Thanksgiving 2018! The End of November.

Thanksgiving 2018!
The End of November. “Tempus fugit!”

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“Still Crazy After All These Years” – Paul Simon

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC in Los Angeles. This weekend will set new travel records!

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TravelTuesday in Los Angeles! 6pm at the 405 Freeway and Wilshire Blvd

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! A time to be thankful and grateful for all you have.
Celebrate with Family and Friends, but do not forget the less fortunate. Enjoy your bountiful feast, but remember there are many people who have nothing to eat.

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We always have too much food.
Thanksgiving Feasts!
“FOOD ORGY FESTS” from past years:

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Thanksgiving Turkey 2015

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We have documented our Thanksgiving for the last four years (2014-2017), so if you are interested in HOLIDAY TRADITIONS, you can read our previous Thanksgiving Blog Posts!

NOTE: There are MANY GREAT RECIPES available here on this Blog! Check them out!

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Thanksgiving 2018 (Bird #1) – Resting quietly before meeting its plate.

Are you ready for some NFL Thanksgiving Day Football? Always fun!

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EVERY D*MN YEAR!

Thanksgiving Football 2018! All day Thursday, NFL morning to night.

Thanksgiving Day Final Scores:
Chicago Bears 23
, Detroit Lions 16 (played in Detroit)
Dallas Cowboys 31, Washington Redskins 23 (played in Dallas)
New Orleans Saints 31, Atlanta Falcons 17 (played in New Orleans)

NOW LET’S GET COOKING!

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Burn Baby…………………. Burn.

“I dont’ want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career.
I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed,
or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed.” ~ John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in the film “Say Anything”

TIME TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKE! (Back By Popular Demand)

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Thanksgiving 2015 – Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

ON THE MENU (the night before Thanksgiving): Thai Food for Wednesday Dinner – BBQ chicken, BBQ spareribs, Chicken Satay w/peanut sauce, Pad Thai noodles, fried rice, cucumber salad, mee grob noodles, and Thai iced tea to drink.
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Wednesday after midnight! Time to make the cheesecake!
And chocolate truffle & marshmallow brownies too.

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Time To Make The Cheesecake!

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Getting Baked! Cherry Cheesecake 2018 (in the oven)

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Frosty! Cherry Cheesecake 2018

NOTE: “No sleep ’til Brooklyn” We finished baking after 4am, the cheesecake cooled. and then we woke up early to refrigerate and then frost and decorate the cake. We tried to take an afternoon nap, but the dogs would not stop barking. The party was called for 4pm at the house, but people always show up early to prep and cook beforehand.

4pm TIME TO FEAST! 

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“Save us some white meat.”

TRADITION! We’ve been hosting the Thanksgiving Party for years and years. It’s a family affair with friends and guests of family and friends, so you never know who might be in attendance. The number of people varies each year, sometimes as few as 20, the record year was about 40. It’s always a major endeavor to prepare the party and all the food, and it’s usually also a group effort with people bringing prepared dishes, desserts and gift bottles of wine. As previously noted, the last four Thanksgivings are recorded in past Blog Posts with lots of pictures.

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THANKSGIVING FEAST 2018!

ON THE MENU: 2 Large Turkeys with gravy, 2 kinds of Stuffing/Dressing, Fresh Baked Challah Bread, Carrot-Butternut Squash puree, Corn Pudding, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Vegetable Medley, Greenbean Casserole, Fruit Compote, Cranberry Sauce, Deviled Eggs, and Green Salad. Beverage choices: Wine, a selection of Single Malt Scotches (and other hard liquor), and soft drinks. And then Dessert: Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Chip Blondie Cookies, and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge.

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THE AMAZING THANKSGIVING FEAST! Dinner and Dessert for 20 People.
(One year we had 14 different desserts for 20 people!)

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Mom baked a beautiful Challah! And it was delicious.

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(Homemade Fresh Baked) CHALLAH! (Bread)

AVOID A TURKEY DAY DISASTER!
Always cook with caution…… and a fire extinguisher.

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This year, the CDC and FDA have RECALLED ALL ROMAINE LETTUCE!
The food supply is vulnerable. Bureaucracy is impairing Public Safety.

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“WKRP in Cincinnati” – The “Turkeys Away” episode. A Thanksgiving Classic!

“Mr. Carlson comes up with a Thanksgiving promotional gimmick that involves a helicopter and live turkeys.” (with a wonderful homage to the Hindenburg Disaster)
SPOILER ALERT!

Recommended Classic T-Day Viewing:
The “Cheers” Thanksgiving Food Fight episode, John Candy and Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, and of course the “Addams Family Values” Thanksgiving Pageant.
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“I am a Turkey. Kill Me.”

Or there’s always the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
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WTF? What is this “Shimmer” crap and why are they all freezing their asses off? BOYCOTT MACY’S AND NBC AND SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!

 

ANOTHER TRADITION! (Arlo Guthrie sings “Alice’s Restaurant” LIVE)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!
“You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant!”
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From the Berkshire Eagle

Thanksgiving, an annual national holiday in the United States, celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated in October 1621 by English colonists (the Pilgrims) of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Wampanoag people, after their first harvest in the New World. The feast lasted 3 days, and (as per a written account by attendee Edward Winslow) it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.

The Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in 1777.

NOTE: “They didn’t just Massacre a group of Indians and then have a feast to celebrate it there were so many massacres and so many feasts that George Washington created one single day for celebration. And that celebration isn’t celebrating a feast of mutual celebration it’s a celebration of multiple massacres. These massacres were the beginning of the genocide of the North American population.” – Glenn, telling the historical truth

Credit for our modern Thanksgiving goes to Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a popular women’s magazine.  In 1827, she began a campaign to reinstate the holiday, she petitioned the Presidents, and finally succeeded in 1863 when President Lincoln declared two national Thanksgivings in 1863, one on August 6th celebrating the Civil War victory at Gettysburg and a second holiday for the last Thursday in November.

In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt lengthened the Christmas shopping season by declaring a Thanksgiving holiday for the next-to-the-last Thursday in November. And two years later in 1941, Congress permanently established a national holiday on the fourth Thursday of the month. Happy Thanksgiving Americans!

And in other news, we passed 88000 unsolicited Hits on our Blog this week!
BIG THANKS TO ALL OUR LOYAL READERS! And thanks to everyone who just drops in!

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88000 Hits! Eighty-Eight Thousand Hits! 88000 Hits On This Blog!

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PUMPKINS!

Whitchurch’s First Law of Human Dynamics:
“The difficulty factor of any task is directly proportional to the number of people involved, squared. (1 person = difficulty factor of 1, 2 people = factor of 4, etc.)”

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UPDATED PHONE NUMBERS FOR SELF-HELP:

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

1-888-633-3239 Addiction Hotline
1-800-442-4673 Eating Hotline
1-800-273-8255 Selfharm Hotline
1-800-273-8255 Depression Hotline

Read our previous Blog Post>
DEPRESSION: Questions to ask before giving up
www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/depression-questions-to-ask-before-giving-up/


 

Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

A Very Special Dinner Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica!

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“To receive a guest is to take charge of their happiness
during the entire time they are under your roof.”
– Fernand Point

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR DINING! And a Birthday Party for my Mom!

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A fancy restaurant, a private dining room, 13 good friends and family, champagne, wine, great food, gifts, love, conversation and congratulation, and a good time was had by all!

Saturday evening, we had a 7:00pm reservation for a private dinner party at Melisse restaurant for my mother’s birthday. And it was “FABULOUS”!

We drove over the hill on the 405 freeway and down Wilshire boulevard to 11th Street in Santa Monica. Then we drove around for 15 minutes looking for a place to park before we finally gave up and valet parked in the lot behind the restaurant ($8.50 + tip).

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We were the last to arrive at 7:20pm, and because we were asked to take pictures, that was the first order of business after saying hello to everyone. The pictures of the party guests and the Guest of Honor, some pictures of the restaurant, and pictures of the excellent food came out pretty good. We were worried because it was dark in the private dining room and we chose to use the flash on our cheap LG phone even though we had brought our mini iPad camera.

“Melisse is both a two Michelin Star Award winning restaurant and the recipient of Zagats highly coveted top rated restaurant in Los Angeles since 2003.” – Open Table

“Simply superb in every way”, this “refined” “gastronomical wonder” in Santa Monica from Josiah Citrin “defines fine dining”with “inspired”“artful” French-American tasting menus and “spectacular” wine pairings – all “seamlessly” presented by an “intuitive”“world-class” staff in a “chic yet soothing” setting; prices are “not for the faint of heart”, but the “state of bliss” that ensues is “worth every penny.” – Zagat (4.8 out of 5)

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GOOGLE REVIEWS: 4.5 Stars! (141 reviews)
#38 on LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s 2017 “101 Best Restaurants” list.

Seasonal French-American cuisine!

We have eaten here before and it was one of the most amazing meals we have ever enjoyed! Read about in our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse” (see the link below). And we were very excited about dining here for Mom’s “Big Birthday” party!
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On The Menu: 1993 Dom Perignon champagne, crab amuse bouche, egg caviar, Maine lobster, dry aged prime New York steak or Spanish turbot (fish), choice of fresh baked bread & butter, red & white wine, chocolate L’Opéra cake, lemon soufflé with fruit & vanilla ice cream and 4 different petit fors:

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A Vintage Vintage! 1993 Dom Perignon Champagne – Cheers!

Let’s begin with a Dom Perignon 1993 Champagne to toast the Guest of Honor!

We began with a champagne toast! Found a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1993 tucked away recently. Didn’t know if it would still be good after 25 years. Opened it for the party and it was excellent! So we toasted the Guest of Honor and then we made everyone pose for the “toast picture” (as seen above) taken by our Host.

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“On the nose, this wine opens with notes of red-fleshed peaches, rapidly evolving into cashew nuts and dried herbs. The aromatic experience finishes on a note of lightly toasted brioche. On the palate, it offers a host of well-orchestrated, precise and full-bodied tastes. The initial density becomes creamy, while the long finish ends on a note of glazed citrus fruit.” – Winemaker notes

The unique Dom Perignon style: a rich creamy mousse, fine bubbles, a spirited, crisp opening leading into a broad palette of aromas and tastes, the delicacy of substance itself. Each Cuvee Dom Perignon is cellar-aged for 6 to 8 years.

And then a bottle of fine Chardonnay (white wine) for the egg caviar and lobster courses.

NOTE: Melisse has a fantastic, world-class wine list, however the “Good Stuff” is very expensive (repeat, very expensive), so we brought our own bottles of wine and champagne and paid the corkage fee for each one we opened.

BIG THANKS TO CHEF JOSIE AND THE ENTIRE STAFF AT MELISSE! Everything was excellent. The food was 5 star quality and cooked perfectly. And the service was done with professional precision and attention to detail not found in most restaurants.

NOTE: The red wine, a Pra’ Amarone della Valpolicella (aka Amarone) is a rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried Corvina Rondinella grapes and other red grape varieties. Valpolicella is located in the province of Verona, in the Veneto region near Venice. Italy.

“Dark ruby. Very refined nose offers aromas and flavors of spicy dark plum, chocolate-covered cherry and minerals, lifted by strong floral accents (especially lavender and peony). Multilayered and very suave, boasting a long and tactile finish, leaving behind a strong impression of grace and refinement. A very elegant, smooth Amarone of noteworthy depth and complexity but also impeccable balance (you can’t tell this clocks in at 16.5% alcohol).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous (scored a rating of 94)

Read our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse”
(Right click and “Open in New Window”> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Melisse Restaurant1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 melisse.com

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Chef Josiah Citrin, in his Santa Monica restaurant Mélisse. Citrin is celebrating Mélisse’s 15 year anniversary in 2014 (photo by Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)

NOTE: A meal at Melisse is a real dining experience and it’s expensive! $$$$$
If you can afford it, we recommend this restaurant as a destination in Los Angeles. The menu changes constantly and they have different tasting and course menus available.

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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NOTE: The photo of Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines is a fantastic gift!

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405 Freeway north into the Sepulveda Pass at night

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

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Thanksgiving Feast 2017

It’s the holiday season again, so that means it’s time for our annual Thanksgiving party and feast. It was warm and sunny, just another beautiful day in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles and Southern California, and time for a celebration. We always wonder why people want to face traffic and crowds to travel to miserable weather for the holidays when they can have summer here in late November and December!

We had about 20 guests this year (family and friends) and the party started an hour earlier at 3pm in the afternoon. The agenda for the evening (as always) is welcome, drinks and appetizers as the meal prep is finished, and then dinner and dessert served buffet style.

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Thanksgiving 2017 – Pretty Flowers!

Would you like to start with an adult beverage?

 

On The Menu: 2 large turkeys, 3 kinds of stuffing, corn pudding, creamed spinach, asparagus, cauliflower & brussel sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato & carrot puree, homemade challah bread, cranberry sauce, and dessert. I made Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake (big hit!), a Costco apple pie, a pumpkin pie, 3 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of fudge and lots of booze. We also baked cornbread & muffins (see our previous Blog Post) and froze them, but there was too much food so we didn’t serve them and they will be saved for another day (or days as there are 4 batches in the freezer). And there was a bread and hummus appetizer which we didn’t eat because who wants to fill up on bread and garbanzo bean paste before a fantastic meal like this?

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Thanksgiving Feast – dinner plate 2017

Pictures of the Thanksgiving Feast:

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Thanksgiving Feast 2017 – CHALLAH!

 

Desserts:

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Thanksgiving Feast – Dessert! 2017

We usually make our Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for the Thanksgiving Feast.

Last year we didn’t. So everyone asked about cheesecake and they were sadly disappointed… and then we got some good Jewish guilt for the holiday. This year, by “royal decree” we were instructed that there had to be cheesecake and we did some “midnight baking” without big mixing bowls (because they were all in use for meal prep). And so there was Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for dessert, and it was a Big Hit and everyone was very happy!

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake 2017

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake recipe>
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Costco Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Pie too! (not pictured)

NOTE: We are so blessed to have it so good! We are so thankful for our friends and family, and the wonderful food we have to eat, and all the modern conveniences that are usually taken for granted everyday. We also think of the less fortunate living on our city streets without homes and food and hope you will too this holiday season.

Also Thanksgiving means NFL FOOTBALL all day long on a Thursday!

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Minnesota Vikings 30 – Detroit Lions 23

and the Halftime Spectacular Show at the Dallas Cowboys game:
(the Cowboys lost, but it was a helluva halftime show)

 

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Los Angeles Chargers 28 – Dallas Cowboys 6

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Washington Redskins 20 – New York Giants 10

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Thank you “South Park”

Hope You Had A Happy Turkey Day!
More great recipes here on my Blog! (see the sidebar>>> or use the search box^^^)

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stuffing in the oven – someone hit BROIL by accident, almost burned them all

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Turkey dinner leftovers for breakfast on Friday, so a toasted chicken&cheese sandwich for dinner and a piece of leftover pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert.
Happy Pie Day and Good Shabbos!

NOTE: The day after Thanksgiving is known as “pie day” around my house. Not to be confused with “Pi Day” on March 14, but it is a Friday and we always have leftover pie because everyone eats all our cheesecake….

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Leftover Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream


This Day In History: On Nov. 25, 1965, Arlo Guthrie took out the garbage…

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THANKSGIVING TRADITION! “ALICE’S RESTAURANT” by Arlo Guthrie
“You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant (exceptin’ Alice)”


 

Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s Bake Cornbread!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Let’s Bake Cornbread!

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Fresh Baked Cornbread & Cornbread Muffins!

Cornbread recipe:

1/2 Cup Corn Meal
1-1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder

2 Eggs (beaten)
3 Tbsp Butter (melted)
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1-1/4 Cup Milk

Optional: Add 1/4 Cup of Honey to the batter mix

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease muffin pan and/or baking dish with more vegetable oil
Use a ~1/4 cup of batter for each muffin (fill each ~2/3 full)
Bake for ~18-20 mins or until they pass the toothpick test
Let cool and enjoy.

NOTE: This is basically the recipe on the Corn Meal box, so make adjustments for taste, time and temperature as necessary. We also like to add stuff before baking.
And the pictures show the product of a Doubled Recipe, so there will be fewer muffins.

Cornbread with BACON, cheese and jalapeño!

6 strips of Bacon (cooked and diced into very small pieces)
2/3 small block Colby Jack Cheese (diced into very small pieces)
1/2 small can of Diced Jalapeños (diced again into very small pieces)

Add Bacon, cheese and jalapeño to the batter mix and bake!
Adjust baking time as necessary, usually a little longer.

TIP: Bake in advance and freeze.
Let muffins cool completely and FREEZE them.
Then thaw them out and warm them before serving on the day of the party.

Have a Happy Turkey Day!
More great recipes here on my Blog! (see the sidebar or use the search box)

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Cornbread & Cornbread Muffins with BACON, cheese and jalapeño!

April Fools! St. Stupid’s Day!

APRIL FOOLS!
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ALL FOOLS DAY!

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” ~Japanese Proverb

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Playing the Lord Mayor’s Fool at the Renaissance Faire!

Well, once again Spring has come early, and so too the spaghetti harvest in southern Europe (Italy, Spain and Switzerland). Thankfully, there is no threat to the harvest from the ravenous spaghetti weevil this year and this season’s spaghetti plants will soon be available for purchase on Amazon. Be sure to try your hand at “Homegrown Pasta!”

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Why is there an April Fools Day? Why is it on April 1st?

No one knows for sure.
No, SERIOUSLY, No one knows for sure.
There are several theories:

On the Julian calendar, the one before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in the 1500s (it was not adopted by England until 1752!), the start of the NEW YEAR was celebrated on April 1st. Something about the French peasants trying to fool friends and family into thinking April 1st was still New Year’s….. and people who still celebrated the old Julian New Year were called April Fools.

Jokes, hoaxes, pranks, practical jokes, sending people on “Fool’s errands” and other light hearted jests are now the order of the day!

Fools Parade

Fool’s Guild King of the Fools Coronation Day Parade for Greg the Obscene Juggler in Agoura, California 1985

Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” (1392) contains the first recorded association between April 1st and acts of foolishness. In medieval times, most of Europe celebrated on March 25, the Feast of Annunciation,  but waited until April 1st to celebrate the beginning of the new year. April Fools Day might have something to do with the Vernal Equinox (March 20-21) and the coming of Spring, a time when nature fools man with changing weather…..

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April 1st – “RABBIT! RABBIT!”

It might commemorate the fruitless biblical mission of The Rook (a European crow) in the Old Testament, sent out on a failed search for land from Noah’s ark:
‘The mistake of Noah sending the dove out of the ark before the water had abated, on the first day of April, and to perpetuate the memory of this deliverance it was thought proper, whoever forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by sending them upon some sleeveless errand similar to that ineffectual message upon which the bird was sent by the patriarch’ – from the London Public Advertiser March 13, 1769

It might have something to do with Hilaria, the end-of-winter and the end of the Celtic New Year festival celebrated by the Romans. The Hilaria were ancient Roman religious festivals celebrated on the March equinox to honor Cybele, the mother of the G-ds, and to rejoice in the resurrection of Attis, the consort of Cybele. The Romans took this feast from the Greeks and public games, amusements and masquerades were allowed.

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The Attis of Ostia

A life size statue of Attis was discovered at the archeological site of ancient Ostia, the principle port and harbor city of Rome, Italy, between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The statue is a reclining Attis, after the emasculation. In his left hand is a shepherd’s crook, in his right hand is a pomegranate. He wears a pine garland with fruits, bronze rays of the sun, and on his Phrygian cap is a crescent moon. It was discovered in 1867 at the Campus of the Magna Mater together with other statues.

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Another explanation of the origins of April Fools’ Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event. “In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”

This explanation was brought to the public’s attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Prof. Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.

 

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David and Bonnie at the Coronation of the King of Fools – Irwindale, CA

April 1st is SAINT STUPID’S DAY

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“ALL HAIL ST. STUPID!”

The First Church of the Last Laugh
“ALL HAIL ST. STUPID!”

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April 1, 2017 – The Parade of Stupid in San Francisco!

As always, since the year 1979AD, the FIRST CHVRCH ofthe LAST LAVGH assembles for its one whole-y day and the ST. STUPID’S DAY PARADE each year at (The POINTY BUILDING UP COLUMBUS this year near) the EMBARCADERO PLAZA at the Foot O’Market @ Steuart in the Financial District of Downtown San Francisco on APRIL 1st at NOON (rain and/or shine). Bring socks for the sock exchange, pennies for “Thank The Bank Penny Toss” at the banker’s heart, dead lottery tickets for the blessing at the Federal Reserve (Support your Federal Reserve! Buy a lottery ticket TODAY!) 2017 is the 39th annual Parade! Visit the TOMB O STUPID, join in on the TIGHTENING OF THE LUG NUTZ and take a LEAP OF FAITH at the statue of the Barebutt Mechanics! Bring noise and music makers (drums, horns, bells, slapsticks, etc.) for the exorcism and a well dressed sense of absurdity. Attendance will be taken.

The Pledge (raise your left hand and cross your fingers):
“i pledge allegiance, to the illusion,
and to the pyramid scheme, for which it stands.
One species, in denial, with error and excess, by all.”

St. Stupid Contact: BISHOP JOEY (aka Ed Holmes)
510-841-1898 bishopj@saintstupid.com www.saintstupid.com

“All we are saying is stupid!”

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Sign of Stupid! The Church in no way endorses, advocates or condones graffiti, or the making of your own St. Stupid stickers to place randomly all over the Earth, and in particular, inside the Gideon Bibles in motel rooms.

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The Bologna Brothers Onstage at the Renaissance Faire – Black Point Forest, Novato, CA

Found in Storage:

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Bombay Dry Gin, Stolichnaya Vodka and Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky

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A Bottle of Vintage Porto 1983 from Portugal

“I know, I know, but ya know, you never know”

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CHEERS! Johnnie Walker Black 12 year old Scotch Whisky

We found two boxes of old liquor from the old home bar in Storage. We dumped most of it but there were some nice unopened bottles of booze! We kept bottles of Bombay Dry Gin, Stolichnaya Vodka and Johnnie Walker Black Scotch Whisky. And we found a bottle of Porto from 1983 which we are looking forward to opening soon. We gifted the Johnnie Walker Black Scotch Whisky and then we opened the bottle and had a taste. Very smooth.

And just in case:
California Poison Control System (CPCS)

toll-free EMERGENCY hotline: 1-800-222-1222
http://www.calpoison.org

NOTE: Check out our FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES page links in the Sidebar>>>>>

“We have nothing to fear but fear ourselves”

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Superbowl Sunday Party in Sun Valley a few years ago. There was a big screen TV outside in the yard and a 3-D commercial was airing.

“That’s the way St. Stupid would’ve wanted it… had he thought of it.” (from Carrie)

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“We Are All Just Prisoners of Fun!”

Regardless of what you might have heard, the United States Treasury will continue to honor all two-dollar bills still in circulation! Today was not the last day to cash them in.

“So Far, So What?”

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“By Grabthor’s Hammer, what a savings.”

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Can You Read This? This Is Important!

NOTE: Support for this Blog post comes from the Soylent Corporation,
manufacturing protein-rich food products in a variety of colors.



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King of Fools Coronation – Santa Ynez County Park 2001

THE FOOLS GUILD!> http://www.foolsguild.org

The Fools Guild was born in the late 1970s at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where the original culprits met while performing as jesters, jugglers, pass-the-hat-acts and mimes.

“The Fools Guild is a disorganization of individuals who identify with the artistic, spiritual or philosophical nature of The Fool. We are an amorphous mass of lively, spontaneous souls who meet throughout the year for unadulterated silliness. We produce three major theme parties a year: Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and the High Feast of April Fools Day. We also get together a lot in between…..We draw inspiration from the archetype of “The Fool”, keeping alive the virtues of playfulness and festivity as a source of creativity and personal fulfillment.” (from the Fools Guild website)

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Fountain at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, CA

 

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Twelfth Night!

Twelfth Night!
January 6, 2017

“On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me

Twelve Drummers Drumming!”

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“If music be the food of love, play on!”
-Duke Orsino Twelfth Night Act I, scene I by William Shakespeare

Nevermind the religion…
Twelfth Night on January 6th has always been the date we use to mark the end of the winter Holiday Season. Also, it’s the name of a Shakespeare play that we like. And if they’re going to sell Christmas for 3 months beforehand, we should get to appreciate and celebrate the entire Twelve Days of Christmas! This year (2017) Twelfth Night (January 6th) falls on a Friday, so we get to extend the holiday for one more weekend, even though we’re expecting a monster storm to hit hard in Los Angeles Saturday through Monday.

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Originally a Catholic holiday, the Feast of the Epiphany, the actual Elizabethan festival of Twelfth Night became a day of revelry. Servants dressed as their masters, men dressed as women and women as men. The festive ritual and role reversal was based on the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia. It involved the antics of a Lord of Misrule, who before leaving his temporary position of authority, would call for entertainment, songs and mummery: comedic plays performed by costumed amateur actors (traditionally all male) at feasts and functions in exchange for money and/or food.

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“Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrown upon them.”
– Feste, the Clown

Shakespeare’s comedic play “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” was written to be performed as a Twelfth Night entertainment. The earliest known performance took place at Middle Temple Hall on Candlemas night, February 2, 1602, the formal end of Christmastide in England. It may have been staged a year earlier in a private performance for Elizabeth I before the Court at Whitehall Palace on Twelfth Night, January 6th, 1601.

The influence of English folk tradition can be found in the play, particularly in Feste the clown’s songs and dialogue. Many elements are reversed in the tradition of Twelfth Night: a woman dressing as a man, and a servant imagining that he can become a nobleman. Shakespeare also chose to fictionalized Illyria, an ancient region in southern Europe on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, as the romantic setting for the story.

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Twelfth Night or What You Will” by William Shakespeare

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The Wisdom of Feste the Clown:jester-with-puppet

“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those 
that are fools, let them use their talents.”

“Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage”

“Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, 
it shines every where.”

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

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Feste’s Song (at the conclusion of Act V):

“When that I was and a little tiny boy, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
A foolish thing was but a toy, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came to man’s estate, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
’Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came, alas! to wive, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
By swaggering could I never thrive, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came unto my beds, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
With toss-pots still had drunken heads, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
A great while ago the world begun, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
But that’s all one, our play is done, 
    And we’ll strive to please you every day.”
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So, is it really unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night?

Generate your own Elizabethan Oath, Curse or Insult > http://www.renfaire.com/Language/insults.html

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Twelfth Night 2016

 

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…And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!


GOOD SHABBOS! Shabbat Shalom!
Happy Twelfth Night! Let’s Feast!

“Old Christmas is past, Twelfth Night is the last,
And we bid you adieu, great joy to the new!”

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On The Menu: NY Steak, sautéed onions, roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli & carrots, bread & butter and an iced espresso. Later for dessert, 2 chocolate covered custard filled donuts and an espresso.

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Ladyfingers Recipe for the Feast of St. Stephen and to celebrate Boxing Day!

LADYFINGERS RECIPE
(from “The Joy of Cooking”)

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*for the Feast of St. Stephen and to celebrate Boxing Day*
Makes about 30 Small Cakes

“Saint Stephen with a rose
In and out of the garden he goes
Country garland in the wind and the rain
Wherever he goes the people all complain”

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Have ingredients at about 75 degrees.

Sift: 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Sift before measuring: 1/3 cup cake flour and Resift 3 times!

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
Beat until thick and lemon colored

2 egg whites
Whip until stiff, but not dry

Add and Fold the sifted sugar gradually into the whipped egg whites.
Beat the mixture until it thickens again.
Add and Fold in the egg yolk mixture and:
Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Add and Fold in the sifted cake flour.

Shape the dough into oblongs with a paper tube
Place the dough on ungreased paper on a baking sheet;
or pour into greased ladyfinger molds.

Bake about 12 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove the baking sheet from oven.
Immediately slide the parchment paper (with the ladyfingers) onto a wire rack.
Let cool for just a minute and remove them from the paper using a flat spatula or knife.
Cool completely on wire rack. (If they cool before removing them, they may stick and are hard to remove without breaking)

Ladyfingers are best fresh on the day they are made. To freeze, place in a plastic bag between layers of wax or parchment paper and store frozen for up to one month.

Ladyfingers are long, thin sponge cakes shaped like a large finger. Also known as Boudoir biscuits, sponge biscuits, sponge fingers, Naples biscuits, Savoy biscuits and biscuits la cuiller. They can be served with desserts like ice creams, custards and coffees, and they are used as a component in other desserts. Ladyfingers can be either soft and cakey or dry and crispy, but they always have a sponge-like texture. Their texture makes them a perfect choice for soaking up flavors, which is why they are frequently used in other desserts. Ladyfingers are usually plain with a neutral taste, but can be flavored with any extract, a bit of citrus zest, cocoa or spice to give them a flavor that stands out.

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Tiramisu made with Ladyfingers

—————————————————————–

“Stephen prosper in his time 
Well he may and he may decline
Did it matter? does it now? 
Stephen would answer if he only knew how”

St. Stephen’s Day (Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín),
commemorates the life of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death. The second day of Christmas is also called Boxing Day, Wren Day or Constitution Day.

St. Stephen’s Feast Day (Il giorno di Santo Stefano) is celebrated as a public holiday in Italy, the United Kingdom, most of Europe and Canada on December 26.

Traditionally in the United Kingdom, Boxing Day was a holiday when employers gave money, food, tools, cloth, clothing or other valuable goods to their employees. In modern times, Boxing Day is a bank holiday and a day for sporting events and the start of post-Christmas sales. Some schools, businesses and organization are closed for the entire week between Christmas and New Years Day.

St. Wenceslaus was a Bohemian prince born in 903 AD and killed in 938 AD. He is the patron Saint of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and his Feast is on September 28. The Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslaus” uses an old medieval melody about springtime, “Tempus adest florid” and mentions the Feast of St. Stephen:

“Good King Wenceslaus looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.”

St. Stephen was the first Deacon of the Christian church. A Deacon is supposed to care for the poor and St. Stephen’s Day is a day of charity for giving food, money and other items to servants, sevice workers, and the needy. St. Stephen is also the patron of stone masons, people with headaches and horses.

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St. Stephen was Stoned To Death

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“Saint Stephen” performed by the Grateful Dead
written by Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Robert Hunter
originally released on the 1969 studio album “Aoxomoxoa”
Saint Stephen/Not Fade Away/Saint Stephen/Morning Dew
Cornell University, Barton Hall, Ithaca, NY on 5/8/77 >

A recording of the Grateful Dead at Barton Hall, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on 5/8/77 was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2012!

“Did he doubt or did he try?
Answers aplenty in the bye and bye
Talk about your plenty, talk about your ills
One man gathers what another man spills”

and HAPPY BOXING DAY!

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Muhammad Ali RIP

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016! “Tradition!”

Home for the Holiday!
Family Feast at Four O’Clock! 20 Guests for Dinner!

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Happy Thanksgiving! Still Crazy After All These Years!

Three days of preparation, many hours of cooking and finally it’s time to eat!

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THE FANTASTIC 2016 THANKSGIVING FEAST!

On The Menu: 2 big turkeys, 3 dressings (1 plain, 1 with fruit, 1 with fruit & nuts), cranberry sauce, gravy, home baked challah bread, asparagus, creamed spinach, creamed vegetables, sweet potato puree, garlic mashed potatoes, corn pudding, and then dessert… apple, pumpkin, pecan, lemon meringue and peanut butter pies, chocolate chip cookies and “blondies”, chocolate fudge and peanut butter rice krispies marshmallow crunch. And just a little liquor: red and white wine, single malt scotch and some Don Julio tequila.

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FABULOUS DESSERTS!

We’ve been trying to lose weight and have been successful in dropping 20 pounds since August (call it the “Puppy Diet”). Our Thanksgiving is one of the best meals of the year, so we allow for a little holiday indulgence. We only had one plate of food, didn’t drink alcohol, and had a coke with dinner and a couple cookies for dessert. And later, just a little leftover pumpkin and lemon meringue late night pie after midnight.

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Pumpkin, Pecan & Lemon Meringue Pies (Apple & Peanut Butter not shown)

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A Little Liquor: Red Wines, Single Malt Scotch & Tequila (Don’t Drink and Drive!)

NOTE: The Thanksgiving Food Party is annual tradition on the JoshWillTravel Blog!
SEARCH “Thanksgiving” in the box at the Top of the Page to find the other Blogs^^^^^

Thanksgiving dinner,
Our annual food orgy,
A friendly feast!

Thanksgiving (All-Day) NFL Football Tradition!

In addition to The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC (both of which we are boycotting and you should be boycotting Macy’s and NBC too!) and the big National Dog Show, there were THREE NFL FOOTBALL games on television today!

detDetroit Lions 16 – Minnesota Vikings 13min

dalDallas Cowboys 31 – Washington Redskins 26was

pitPittsburgh Steelers 28 – Indianapolis Colts 7ind

denGO BRONCOS! Sunday Night’s NFL Game in Denver vs Kansas City!kan

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Flashback Friday! Last year I made Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for Thanksgiving. This year I didn’t. So everyone asked about cheesecake and was disappointed… and I got some good Jewish guilt for the holiday.

Here’s the link to the recipe if you’re interested> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1SV

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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PEACE! LOVE! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE – STAY ALIVE!

The Arlo Guthrie “Alice’s Restaurant” Tradition:

This year is the 51st anniversary of the story of how Arlo Guthrie and his friends “took out the garbage” on Thanksgiving.

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Gia, a Greyhound won “Best in Show” at the National Dog Show, a Thanksgiving Tradition (photo by Bill McCay/NBC)

The 15th annual National Dog Show, presented by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. was held on November 19 & 20 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and pretaped for NBC.

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The Big Dog Barking at Me (and the two little girls wonder why…)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

————————————————————————


 

Friday Night Dinner: Leftovers! Open face turkey sandwich, dressing and gravy on challah bread, cranberry sauce, dill pickle and a coke (and then probably another nap)

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Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Thirty guests for the holiday feast this year! We host our large annual gathering of family, friends and friends of friends. Visitors to our home included folks from faraway places: Finland, France, Scotland, the Czech Republic and West Hollywood.

You can compare this year to last year’s pics (in the previous Blog post), it was another very good year for food. I am truly thankful for this bountiful feast and the family and friends I shared it with. I am truly thankful for many things, including you reading this blog!

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – A Dozen Beautiful Roses! “There’s gonna be a party tonight!”

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Thanksgiving dinner,
Our annual food orgy,
A friendly feast!

Preparations begin early in the week and continue all the way until the meal is served. The party was called for 4:00pm pst on Thursday and we always allow time for our guests to arrive before the dining commences.

The turkeys are thawed and prepared the night before. This year we had two 18 pound organic turkeys, seasoned with a herb & butter rub under the skin. One bird cooks at our house and the other at my sister’s kitchen. She also makes the garlic mashed potato, chocolate bread pudding and fudge. This year her vegetarian friend was visiting so they made the summer squash as well.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Turkey #1 BEFORE

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Turkey #1 AFTER

Thanksgiving 2015 Dinner Menu:
Two 18 pound organic turkeys, gravy, two kinds of stuffing, garlic mashed potato, corn pudding, yam puree, asparagus, creamed spinach, mixed grilled vegetables, summer squash, fruit compote, cranberry sauce and cornbread muffins.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving Feast 2015!

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Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving Feast 2015!

And there was some wine and other beverages:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Wine and Finnish chocolate brought by our guests from Finland

Thanksgiving 2015 Dessert Menu:
Pumpkin, pecan and apricot pies (we also had an apple but didn’t bake it); chocolate chip cookies, 2 kinds of fudge, blondies, chocolate bread pudding & fresh whipped cream, Czech cake with marzipan, a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream (someone brought a flourless chocolate cake but we didn’t even put it out) and Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – the Dessert Table is waiting!

I did a little baking the night before as I mentioned in the previous Blog post:

Thanksgiving 2015 - Baking (the night before)

Thanksgiving 2015 – Baking cornbread muffins & Grandma’s cherry cheesecake (the night before)

2 Dozen Cornbread Muffins and 1 Dozen Mini Cornbread Muffins:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – A Bowl Full of Cornbread Muffins!

And this year, by request, I baked my Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

It was a great meal! And complete dessert overkill as usual. I had a full plate of tasty food for dinner and then only had a small piece of cheesecake and a couple pieces of fudge for dessert. And a good time and meal was had by all.

We have the whole process down and this year we used plastic (for dinner) and paper (for dessert) plates, so there was less to clean up and we saved some water in exchange for creating some additional trash.

I finished eating, helped with the clearing and clean up, watched the end of the Bears-Packers game and fell asleep. When I woke up, most of the final cleaning was done, the guests were gone and the tables and chairs were put away. So, BIG THANKS go out to my Step-Brother for helping out while I was napping!

It was an okay day for football. Detroit beat Philadelphia and Carolina beat Dallas, but Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t finish and lost to Chicago, so I went 2 out of 3 on my picks. Bad news for Cowboy fans because Quarterback Tony Romo was seriously injured in the game and is out for the rest of the season. Sorry Bob.

Thanksgiving 2015 - Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Thanksgiving 2015 – Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Okay, we have “to go” boxes for our guests to take home leftovers from the feast if they are so inclined. I had cranberries with my brunch leftovers, but there wasn’t enough left for dinner the next day… we also sent most of the desserts home with our guests too.

Day After Leftovers for Brunch: turkey, stuffing, garlic mashed potato, cranberry sauce, gravy and cornbread muffins. (repeated for dinner without the cranberry)

Thanksgiving 2015 - Leftovers for Brunch the morning after!

Thanksgiving 2015 – Leftovers for Brunch the morning after!

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All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view previous Blogs:
Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe – Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1SV
Read last year’s Thanksgiving 2014 Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1mW

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Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Pretty flowers on the dining tables too.

Happy Thanksgiving, Let’s Feast! What’s on the menu?

Happy Thanksgiving, Let’s Feast! What’s on the menu?

WISHING YOU AND YOURS A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING! CELEBRATE GRATITUDE!

It’s that time again. It’s TurkeyTime! This year we’re having 30 people for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner feast and then I’m invited to another smaller dinner party after that. It’s a fine time to be a foodie.

Pictures and the menu from last year’s feast: (see more in the previous Blog, link below)

Thanksgiving dinner menu: Roast turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potato, corn pudding, candied yams, carrot & yam puree, 2 kinds of stuffing, asparagus, brussel sprouts, creamed spinach and home baked challah bread. Red wine, white wine, coke, cherry coke and coffee to drink.

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving Dessert menu: Apple-Pecan torte, Lemon cheesecake, Chocolate-mocha Parisian cake from Bea’s, Pumpkin cheesecake, 2 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of fudge, and my sister’s Chocolate-Cherry bread pudding served with fresh made whipped cream.

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

That’s our traditional menu, give or take a dish or dessert or two. I’ll be making Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake and (maybe) cornbread muffins this year:

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view previous Blogs:
Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe – Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1SV
Read last year’s Thanksgiving 2014 Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1mW

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p.s. I’m picking Detroit, Carolina and Green Bay to win. Have a great day!