At long last, family. Traditions ebb and flow as dictated by circumstances. Our crew (and the generations of folks circling the table prior to 2021) always believed the devil was in the details. Very specific menu choices served on very particular dishes on a certain damask cloth capable of stretching across all of the leaves in the table. Yes, it was a dressy setting, but there was plenty of casualness amidst the formality. Splashes of indelible wine, mammoth spills from toppled water glasses, waxy candle drips, and giant trails of gravy. It was never Norman Rockwell-ian, more akin to the dinner scene in My Favorite Year. A little raucous, just enough eye rolling, with simultaneous conversations drowning out my father's commentary that "hot food should always be served hot." He wasn't wrong, but getting a large meal of multiple courses on the table amidst familial chaos is challenging for the cooks. (And that's probably why gravy was invented; drowning your formerly hot/now tepid meal in scalding pan drippings.) 2021 was significant for many of us who finally had the opportunity to sit down in person independent of a zoom screen. It was as effervescent as a glass of bubbles.
Unlike my grandmother's Thanksgiving dessert offerings which always featured three pies and a layer cake, we skipped the cake and one fruit pie. There was still plenty of overkill within the pies; all the nuts and more than a generous splash of cognac and a side of whipped cream. Yes, there were fewer leaves in the table but just as many spills on the tablecloth. Because, tradition.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm