I’m currently back in beautiful Tennessee, enjoying the holiday weekend with mon père, Cap’n Will. The air is crisp, the sky is clear, and the accents are twangy.

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but when it comes to food, the pomme didn’t fall far from the tree. Cap’n Will has been in the restaurant business his whole life, and owned a fine dining establishment for the majority of my childhood. Needless to say, when we found out it was just going to be the two of us for Thanksgiving (Mamàn is currently in another state spending time with my new niece and nephew), our thoughts immediately went to what fun things we could do with the meal while downsizing at the same time.

I flew in late on Wednesday, so I really didn’t a whole lot foodwise, but Pops put together the most marvelous Thanksgiving meal for two that I could have imagined. We forwent a turkey and stuffed a couple of Cornish game hens with an apple-dried plum (apparently we’ve stopped calling them prunes) cornbread stuffing, baked some teensy sweet potatoes, put together a green bean casserole, and made fresh cranberry sauce.

I’ve always found the side dishes to be the most exciting aspect of Thanksgiving dinner, and I will admit a particular and unabashed love for green bean casserole. I know it’s a pretty rudimentary dish, but you’ve gotta admit it’s pretty much the ultimate in comfort food, and for me–since I only have it once a year–the creamy concoction is so rooted in time and place that it makes me feel safe and loved no matter the circumstances.

So yeah, green bean casserole.

The other stuff was good too, I guess.

The hens turned out beautifully– golden and crispy on the outside, moist and tender within, and most importantly, no living on turkey sammiches for the next three days! It was the PERFECT amount of food for the two of us.

While cooking, we drank a 2005 Eos Paso Robles, which I enjoyed immensely, and with the meal had Fat Bastard’s Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, which was good with food, but sweeter than both of us had anticipated, especially for a brut. It’s from the Loire Valley, not Champagne, though, and most likely chenin blanc instead of chardonnay, which might explain the sweetness.

Anyway, after indulging in the requisite food-and-wine coma (and having some coffee), we packed up our dessert and went a-visiting. I tell you what, friends are glad to see you when you bring mango cobbler and homemade vanilla bean ice cream. To hell with pumpkin pie, I say!


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