My husband jokes that I only cook when there is a crowd of twenty or more. I must admit there is some truth to that. Being an ex-caterer I tend to like to make big batches of everything, so as you might imagine Thanksgiving is a great time for me to dig in seeing as how the holidays always draw crowds around the table. I can not remember the last Thanksgiving I was simply a guest. Well it happened this year as my dear friend Ali hosted and cooked the entire meal. She said I was to do and bring nothing. At first it felt odd, but then I began to enjoy spending time around the coffee table with my friends and family rather then around the kitchen table. I could get used to this, I thought. Next whenever I came into the kitchen to help I was ushered out but not before noticing how relaxed the hostess appeared. How was this possible? I am always panicked hours before the big event! She was calm and radiant. Next I examined the table, It was simple and elegant. The table was long and covered in a earthy but festive cloth and the place cards were made by our kids cutting out trees and glittering on the names. Nothing over the top. It was stylish yet it had an understated relaxed quality. Next, meal time, and again no stress, she seemed to almost glide as she ushered all the food to the buffet, and the people to the table. It was all so simple and low key. The turkey had fantastic flavor which again was achieved through a classic and basic preparation, no deep frying or salt crust here!
Dessert was equally low key: Four or five delicious self serve treats were lined up on the buffet.
After all were fed a very content group gathered around to play the gift game and touch tag….all Ali’s inventions.
What did I learn you ask?
To be more like Ali and practice my own advice of “Keeping it Simple” over the holidays. Because as my friend Ali said when I grilled her about how she seemed to pull it off so effortlessly….”life is too short” she said! Amen to that my friend! and thanks for being such a great teacher.
What did you learn from your holiday feast?