Thursday, November 26, 2009

Serving and being served

Today is Thanksgiving and I will be attending dinner at my nephew Edward's house in Napa. I suspect that relatives and friends of Edward and Antonella will all be there. It is common for me to dread these family events, until I get myself through the door. After that, I am fine. Some years ago, I attended Thanksgiving dinner at my sister Martha's house in San Francisco. I was in charge of making the garlic mash potatoes ( I read recently that this particular culinary assignment was given to Lindsay Lohan by her family their Thanksgiving dinner... a token gesture a best). I can hear them whispering to each other in the kitchen, " Well, it would be hard for her to mess that up. Anyway, garlic mash potatoes have become my forte.´

The dish came out pretty well, actually. Martha liked them, as did my sister Ellen who was visiting from Australia. This made me feel pretty good because I had been experimenting with dill pickle juice as a way of bumping up the flavor. All in all, I was proud of my meager accomplishment. Preparing and hosting an ENTIRE EVENT is quite another matter. I have only hosted one of these types of gatherings as an adult.

While working at Indian Springs Spa, I was able to secure a few cottages at a special rate. Family members from the Midwest and points north arrived to enjoy the weekend in Calistoga. I had to work and at the same time was trying to organize a picnic at one of the local wineries .Hosting a family gathering and enjoying what you have organized is not the same thing. Needless to say, one of my nephews ended up getting lost and the picnic had to be moved to another location because the reservation for the space was going to be scrapped if not everyone arrived on time. It all worked out however, and we had ended up having the picnic at a local park.

This reorganization happened because my sister Martha took charge and updated the plans. This is typical. I'm not saying that I won't ever host a family event like this again... but the likelihood is pretty strong that I won't. Thankfully, my family members have learned to be flexible. Besides, there are others who do a much better job of pulling it off.

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