Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

On Wednesday night I went up to stay with my cousin Ryan so that his sister Mandy and her family could pick us up Thursday on their way down to Long Island.  Mandy's brother in law and his wife live in Huntington.  They are dentists - he is from Guyana and she is from Brazil.

Is this confusing?

She usually has Thankgiving catered and it was delicious.  There were interesting Brazilian snacks - breaded balls of salted fish, breaded chicken balls, and the best one, beef meatballs made with bulgur wheat.  Now that's an addition to the mix I would have never thought of (usually breadcrumbs (too dry), grated potato (fairly moist), or water chestnut (juicy)).  Bulgur wheat doesn't exactly add moisture, but it does create an enjoyable texture, and there was a hint of mint.

Main course:  turkey that had been soaked for a couple of days in sugar water, very tender. Caesar salad, and a Brazilian ground chicken salad mixed with sliced green olives, raisins, diced apples, and topped with crispy fried potato sticks
Sides of sweet potato, seasoned rice, farina stuffing, and the nanny made shrimp lo mein.
Dessert included pumpkin pie, coconut custard pie, an assortment of luxury cookies, and a variety of Indian sweets made of milk/nuts, etc.

There was of course lashings of rose, red and white wines, and Moet & Chandon champagne.  No matter what the name, I still don't like champagne, and oddly enough neither does the host as he commented to me while collecting our empty flutes.

L-R: My second cousin Kristine, my cousin Mandy, another in-law's kid, Mandy's sis-in-law Monique and her son Danny(?)

Mandy, her daughters Kristine and Karissa, and her husband Cornel (son Kevin is missing, he was in the living room arguing politics with his uncles)

With my second cousin Karissa.  She is 13 now and so grown up and full of knowledge about anything you care to discuss.  But I still remember when she was a tiny baby and so cute with such a soft little voice, and my mother used to make whispery sounds in her ear to lull her to sleep...In fact, the first time I visited NYC that hot summer of 1995, Mandy was pregnant with her.  Her brother Kevin was 3 at the time and his brain worked faster than his little lispy mouth could talk, so all his information would come out in a jumble.  Or he would ask you a question and then impatiently answer it before you'd put your response together. :)


Monique's style is very warm and Mediterranean - everything has a Portuguese/Spanish/Italian authenticity, as though I'd been transported far from icy New York.  So of course I got caught up in light and color:

Champagne, flowers and light

Candle with solarize effect

Bright still life

Dark still life

I prefer the dark still life (looks more Old Master) but Karissa doubted that I wanted my crumpled napkin and her hands in it.  I should not have turned on the flash.  Which do you prefer?


Carol said...

i like the dark one too, and didn't see the hand and napkins til you mentioned it...great photos, and sounds like a great way to spend the holiday.

Selba said...

I think I prefer the bright one :D

How nice to have dentist cousins! hehehe...

The Moody Minstrel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Moody Minstrel said...

For some reason the bright one makes me think of Laura Ashley (or was that Target?), and the dark one makes me think of Williams Sonoma (or was that the liner notes from a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album?).

Or am I just confused?

(Don't answer that!)

Flighty said...

Good to see that you had such an enjoyable time.
I've never really liked champagne either!
I can't decide which of those two photos I prefer! xx

Carol said...

Thanks for the comment, having a tree will make your house much more festive all month, yay!

Christopher said...

I like the darker one too...isn't photography fun now with all the great software we can play with? Obviously I have too much fun! Glad you had a good turkey day!

beginninghere said...

Your yummy description of the meal made me hungry! As for the still life I do like the deeper contrast.

Um Naief said...

i prefer the dark still life.

the dinner sounds interesting and delicious. so many new things that i've never heard of or can't even imagine the taste. yum.

your niece looks very old for 13. could hardly believe when you said her age. she looks more like early 20s to me. must be her intelligence shining through. i love bright children.

sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. glad you were able to spend it w/ your family.