Friends to the Rescue

By staff November 26, 2007

Our kitchen’s not done, but that couldn’t stop Thanksgiving.


By Judi Gallagher


After years of cooking for days on end for our annual Thanksgiving feast, I must confess that not cooking (remodeled kitchen not quite finished) was actually a joy. Back in August, we had informed the 28-plus friends and neighbors that the Gallagher Thanksgiving chowdown was on hiatus, which was met with “Oh my Goshes”—well, maybe a little stronger than that—and about 18 invitations from friends and loyal readers. 


Narrowing the offers down and not wanting to miss a good green bean casserole, we decided to accept a Wednesday dinner invitation with longtime friend Val Rowe and daughter Genevieve; and yes, the green bean casserole was exquisite, as was the Yoder’s pumpkin pie and Dean’s moist and tender turkey. There’s nothing like a pre-game show of eating to kick off the holiday season.



We awoke Thursday morning to enjoy warm Dutch apple pie by Debbie Appleseed before lying on the couch watching James Taylor DVDs and munching on assorted boutique cheeses with truffle honey. Thursday night was our ultimate choice, spending Thanksgiving with Jerry and Nancy Kaplan, our “adopted parents” as we call them, who had flown in their entire family and added a few friends to enjoy a scrumptious dinner in the wine cellar of Michael’s On East. The meal was incredible, right down to the field green salad with mission figs and the to-die-for sweet potatoes with pecans and caramel sauce (I begged for the secret ingredient). The turkey was beyond moist, and each plate was served as generously as if you had my husband’s heavy serving hand. Made especially sweet by the pumpkin crème brǔlée and dear friends, I would recommend Michael’s On East if you want to ensure a fabulous holiday meal from start to finish. 



And, although hubby missed the next day leftover barrage, I was overjoyed, since I do not like leftovers, and found the feast at Pho Cali (check out the new Peking dumplings and ginger fish with scallions on the new menu) the next day an even greater joy. With Hanukkah and Christmas just around the corner, (check out my holiday recipes in December’s issue of Coastal Living Magazine) I confess to staring longingly at the boxes of pots and pans waiting to find their place in the new kitchen, but this Thanksgiving was a true reminder to me of how important sharing a meal with those you care about is most important. Well, that and a moist turkey.






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