There will be four of us this year; my husband, sister, and me, and a friend here in town (Vallejo). I tend to like quieter gatherings the older I get, and so this will be a nice number. The turkey is in the brine, waiting to go on the grill, the cranberry sauce made, sweet potato casserole and homemade gravy purchased from a very fine local eatery. Roasted vegetables are coming with our friend, and a pumpkin pie with my sister. I’ll make my Mom’s famous mashed potatoes (no recipe; you just mash cooked taters with half-and-half and butter until it seems right), and whip cream for the pie.
Thanksgivings are different for me every year. I spent a number of them away from home during my nomadic years with the Park Service. Some years I hosted dinners for “orphans” like me. One year I climbed Picacho Peak with friends, in the rain, in Arizona. Four years ago we spent the night on the Delta King, which does a fabulous Thanksgiving spread.
For a touch of San Francisco, tonight at our weekly neighbors happy hour (this started during the pandemic as a way to have some human interaction, and even though we’re now all vaccinated we still hold it outdoors), neighbor Annie was telling us about her daughter, who is going to SF State and sharing a flat in the Sunset with a number of other students. Their downstairs neighbors are a Chinese couple, and the husband likes to bring them gifts of food. Sometimes it’s as simple as a jar of peanut butter, other times it’s homemade steamed pork buns(!). Once he brought them a bunch of chicken thighs, and the roommates made soup with them and brought some soup to him. I know this kind of stuff happens everywhere, but to me it was just evocative of our home town.