Thanksgiving in the Time of Covid

The new Spark Grill.

There is only one other year that I was thoroughly separated from family for our national eating holiday.  

Having taken possession of my bright red MG (this harkens back to the 70s), I was flying up Berryessa Road in San Jose with my two recently purchased pies when out of a cross street lurched a car which plowed right into my brand new spiffy car.  And after that debacle, I was consigned to a Thanksgiving all by myself.  My children were in Paso Robles, having left a day earlier with my Mother to beat the traffic.  And how could they all fit in such a stupid purchase as the tiny MG?  These were the years that I was lost emotionally and spent hours on the couch of a psychiatrist.  Oh, dear.  Now I have spilled the beans.

Without further adieu, I choose to change the date and fast forward to today where Rayman and I are spending the day alone on purpose because we elected not to endanger ourselves or others by gathering against the guidelines issued by every government agency in the U.S.

What a year.  What a time to reflect on all that we are thankful for now.  Our health, our families’ health… what is more important than that?  I think that is such a wonderful thing to know that no one we know was felled by this killer.  And we know of no one that has come down sick with it either.  Yet.  Let us all remain vigilant and do the right thing for our friends and families.  


The screw up of the day concerning the preparation of the meal is annoyingly funny.  My dressing called for 4 oz. of prosciutto.  I had 2 ounces and so I added 2 oz. of ham.  It all needed to be chopped, so I chopped it.  Then I spotted paper in the chopped food.  What?  It just so happened that there was paper separating the prosciutto that was the exact footprint as the food and I had chopped it without separating it.  So…it took about 20 minutes of the Rayman and me looking for thinner-than-paper-thin pieces of paper.  Let it be known that the pan “stuffing” has paper in it perhaps.  Good grief.

The turkey was brined in buttermilk and salt for 48 hours.  It is now unattended on the brand new Spark grill that we have never used but are using today because, why not?  It has probes.  It has special coals.  It has a temperature gauge so that it keeps watch over the turkey and will alert us via Bluetooth when the meat reaches 165.  How on earth did we ever cope without this new fandango of a barbecue?

The plate sans roasted pear salad.

The Brussel sprouts with garlic are done.  Just threw the balsamic on them.  I’m roasting the pears now.  Well, almost.  I hate digital controls for stoves.  I set the oven to 500 and forgot to hit start.  So the pears came out with no color on them.  Reset the stove and am waiting for the oven to reach 500 so I can, friggin, finish the pears.  They are part of the salad.  

The stuffing is ready to go in the oven after the pears.  Complete with paper in the mix!!

The pie should be good.  Cooked the sugar pumpkin to make the puree.  Nothing like fresh pumpkin.  Beats the canned stuff all over the playground and back again.

Pumpkin pie with gingersnap crust.


We miss our turkey day parties of old.  So much fun cooking together.  Spending almost every waking moment with Rayman makes it harder because there is such a thing perhaps of too much together time.  No.  I don’t think so.  


The place settings.

After all, I could be completely alone and that’s not nearly as much fun as cooking with the Rayman.  He adds charm to the kitchen and his clean up skills are beyond reproach.  For my friends that read this and are spending their day alone, I hope you can find comfort in the silence and time for reflection.  Reflection is good and so is a good TV series to binge.  Just saying.  Or a good book that allows for escape into some other world or topic.  

Other things we are thankful for include the right pans to cook this feast, a beautiful cloudless day by the bay, a gorgeous table setting.  A new President and a first ever, female VP.  And Beau, who gives us laughs on a daily basis, that scamp!!  

And we are thankful that we have you in our lives.  All of you that are reading this as well as friends that don’t as I haven’t captured the gift of great writing but I still practice and I’m writing a memoir that is so much more difficult than I thought it would be.  I’m on page 85 now.  Single spaced.  I think I’ll add some pictures, some recipes to fill it out since so much of my family history was lost with the death of my Mother.  She had the goods…and she took them with her.  However, she couldn’t boil water…so there is that.


After dinner walk. What a fabulous day…like summer.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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