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Book club and Canadian Thanksgiving

I’ve mentioned my fabulous book club before. If you don’t think basking poolside and enjoying dinner with friends isn’t the definition of a great book club meeting, then maybe this will convince you:

photoOn Sunday we gathered in Carneros at a lovely home. As you can see, it was a perfect day: warm and sunny, and the bubbly flowed like water. We’d read Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food Revolution: A New Culture for Eating and Living–and by “read” I mean two of us had read the book. I know, not a good showing for the nine or so of us in the club. (Really shameful.) But I had a good excuse, you know–and so did the other non-readers. Those of us who didn’t read researched the slow food movement online so we could at least speak intelligently. (Ahem.)

We had a great time discussing how we’d grown up in homes that ate macaroni from a box or in homes where everything was made from scratch. I confessed that I had been so jealous of a classmate in elementary school who had twinkies in her lunch every day and perfect ham and cheese sandwiches on white bread, cut diagonally with the mustard soaking into the edge of the stark, white bread just so …

At 4:00 our guests began to arrive: friends, family, significant others all hungry for a good Thanksgiving feast. It’s true, we didn’t quite hit the true Canadian Thanksgiving, but who’s counting? But this wasn’t just a Canadian Thanksigiving; this was a slow food Thanksgiving, which meant that all of our ingredients had to be sourced from farms or gardens within 50 miles.

I had a great time buying components of my green salad: lettuces from Longmeadow Ranch and the Oxbow green market (where they told me exactly where the lettuces were sourced), onions and pears from a farm in Healdsburg, walnuts from along 505 (which I later candied and spiked with black pepper and cayenne–mmm!), blue cheese from Point Reyes and a pomegranate from my mom’s property. It was a damn good salad.

It was a damn good meal! All sorts of stuffings and wonderful turkey (two to feed 30 people) and desserts. Wonderful local wine (of course) and, best of all, camaraderie. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about–no matter what day it’s on? Anyway, Thanksgiving next month will be hard pressed to beat this Thanksgiving. (Not that I’ll compare–that isn’t the spirit of the holiday now is it?)

Oh, and our next read is TC Boyle’s The Women. Can’t wait!

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