Tuesday, November 28, 2006


A busy week with guests spent visiting castles, being attacked by a flock of aggro-swans, shopping, baking, prep-cooking, and cooking followed by feasting and libation, followed by recovery and a return to routines.

Most of this fun week with our friends from Philly somehow passed undocumented by my camera.

Chris & Jen's little son was the top highlight--such a cute little pea! He was cheerful, fun, and eager to participate in various activities, such as baking:

and dress up (including his brilliant Bowie meets Lawrence of Arabia look):

We prepared a lavish meal followed by an even more lavish array of desserts. Given that my oven is basically an oversized toaster-oven, we ordered a cooked turkey from a little butcher's shop in East Horsley recommended to me by a local women's club. I was surprised to discover the proprieter is a BBQ specialist from Texas (!) and so our turkey was roasted overnight in a slow cooker. Scott was crestfallen when he learned that I'd turned down the jambalaya stuffing, but we survived.

Speaking of Scott, we finally found a name for what has become an important Thanksgiving tradition: "Scott's 11th Hour Carrots." After days of prep work during which Scott hangs on the periphery, and most of the actual day of cooking during which he creates an illusion of busyness (opening wine, arranging cheeses and crackers, tasting and offering advice on flavor adjustment), Scott realizes (usually about an hour before dinner) that the meal WILL NOT be complete without some sort of honey glazed carrot dish. And so he takes up valuable real estate on the chopping block, pulls other cooks away from their projects for consultation, and finally injects his carrots into the cooking queue, bumping back other more critically timed dishes. When finished, the carrots are greeted with tremendous fanfare, paraded around and marveled over as THE critical element that was almost forgotten. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that Thanksgiving has been saved.

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