Monday, November 30, 2009

Paper Stars and Pumpkin Pie

{Thanksgiving at Roxaboxen}

I am all alone in our little house. Just me and the dogs. I'm supposed to be at work in the studio, and I'll go there soon, but I am enjoying this lukewarm cup of tea and the sweet, lingering feeling of having just had a big party. Both P's family and my family flew from all over the country to have Thanksgiving in our tiny desert house, and with everyone's help it was a most magical feast. Now the house is very quiet, but starting last Tuesday it was full of sisters, laughter and bags of groceries.

First, there was the moving of furniture and the hunting and gathering of candlesticks, chairs, and plates. There was the using of mason jars because we didn't have enough water glasses. Everyone cooked. Everyone did dishes. Everyone snuck scraps to the delighted doggies. Everyone loved the desert and the desert loved them back.

There were paper stars cut from kraft paper and hung from the ceiling by little sisters. And place mats cut from burlap because we didn't have enough real ones, which is what my grandmother used to do for big parties on her farm in CT. She thought rough burlap and heirloom silver made for quite a marvelous contrast on a table. I agree.

There was a handsome husband who was no longer in Iraq but in fact sitting in a red wicker throne across from me, and a reading of Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1863. There was the holding of hands and the saying of grace. There was so much to be thankful for.
Then there was much toasting and laughter, and very good champagne. Here are the elegant hands that should have belonged to a French court calligrapher but belong to my sister. She is lucky to have such beautiful hands. I am lucky to have such a beautiful sister.
There was a low-riding corgi, gleefully scavenging for errant crumbs.
There was a whole table just for deserts. There was pumpkin pie, apple-cranberry pie, and a bourbon-soaked bundt cake. All utterly made from scratch by my father-in-law. And I wish I could give you a spoonful of that spiked cardamom whipped cream because it was *so* decadent. 
There was a very happy, very full daddy who got lost on his way back from the kitchen after clearing his desert plate. He was rumored to have fallen asleep on the sofa. Which appears to be true.

But most of all there was the joining of two families at one table and the eating of a free-range turkey stuffed with apples and rubbed with butter and herbs from my tiny desert garden. There was the ritualising of old traditions and the establishing of new ones. The reuniting of sisters and brothers and parents, and the breaking of bread with new friends. And the giving of thanks. So much thanks.

I hope your Thanksgiving was marvelous, and that no matter the size of your table or feast it was a blessing. Indeed.


  1. i can't believe i had to miss this. can i please be put on le roster for l'annee prochain? the house looks BEAUTIFUL, the people well fed and happy and my oh my that dessert table! mon dieu! love you!

  2. I *would* tell you just how much I lub paper stars and cardamom, but I am off to buy burlap just now. To keep around. Just in case, you know.

  3. looks so happy! :) thanks for sharing your lovely holiday!

  4. i'm so delighted to have found your blog today. what an amazing thanksgiving dinner... and you really put us right in the middle of it. (i especially love the low riding corgi, since we just got our own corgi puppy last month and i can totally relate).

  5. Bliss. Truly, bliss. My own Thanksgiving was a whirlwind, and not always a pleasant one, so it is good to see such joy in your home. Oh, and that dessert table--my oh my!!!

    Big hugs,

  6. oh lily, there is so much warmth, love, happiness and colour here! how truly blessed you are.

  7. Thanks for leaving me a note on my blog! it's so fun to make new friends...

  8. what a wonderful thanksgiving! i love the paper stars..i think i will hang some along with my usual wintertime paper snowflakes this year.

  9. oh, your house is so freaking cute. The stars from the ceiling and the adorable, adorable table you laid are the cardamon topping the proverbial bundt cake.

    Also, nice chicken picture. Had to say it.

  10. Hi Lily,

    It looks like a divine holiday was had in your little desert abode. I am so happy to be invited in with your photos! I am watching snow fall. miss you!

  11. how magical, warm, lovely, yummy, and wonderful! so happy to have a minute to catch up on your blog. you make me happy.


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