Ray and I are the last people at the orange grove after a bustling and happy event that started last Wednesday. At our fullest we had around 25 people and that number ebbed and flowed over these last few days as people arrived and left. We have cooked, cleaned, built fires, spatchcocked a turkey over the open coals, grilled chicken thighs, roasted marshmallows, hiked, star-gazed, prepared for and enjoyed several rain storms, gone to a movie in Ventura and window-shopped.
Six family members came from Utah and the last of them left this morning. One of Sarah’s oldest friends came from Texas. Liz had three friends who spent part of the time with us. Rachael, of course, brought Ariel. We had a couple of friends who couldn’t come either due to illness or the unexpected rain, then three more arrived just in time for our official Thanksgiving meal on Friday. In other words, a lovely, freeflowing event where everyone pitched in to help, which made it all incredibly relaxed and easy.
And the food was exceptional. Rachael made her now famous mac and cheese. Ray made his cranberry sauce. Liz made dressing. Ron made homemade Rosemary yeast rolls. Karri and Gregorio delivered a perfect turkey cooked right over the campfire. I made my very excellent gravy. Sarah made lentil soup and green bean casserole. Heather made a delicious yam dish covered in pecans. Eli, Sophie, Luna and I made homemade honey-sweetened baklava and apply pie. Rachael made an Apple cake and chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say, we ate very well.
I am very happy, grateful and full of love. Here’s to one of my favorite holidays of the year.