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First Thanksgiving On The Mountain 11/23/17

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. And not only because of the gathering of loved ones and friends, but also because it provides the perfect time to reflect on how I'm enjoying life and contributing to a better world.

Sue had picked up a fresh, 14 pound turkey we had ordered on Tuesday when she was out with Beau, and then we did the rest of the shopping Wednesday morning. The store wasn't too busy, so that went pretty smoothly.

Not only had I broken one of our few remaining wine glasses Tuesday evening, but I realized Thursday morning that we wouldn't have enough glasses for dinner! Ooops! Okay, so off to the store Thanksgiving morning at 8:00 am for a wine glass mercy run. "Oh, and while you're out," Sue calls after me as I'm heading out the door, "just grab some frozen peas, too". Terrific....

I had to get some glasses because Sue and I wanted to share a bottle of Dom Perignon chanpaign with everyone that Sue's friend Gale had given us for our wedding. You can't serve Dom Perignon in a plastic cup....

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Sue finishing up her prep work.

By the time I got back she was well on her way to completing the crafting of an apple crisp pie, a bowl of fresh cranberry sauce, as well as a platter of 'Cranberry Brie Bites'. Outstanding stuff!

I helped with the clean up while bouncing back and forth between the kitchen and living room so that I could catch some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv - something I've always done since enjoying such times with my mom when I was growing up.

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Getting into the meat of things.

Once we had the deck cleared of Sue's work, I got to my food prep tasks around 11:30. I was fixing fresh stuffing and the turkey the way Master Chef James Haller of the old Blue Strawberry restaurant in Portsmouth, NH taught me back in the mid 1970s. I had wanted to get the turkey into the oven by 1:00 pm to cook for 3 hours, and almost made it.

Colin and Ren drove up about 2:15 and just as they were walking up to the house, Ren's mom, Nancy, drove in. Though not cold, but just brisk, everyone gravitated to the fire I had going in the woodstove.

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Sue, Nancy, Ren, and Colin

We all had such a good time visiting and just chatting over Sue's brie bites and a bottle of Erath Pinot Noir that I opened for the occasion. It's such a nice, light wine and went just great with the brie bites. And what a difference that Pinot wsa in comparison to the equally expensive bottle of French Pinot Noir that I had bought to baste the turky with.In the past I had always basted turkey or game hens in Burgundy, specifically a Gallo Hearty Burgundy.

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Enjoying the evening.

But I haven't been able to find that for years, and now this year couldn't even find a regular bottle of Burgundy. The clerk at the wine store had told me that the French, under pressure to keep up with the American market, had changed the name of all of their Burgundys to Pinot Noir!

Say it isn't so! Yup, you just can't find any other Burgundys (well around here) other than a huge jug of Carlo Rossi Burgundy. Now, that's not a bad Burgundy for just a general wine to have, but I didn't want a whole jug of it. That's why I went with a bottle of 2014 Louis Jardot Pinot Noir Bourgogne. I've had Jardot wines before and enjoyed them, so selected this one from the half dozen or so other French offerings.

Unfortunately, not only isn't this anything like a Burgundy, it wasn't even a very good wine. It was just too much on the sharp side for me, even after it had breathed for about 40 minutes. But, the turkey wouldn't know the difference, and in fact loved it! However, from now on, I'll go to a nice California Zinfandel for cooking.

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Popping open the bottle of Dom Perignon in the dark.

With dinner, I popped open the bottle of Dom Perignon, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed this really special wine and special gift! Can't get liking it too much, though, because it's way above my pay grade! But just a spectacular opportunity to have had what's considered one of the world's top champaigns. And it couldn't have been shared with a more loving group.

We finished off the evening with Sue's apple crisp and a nice pumpkin bread that Nancy had brought while enjoying the woodstove from the living room. After everyone headed out, it only took us about 40 minutes to clean up because we had both pretty much done that as we worked during prep.

We were both pretty tired from all the work, and called it an early night. We had an early morning call Friday to visit Sue's family up north, so getting some sleep was a very inviting prospect.

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