy moisturizer from loreal…uh no. Thank you!!!..

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Michele. I think Nancy Pelosi has people working on her face moreso than the average woman. My suggestion. Water, water, water and moisterizer and serums!!! And plenty of rest at night!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  9. Q.D says:

    Since we don’t have Thanksgiving (or Halloween) I get to start celebrating my favourite holiday in mid October! Much to the disgust of those around me of course, my colleagues routinely threaten violence if they even thing the lights decorating my work-space are going to flash or twinkle 😀

    • Catherine says:

      Hahahaha! Q! It’s all good. We added more lights to the outside and I’ve been decorating a bit more! I love Christmas so much! I’ve already frozen two batches of cookie dough with a third hardening up in the fridge. It is the most wonderful time of the year!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  10. Fiona says:

    Your Pecan Pie and cheesecake look totally delish Cathe. I can understand that you are glad it is over….I feel the same way about Christmas every year. The relentless xmas tunes on the radio are already pissing me off and we’re not even in December. If I had a pound for every time I heard Maria bloody Carey!
    Loving the camel trousers…but no socks??? My feet would freeze. Xx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona! Yum. Pecan pie is a bit too sweet (tout sweet–LOL) for my liking but the cheesecake is absolutely divine!! I’m down with the Christmas music–Bonaparte is not!!! Oh..never socks. In the middle of winter, I’m out there with bare legs. I only wear socks when it snows. Crazy but true!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  11. Beverley says:

    If only I’d read this before I made a chocolate hazelnut Italian cheesecake yesterday! Thought my new springform pan seemed tight as a drum, and foolishly skipped the foil. It didn’t require a bain marie, so today I’m cleaning the oven.

    Happily, the cake was delicious. 😉

    Our Canadian Thanksgiving was back in October, but Christmas looms ahead. The older I get, the more I long for my adult kids to take over the festivities. Does this make me a Bad Mom? I want to sit in a chair and be catered to! Lol!

    Very intrigued by your pound cake modification…simple yet special.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Beverley!!!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Nooooooooo!!! I wish you had seen this post before baking that cake too. Springform pans are notorious. My daughter, Oona, is going to make this cake and I reiterated the importance of wrapping the foil around the bottom and sides of the pan. I also blind bake the graham crust for ten minutes which makes the crust stronger. Hey–do you get the Christmas cookie recipes from Chatelaine? They have the greatest recipes and I wish I could get that magazine here in the States!
      Funny story about my modification of the cake. Bonaparte was waxing sentimental about a particular pound cake made with Grand Marnier that he used to get in Paris. He asked me if I thought I could try to find a similar recipe. I couldn’t and decided to just modify Ina Garten’s. He’s very pleased with the outcome!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

      • Beverley says:

        I blind baked the Oreo cookie crust for 8 minutes, but it wasn’t enough….buying an extra box of foil!
        Chatelaine’s Christmas cookie recipes are in my daughter-in-law’s kitchen, smile, though I did subscribe to the magazine for years. It’s available on line, though I like to make notes in the margins, and it’s not the same. ; )
        There is a Quebec based version published in French too: Chatelaine, but with a circumflex over the a, smile. Receipts and content are often a little different: Bonaparte might get a kick out of it! I just checked, it’s on line as well…

  12. doodletllc says:

    Hi Catherine…love this post…but I have to say, I love Thanksgiving…it may even be my most favorite holiday…a major kick off to Christmas…I love all the prep and the traditions…our elf shows up Thanksgiving morning and all Nutcracker rehearsals are on hold during the 4-day holiday break. Your recipes look fabulous…will have to take a better look. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jeanne!!! I think with you being a New Yorker–you will love that cheesecake–it’s NY Style!!! Oh God. I used to take Oona to see the Nutcracker in NYC all the time. Hope all is well and your daughter is feeling better–she’s always in my prayers!!! XOXOXOXO

  13. Liz McGarry says:

    A few of your followers have mentioned Penzey’s Spices…I think they’re a wonderful company but not just because of the quality of their spices. They have a social conscience as well. If you follow them on facebook you’ll see that almost every time Pres. Cheeto does anything heinous, they respond with very insightful comments…I think you’d love them…

    • Catherine says:

      Liz. I went with your suggestion and ran my fingers over to their FB page. OMG. I’m in love! I’ve already commented. Any company that speaks out about the orange thing–I’m supporting!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  14. 3C Style says:

    Love this post as we learn more about you. Most of us in Quebec don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I love hearing my WordPress and IG friends taking about it. I like the philosophy of this holiday. Sounds exhausting though, especially because it is so close to Christmas. For us, it’s all about Christmas. Yay! We usually go skiing with the kids on the 24th before the gathering. Fun and simple. Nothing very fancy just good time with family and friends. BTW, those camel pants are BEAUTIFUL! Nice to read you as always. Take care Catherine. xoxo Dominique

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Dominique! Yeah. Thanksgiving just isn’t my bag. I probably sound so anti-American but I just am not feeling the love for that particular Holiday. I’m all about Christmas!!!! I’ve even started the goodie prep and tomorrow I clean out the fridge and freezer to make ore room!!! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…too bad I don’t live in Canada. I think I would make a fine Canadian!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

      • 3C Style says:

        You would and we would be very happy and proud! Try to convince Bonaparte. It is not that cold down here. You would get used to it. xoxo

  15. Rita says:

    I’ve noticed Ina always stresses “good” for so many things. But really, she’s my favorite.

    • Catherine says:

      Rita. I freaking love Ina. I swear I have never had a fail with her. The funny thing is, when Oona was younger–i.e. middle through high school, she couldn’t stand when I watched Barefoot Contessa. Oona couldn’t stand that “good” obsession. Now that my daughter is on her own she LOVES Ina and her recipes!!!! XOXOXOXO

  16. Juliet says:

    Enjoyed your post, most festivities in the north are out of kilter to this kid from the southern hemisphere – Christmas was mid summer and if you were getting a new bike that year, then Christmas at the start of the long summer holidays was the time to get it. Basically Christmas was journeying to the aunt and uncle with the farm or picnics with endless baked ham sandwiches and devilled eggs. We lost our middle son just before Christmas 2011 and it is till excruciating, but at the same time it is comforting other people crack on with it. New Year is big in Scotland – at least in most urban areas and it has no present giving or stuff like that so it is something we focus on as a family, not that we do anything but we know it is new year and a focus on what is ahead.

  17. Catherine says:

    Hi Juliet. I never knew that you lost your middle son. My heart aches for you–it really does. And I understand completely how the holidays can be excruciating.
    New Year is my least favorite holiday–moreso than thanksgiving. I find New Year’s Eve to be terribly depressing. My ideal NYE is to stay home and sleep through the old coming into the new!!! Your focusing on what is ahead is very pragmatic. I like that!! XOXOXOXO

  18. Adryana says:

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Estonia, but we sure wait for the black Friday discounts. For me the Thanksgiving has always been something mystical and magical. Having a family dinner with a little drama in the end sounds like a fun time, to be honest 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Adryana! Oh…I always thought the States was the only geographical place that honored the Black Friday shopping. Then when we were in Paris last year after Thanksgiving, I found out otherwise!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

Leave a Reply