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So, I’ve had a lot to say about Thanksgiving dinner: the pies, the cranberries, the whole darn line-up.  But would you believe that there was another meal last weekend that had me even more excited?  On Friday night, my sister, Kevin and I had a family dinner—just like all those we shared in Chicago during the year my sister lived here, before moving back to Minnesota a couple months ago.

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This one was in Minnesota (at my sister’s beautiful new apartment) and we had some extra generations of the family around the table, but it was a family dinner nonetheless.  My sister thought soup would be a good bet—something light to ease the inevitable day-after-Thanksgiving guilt.

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When I arrived in Minnesota last Tuesday night, my mom promptly handed me a fat file folder full of recipes.  I flipped through them, stomach growling, and asked her which ones made the final cut for the Thanksgiving menu.  “All of them,” she replied casually.  No, I thought.  Not possible.  How would so many dishes be made in one kitchen?  With four burners and one oven?

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And I remained skeptical until I woke up on Thanksgiving morning around 8 a.m. to the sounds of the pots clattering, rutebagas banging on the counter, and the dog barking.  I made my way downstairs and into the kitchen, bleary-eyed.  There, I found mountains of peeled squashes and potatoes, enough diced onions to require an entire box of tissues, and my mom’s pile of recipes neatly divided into three stacks: those that were complete (at 8 a.m.!), those that were in progress, those  that were yet to be made.  The last of these stacks was by far the shallowest.  My mom flipped through that pile, handed me one of the recipes in it and poured me a cup of coffee.

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