Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving weekend

It has been a long, lovely Thanksgiving weekend. I took Friday off, in addition to the Thursday holiday. The next two weeks are going to be extremely long at work, so these days have been time to relax, work around the house, study, and enjoy friends.

Wednesday night was the annual Thanksgiving dinner at church. The Saturday before I rode over to the Farmer's Market to buy Yukon Gold potatoes for my contribution to the dinner. On the way home, I stopped to take pictures of the spectacular fall weather we have been enjoying in So. Cal.

I also bought some more potatoes, Russetts, at Whole Foods as there weren't many of the Yukons Golds left when I got to the market. Wednesday morning, around 5:00, I got up and began peeling potates, twenty pounds of Russetts. The Yukon Golds I just scrubbed and left the skin on. Then I deposited my potatoes at the church hall and went to work.

We got off a couple hours early on Wednesday afternoon, so I was able to go to the church to help with the final preparations for the dinner. Between 70 and 80 people attended. I was surprised that people preferred the mashed potatoes with the skins over the skinless potatoes. Of course, I had way too many potatoes given all the other food that was prepared.

After dinner, we had a Thanksgiving service and then washed mounds of dishes.

Thursday was a quiet morning. I started (yet again) to sort through accumulated stacks of paper. However, the house was quite tidy to begin with as I had cleaned and vacuumed before a friend came over earlier in the week, so the sorting didn't seem quite so overwhelming.

Then I joined another family for Thanksgiving dinner later in the afternoon. It was delicious!

Friday, I finished the book I started on Thursday, Wendell Berry's novel, Hannah Coulter, a fitting book both for Thanksgiving ("This is my story, my giving of thanks") and for domestic endeavors, which Berry describes in detail. More chores around the house. And then I wasted a bunch of time online.

Saturday, I spent much of the day in my head, shopping at thrift stores and bookshops. Then I boiled up some more Yukon Golds and went over to friends' house for another celebration of harvest and thanksgiving.

This morning, the first Sunday in Advent, we studied the texts for the day and then went to church. Afterwards, I borrowed a lefse griddle, pastry board, and rolling pin from a Scandinavian family, strapped them on my bicycle, and rode home. Later this afternoon or evening, I will try making potato cakes from all my leftover mashed potatoes.

(The bicycle would not stay upright with the heavy bag of books and rolling pin hooked on the rack, so this is only an approximation of my load for photgraphic purposes!)

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