Reprise: Thanksgiving stories…

Once my friend prepared a casserole dish of potatoes au gratin to bake at my house and it sloshed in her car and for weeks it smelled like baby puke, until she took it to a specialty cleaner…the kind that cleans up crime scenes. True story!

thanksgiving-1958 - don ameche and family

A long time ago, in the Eighties, the Mister and I lived in Beachwood Canyon. The house was big and sprawling, we threw lots of impromptu parties, and since I possessed cooking skills exceeding the realm of Top Ramen and Cup-a-Soup people tended to congregate at our house during the holidays. Usually, when our friends weren’t attempting to give each other STDs they were sitting home alone with a quart of ice cream, watching “thirtysomething” or “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (based on gender), and crying (not based on gender). They thought of the Mister and I as surrogate Mom and Dad since we’d been together…over six months. Thanksgiving in the hills was as close to home as I could make it, meaning I was an utter tyrant who ordered the well-meaning to get-the-hell-out-of-my-kitchen and go join the Mister for a drink on the patio.

CUT TO: 2013 — This Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and mine and the Mister’s twenty-sixth wedding anniversary. It’s an event that only happens once every 70,000 years, and if you think I’m cooking — you’re out of your sweet minds! We’re going to a restaurant with several friends from those days of yore, we’ll be toasting each other with champagne to the glow of candlelight, and yours truly will not be doing the dishes.

Have a glorious Thanksgiving week, and on the day:

May the hinges of friendship never rust, or the wings of luve lose a feather.  Dean Ramsay (1793-1872)

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  1. Luanne
    November 25, 2013

    Two stories in one! Baby puke and champagne, what a combo! I honestly thought you had baby puke in your tags, but upon further examination, alas, no. Ah, your Thanksgiving this year sounds delightful. My mister and I were also “mom and dad” in those days to our friends. I used to love to give parties, but after one party where one friend held onto the giant bowl of shrimp and ate it all herself and another polished off all my Hungarian reds himself, I became a hermit. Happy Thanksgiving, Vickie!

    • November 25, 2013

      Gruyère cheese and whipping cream and the interior of a brand new car — she’ll never let me forget it! Happy Thanksgiving, Luanne 🙂 .

      • Luanne
        November 25, 2013

        I bet those potatoes would have tasted great though!

      • November 25, 2013

        They did taste great… My friend who made them is quite a cook, she even gave me one of those French mandolin slicers for Christmas, that mysteriously disappeared in the kitchen renovation. I suspect my husband pitched it, fearing for my fingers.

  2. November 25, 2013

    Sounds lovely….. We had our Thanksgiving yesterday to accomodate out of town travelers. I cooked for 2 days and my stuffing was a disaster for the second year. Next year we are having Stove Top Stuffing…. out of the box!

    • November 25, 2013

      I don’t think anybody makes stuffing like our mothers did, maybe it was the fact that somebody else prepared it that made it so delicious, or the fact that NOBODY cared about cholesterol and it was loaded with butter and crispy pork sausage and (I saw my mom do this countless times and I never did it myself) rendered chicken fat. I know, I know, sounds disgusting, but dang — it was scrumptious. Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, Thanksgiving!

  3. Heather in Arles
    November 25, 2013

    Well, in France we don’t count calories either and the food is taaaysteee. Yesterday, our friends invited us for what ended up being a six hour lunch with raclette as the dish du jour–it is so fun, you heat up slices of tomme cheese until they are piping hot in a special machine and then scrape them over potatoes and different types of ham and things. Can you imagine? Of course, quite a lot of wine is required to rinse it down. Thanksgiving came early this year! And a good thing too as I have been homesick as all get out.
    Have a wonderful one Bella. And I know I am a bit ahead of the game but will go ahead right now and wish you and the Mister 26 more years of ‘luve’ ahead.
    Gros Bisous.

    • November 25, 2013

      I love that toast! Luve!
      When I was a kid and living in London my mom insisted on getting a turkey for Thanksgiving, the only place in town that had it (at least that my mother could figure out) was Harrods. That was back in the dark ages, I suspect they’re easier to come by now…
      Big ol’ kisses right back at ya!

  4. November 25, 2013

    Great stories! I love the thought of taking something to the “specialty” cleaner…!

    It’s great that you were a surrogate Mom & Dad to your friends. There are a lot of people who need a home-cooked meal during the holidays. It’s a lot of work, as you know, which means it’s a real sign of love and friendship.

    • November 25, 2013

      When I was younger, I really loved to cook. I loved having everyone at the table, and the chat and the noise and the laughter. I still love having everyone at the table, I just don’t want to clean up after it anymore 😉 .

  5. George Kaplan
    November 25, 2013

    Happy Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Twenty-Sixth Anniversary, Vicky-O! Here’s to much more than twenty-six more years for you and the Mister.
    Great stories! The crime scene clean-up team one gives me an idea, you could have them round to tidy up after a meal. Designate it as a crime scene, “really, look at the MESS!” Bwahahahaha!
    I love the tale of you and Mr L being considered an old couple after being together…six months. You are too, too witty m’amselle; the references to Star Trek: TNG, thirtysomething, unisex crying, and the sharing of STDs had me laughing. 🙂
    May all three celebrations be glorious for you. Warmest regards, Georgie K!

    • November 25, 2013

      Georgie K!
      I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. I don’t like turkey. I’ll eat it once a year for the sake of tradition, but only if doused in gravy!
      Thank you for your good wishes, Vickie-O!

  6. George Kaplan
    November 25, 2013

    BLASPHEMY! Bwahahaha! I LOVE TURKEY! Ahem. 😉

  7. November 25, 2013

    Glorious Thanksgiving and Anniversary to you.

    • November 26, 2013

      Thank you! I’m looking forward to it, the restaurant is the only remaining building (I think it was the caretaker’s cottage) from a grand hotel that was torn down during the Depression. It’s a beautiful example of Craftsman Architecture… I’ll try to get some discrete snaps 🙂 .

      • November 26, 2013

        ooooh, that will be lovely!

  8. November 27, 2014

    I love how you tell stories!! So vivid they’re like movies!! Have a wonderful stress-free Thanksgiving, Vickie, and a lovely holiday season, free of the need for crime scene cleansers for any reason whatsoever.

    Warmest wishes,


  9. November 29, 2014

    Because of my stupid work schedule (read: based on seniority, of which I have little) we did our Thanksgiving a day late. Still delicious, even if we did have to do dishes! Happy belated Thanksgiving, V!!

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