Yesterday was a full and wonderful day, a great success.
The fun really started on Wednesday, though, when we enjoyed a visit from some good friends from P. It's always great to see folks out here that we've known for more than two years. Although I think we've made some good friends in this area, there is something very different about getting to spend time with people who have known you for a long time. E especially has been friends with M since the two of them were about a year old. They are remarkably similar--both have always been articulate from a very young age. When they are together, they just seem to "get" each other. They have one of those friendships that seems to pick up wherever they left off. Unusual for their age.
Matt introduced us to the music of Sister Gertrude Morgan while he was here. In fact, he and D walked over to T. Ave to one of the record stores there and bought her album. She's a force to be reckoned with! Sister Gertrude died about twenty-five years ago while in her eighties, I believe. This recording, "Let's Make a Record," features her powerful voice accompanied only by her tambourine. She sings evangelical songs, most of them spontaneously written and a couple old familiar tunes like "Take My Hand, Lead Me On." My favorite tracks are "Power" and "I Am the Living Bread." Honestly, her singing reminds me of Janis Joplin--soulful, raspy, raw. Check her out here: Sister Gertrude Morgan.
With the visit from our friends, though, I wasn't able to get much of a headstart on my preparations for the Thanksgiving meal. So that made yesterday quite a full and busy day.
I did make the three pies as I'd hoped. Because I'm always nervous about making a good crust, I actually bought the pillsbury pie crusts as a backup plan in case anything went wrong! This was just a way to take the pressure off myself in case everything fell apart on me. :)
I wasn't able to get pie cherries for the cherry pie, but did have some frozen bing cherries. I made a crust with shortening for that one and it turned out, well, excellent if I do say so myself. The deep-dish apple was quite tasty with the cheddar crust. For the pumpkin pie I compromised because of time and made it with one of the premade crusts which are basically tasteless. The pumpkin part of it, which I can take some credit for, was yummy. I made a brandy sauce to serve over the pumpkin pie, but that was a bit of a disappointment.
Oh! And I served the Benziger Muscat Canelli (2004) that my brother gave us after his visit this past August. It was a fabulous, delicately sweet dessert wine. I'd been saving it for just the right occasion, and last night really seemed to be it. Excellent.
We had nine total for the meal. All but one of us were together beginning at 1:00 when the Denver-Dallas game started. (We had one Dallas fan in our midst. Blech.) We also played the game Apples-to-Apples, a really fun, basically non-competitive word game.
Just before meal time, we welcomed the last person to arrive. This was a woman I had never met before, but invited because a friend told us she had no where to go. Turns out she is an international student from India who knows a couple of my former professors! She spoke especially fondly of B who spent a sabbatical semester in India teaching at the UTC (I think) when she was a teenager. What a small world! Very cool.
Folks finally straggled out at about 9:30. D cleaned up for awhile, then we settled in and watched The Human Stain, a riveting and well-crafted film with Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, based on a Philip Roth novel.
Well, guess that's about all you can stand to hear about now. I need to get some lunch going. Not having made the turkey, we only have leftovers of the sides. :) Oh well, no turkey sandwiches for lunch.