Almost Time (+ A Few More Thanksgiving Recipes)

Thanksgiving menu planning, plus a few recipes for naturally flourless and vegetarian recipes for your holiday meal.

Confession: my head has not truly been in the Thanksgiving game this year. Part of it’s the weather – sun for days, temps in the 70s -, part of it’s the whole living not in America, and part of it’s just my hard-won philosophy of taking days as they come and one at a time. So I don’t think too terribly far ahead, and as any cook worth her/his salt knows this is pretty near impossible to do when it comes to the biggest U.S.-cooking holiday of the year. Still, it’s time. Today it’s gloomy and rainy – hurrah! – and we went to the coolest little market/marche yesterday morning to stock up on beautiful produce and turkey (photos to come on Wednesday). We’ve invited a few friends coming to sup with us on Thursday and a couple more for drinks during the afternoon. I think I’m finally getting into it a little bit.

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Making Good Use (+ A Beet Soup)

Making good use of beets by turning them into a velvety, dairy-free soup that’s spiked with lemon juice.

She totters around the downstairs of our rather enormous house and I let her, hanging back with my cup of coffee (if it’s morning) or tea (if it’s late afternoon) and granting her the illusion that she’s on her own to discover what there is to discover. My intrepid explorer; I hope one day soon her path is the granite of the Sierras rather than the cold, slick tiles of this house (though admittedly granite can be cold and slick too).

There’s a rather astonishing number and variety of birds in our neighborhood; often they fly in great flocks over the slightly pollution-stained houses and somewhat raggedy palm trees and alight on bougainvilla branches and garden walls. There’s one in particular that sounds like a blue jay and every time I hear it I think of being in the redwood forest, maybe Armstrong Woods in particular, the quiet hum of the trees and rushing water and hot summer pressing down all around me. Intellectually I know of course that there are no blue jays here – mourning doves, sea gulls, small white cranes, …. yes, but no jays or other birds similarly familiar to we North Americans – but if I take a moment to close my eyes I can almost believe I am in California of an August afternoon with nothing much to do other than listen to the leaves falling down to carpet the dry ground.

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