Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Thanks for everything, posted December 8, 2008 at 12:07 AM

When I promised my sister that I'd travel to Atlanta for Thanksgiving this year, I said all I wanted to do was sit on her sofa, watch movies on her big-ass TV, and make her feed me every sort of deliciousness. In return I promised to mix lots of cocktails. Well, all desires were met, and all promises fulfilled. I don't think I moved off that comfy sofa from Tuesday afternoon until Saturday afternoon when I ventured out of the house for the first time to go to the movies.

While I myself am pretty hopeless in the kitchen, I come from a family of terrific cooks. My cornucopia began to overflow when Stephanie made this roast (Click images for larger. But that's not all! There are more images here.):

I responded by pouring each and every person at the table a delicious after-dinner drink!

I should take this time to finally settle the one question that's been on everyone's mind since Patsy ventured into my kitchen with a pie plate and a dream: "Who's pecan pie rules the roost?"

Now, if you know me, you know I'm no stranger to strong opinions. I have them, I make them known, I let the chips fall where they may. I can honestly tell you that Patsy's pie and Stephanie's pie are equals in my mouth, in my mind, and in my heart. Patsy's pie included some chocolate, which would normally give her an edge. But Stephanie's crust closed that gap immediately. The key here is that both of them subscribe to the same philosophy of pecan pie: Don't Make It Too Sweet! There's just nothing more cloying than the gloopy cringe-inducing tooth-ache-causing sugar overload of most pecan pies. But the pie made for me in mid-November by Patsy and the one made for me on Thanksgiving Eve by Stephanie just don't do that. These pies have the flavor that separates the pies from the desserts: a delicious nuttiness that confirms that this treat was made long before Karo ever bottled their first batch of corn syrup. Sorry, Haters, but everyone's a winner in this contest: It's a tie!

And then just for the love of it, Stephanie made a pumpkin pie and an apple pie for the next night. Oh lordy, I might need a crane to get me off this sofa!

What a time we had. We ate and drank and laughed and play games and napped and watched movies. Stephanie and Joe are the best hosts. They decamped to the cold basement so their guests could occupy the three upstairs bedrooms. They spared no expense for food and wine and spirits. They patiently let us watch whatever we wanted on their awesome media system. They indulged our gluttonous ingestion of every crumb of bread in the house. They are truly the epitome of a loving family--and for that I am truly thankful.


Josh and Shana arrived a couple of hours before me, and laughed as I arrived just to immediately sit down at the kitchen table and demand to be fed. Josh and I shared iPhone apps and gentle political ribbing, and Shana and I shared our passion for the Macy's parade and for wine from the bottle!




Did I mention I ate a lot this holiday? Mmmmmmmmm.....

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all the blessings heaped upon us. This year, I was thankful to be with my family, to see them so many times in the last year, to have Patsy near me again, to still be surviving despite the horrid economy, to enjoy good health, to have beauty all around me, and to know that I'm loved. How lucky I am for all this--and so thankful for it too.

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