Thanksgiving 2020

Relief is probably the thought uppermost in most people’s minds–relief that this year is finally drawing to a close. Relief and hope that 2021 will be an improvement. Thanksgiving for our family is always an opportunity to remember our many blessings (and to eat lots of food). We feel fortunate that our extended families are healthy <knock on wood!> and that we are weathering the shocks cheerfully and with resilience (mostly).

Thanksgiving was a quiet one for us this year, but that did not mean the meal was going to suffer in any way. Here is our menu for the evening:

With a menu like that, prep sheets are necessary:

The meal turned out well. The smoked turkey looked especially beautiful this year:

The deep-fried turkey is generally the most popular to eat:

The velociraptor (aka the son) is always a fan of the gougères:

And the spread looked impressive, even for a small group.

No Thanksgiving is complete without dessert. We went with our traditional desserts this year. A chocolate-pumpkin cheesecake, representing the traditional pumpkin requirement:

An apple pie

And a blackberry pie (the blackberries are from Lewis County, Washington)

We hope your Thanksgiving was equally festive (in a pandemic, surreal kind of way). Happy Thanksgiving!

New Year’s Eve 2019

We have marvelous friends (more like family) who, for some unfathomable reason, decided to host a New Year’s Eve dinner and invited us to help cook (the unfathomable part of it was letting us help cook). What that really meant, of course, is that they allowed us into their kitchen to create a gigantic mess. Who does this, other than family?

Anyway, the huge mess we created did actually result in a delicious dinner. The menu was as follows:

NYE 2019 menu

Apple Rutabaga soup (served with 2008 Louis Roederer Cristal)

Royal Petrossian Caviar station

caviar station

Tuna Fire & Ice (served with Mountain Field Treasure Junmai Sake)

fire & ice

Foie Gras on brioche (served with 2017 Bouchard Père & Fils Chassagne-Montrachet)

foie gras on brioche

Uncrab Cakes with Crab (served with 2017 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay)

uncrab cakes with crab

Wagyu and Marrow Bones (served with 1998 Rudd Estate Jericho Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon)

wagyu & marrow bones with potato soufflé

Bûche de Noel (served with 2003 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes)

bûche de noel

New Year’s Eve itself was celebrated with a bottle of 2006 Pol Roger (Winston Churchill’s favorite champagne)

I wish I could say that I didn’t eat after that for a month, but, alas, that is simply not true.

Happy (belated) New Year!

Thanksgiving 2018

We love Thanksgiving. In particular, we love hosting Thanksgiving—the more, the merrier (especially for the extroverts in the family). This year, we sat 32 people for dinner, including several new attendees! (It’s always lovely to discover new orphans to welcome to Thanksgiving as well as welcoming back returning orphans.)

Here is the complete Thanksgiving menu for this year:

Thai pumpkin soup (served with gougères)
Smoked organic turkey
Roasted organic turkey
Confit organic turkey legs
Stock-braised organic turkey legs
Deep fried organic turkey
Sous vide turkey breast with chipotle honey
Sous vide turkey breast with sage & rosemary
Roasted pork shoulder
Roast duck (from Mark’s Duck House)
Roasted beets with chimichurri sauce
Brussel sprouts with mustard and brown sugar sauce
Chickpea, arugula, and picked carrot salad
Sweet potato and star fruit chaat
Mom’s stuffing (from the Lintott side of the family)
Jamaican rice stuffing
Country ham stuffing
Smashed potatoes
Orange-cranberry sauce
Lemon-pomegranate cranberry sauce
Dinner rolls
Chocolate-pumpkin cheesecake
Wild blackberry pie (berries from Washington state)
Apple pie
Sponge cake with cranberry curd
Cranberry orange shortbread
Divinity and nut brittle

smoked turkey

roasted turkey

deep fried turkey

the spread from one end

the spread (from the other end)

We hope everyone who came enjoyed the festivities, and we further hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2017

We sat 41 people for dinner for Thanksgiving this year. Well, technically, 37 adults (if you include one 16 year old velociraptor) and 4 kids under 10.

The menu was as follows:
Thai pumpkin soup with gougeres
Smoked turkey
Roasted turkey with confit legs
Stock-braised turkey legs
Deep fried turkey
Roasted pork shoulder
Roast duck
Roasted beets with chimichurri sauce
Skillet roasted Brussel sprouts with mustard and brown sugar
Chickpea, arugula, and picked carrot salad
Sweet potato and star fruit chaat
Mom’s stuffing (that’s Jim’s mom, obviously)
Mashed potatoes
Orange cranberry sauce
Hawaiian dinner rolls
Chocolate pumpkin cheesecake
Blackberry pie
Apple pie
Pumpkin spice cake

If there is a term for exhausted and stuffed at the end of a meal (stuffausted? exuffed?), that’s what we were. Thankfully, Jim’s nephew, Robert, came to help cook, and Robert’s girlfriend, Victoria, made the pumpkin spice cakes. (We had two of each dessert.)
And since Thanksgiving is all about thankfulness, I would like to say that we are extraordinarily thankful for our family and friends, who celebrate with us in good times and sustain us in bad times.
We hope your Thanksgiving was equally festive!

Thai pumpkin soup

traditional day-after-Thanksgiving sticky buns



Parent Potluck 2017

One of the lovely traditions at the kids’ school is that of parent potlucks. During the fall, various parents volunteer to host potlucks at their homes for the parents of the grade. We always try to host at least one, but sometimes schedules get in the way.
After not being able to host last year, we did host one this year for our son’s grade. Jim is opposed to potlucks as a concept and since he likes to cook, we cook the entire dinner. Guests are asked to bring their favorite bottle of wine to donate to the school’s auction.
This past weekend was a rather hectic one. Both Jim and I had board meetings followed by a wedding and reception on Saturday. The day of the potluck was also the day of Part 1 of our son’s Eagle Scout project (more on that in a subsequent blog post). But we managed to fit it all in (although I’ve never seen 2:00 am before on a day where the clocks were moved back—a new experience).

The menu was as follows:
cheese, pate, & crackers
cucumber & carrot salad
chickpea, arugula, & picked carrots salad
tossed salad
fruit salad
beef bourguignon
spicy shrimp
buttered baby potatoes
steamed rice
apple pie

We had four couples over for dinner, some we knew and some we didn’t (which is a perfect combination). It was a fun evening with great conversation and some memorable moments.


Dinner party – December 2015

Some friends of ours were hosting a dinner party as part of a school event, and we offered to help out with the cooking. They kindly agreed to let us do so and, again, with major help from Robert, Jim’s nephew, we served the following:

Apple rutabaga soup with gougeres and Parmesan tuiles (wine: 2002 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne)

apple rutabaga soup

apple rutabaga soup









parmesan tuiles

parmesan tuiles




















Scallops with shallots and bacon on Brussel sprout slaw with mustard dressing (wine: 2010 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne)

scallops on brussel  sprout slaw

scallops on brussel sprout slaw










Moroccan lamb with couscous, Moroccan orange salad and home-made harissa (wine: 2010 Rudd Estate Oakville Proprietary Red)

moroccan lamb with couscous

moroccan lamb with couscous










Gingerbread with salted caramel gelato and spiced whipped cream (wine: Alvear Pedro Ximinez de auada)

gingerbread with gelato & whipped cream

gingerbread with gelato & whipped cream










It was a lot of fun to play in someone else’s kitchen for a change (although I’m not sure they shared the sentiment!).  🙂

Dinner Party – November 4, 2015

We hosted a dinner party at our house last night on behalf of our kids’ school. It was a day of prep and cooking, and we couldn’t have done it without Jim’s nephew, Robert, who was a tremendous help.

Here is our dining room:

dining room

dining room

We served the following:

Thai Pumpkin Soup with Homemade Gougeres (unfortunately, all I have is a photo of the gougeres) plus a lesson learned: forgetting to set the timer results in seared gougeres, which are NOT edible (fortunately, I made a double batch):


Dungeness Crab served on top of Un-Crab Cakes (the un-crab cakes are made with hearts of palm), and another lesson learned when you marry a Washington state native–Dungeness crab is the best crab in the world:

un-crab crab cakes

un-crab crab cakes

Asian Duck Cassoulet served with Asian citrus salad

Asian duck cassoulet

Asian duck cassoulet

and, finally, Chocolate Pots de Crème served with a dollop of fresh whipped cream

Chocolate Pots de Creme

Chocolate Pots de Creme

We had a really fun time cooking the meal. (Straightening up the house enough so that it was fit for company wasn’t quite as entertaining, but it was necessary.) All in all, I think it was a successful dinner!

Institute for Justice dinner

Jim is on the board of the Institute for Justice, and we had the board and almost everyone in the organization (approximately 44 people) over for dinner last night.  Robert, Jim’s nephew, came out and helped cook.  Without him, we would never have been able to pull this dinner off.

The menu was as follows (no photos, sorry!  when there are 40+ people in your house, you forget mundane things like taking photos of the food.)

  • Cheese & Charcuterie with Garlic Grilled Baguettes
  • Lamb Shanks with Rosemary Orange Gremolata
  • Oven Roasted Herb Shrimp
  • Moroccan Vegetables
  • Couscous
  • Tunisian Beet & Potato Salad
  • Pineapple with Lime Honey and Lemongrass
  • Tossed Salad
  • Fresh Berry Salad
  • Chocolate Pots de Crème

As with all meals, I was responsible only for the Chocolate Pots de Crème, cleaning up the house, and doing dishes during the day.  J  And the good news is that there are lots of leftovers, so I can continue to leisurely eat my way through this meal.

Jim has been on the board of IJ for over 20 years.  IJ was founded in 1991 and is a civil liberties non-profit.  They defend people’s rights relating to private property, economic liberty, free speech, and school choice.  In addition to being an incredible group of dedicated professionals, they are also really fun people to hang out with.  (As an example, within 60 seconds of arriving at our home, there was already a pool game underway.)

You can find out more about this extraordinary organization at


We sat 25 people down for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  The extroverted half of the family was giddy with excitement.  The introverted half of the family was delighted at the crowd and equally delighted when the evening ended.

Here’s the menu of what was served:

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Fried Turkey

Smoked Turkey

Roasted Turkey


Roasted Shrimp


Sweet Potatoes

Dinner Rolls



Orange-Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Carrots

Mashed Potatoes

Acorn Squash

Lentil Quinoa Salad

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Tossed Salad


Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake

Blackberry Pie

Apple Pie

Blueberry Pie

We had a lot of leftovers.  🙂

We have a Thanksgiving tradition where each family member says what they are thankful for.  I am thankful for my family and friends and the blessings of good health that we enjoy.  As we often say in our family, we have inconveniences, not problems.  (This stems from a story from a friend of ours who attended a dinner party where people were complaining about various things.  Then, one elderly woman announced, “I don’t have problems.”  She rolled up her sleeve to reveal a tattooed number on her forearm and said, “When I got this, I had problems.  Now, I only have inconveniences.”)

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season, filled with only inconveniences!


Dinner with Friends, Take 2

We hosted another dinner party as part of our donation to our school’s auction to raise money for financial aid.  During the time between our first school auction dinner party and this one, we bought a new dining room table and chairs, so this is what the new setup looks like (we’re quite pleased with it):

new dining room table & chairs

new dining room table & chairs

We started off dinner with an amuse-bouche, consisting of “breakfast”–a miniature Spanish omelet, lobster over miniature pancakes served with vanilla-infused maple syrup, and a gougere with country ham and quail egg served with a miniature mimosa.  (The photo is from back to front.)

"breakfast" amuse-bouche

“breakfast” amuse-bouche

Next up was Thai pumpkin soup served in an acorn squash bowl served with the 1998 Pol Roger Winston Churchill champagne.

Thai pumpkin soup

Thai pumpkin soup

After that was crab served on top of an un-crab cake, which was made with hearts of palm to resemble the consistency of crabcakes.  It was served with miniature spicy peppers and a 2009 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne (a white burgundy).

crab on top of an un-crab cake

crab on top of an un-crab cake

Then came the obligatory (for us) foie gras dish served with pomegranate seeds, black cherry compote, and Parmesan tulles.  The accompanying wine was a 2006 Edge Hill Mixed Blacks.

foie gras with parmesan tulles

foie gras with parmesan tulles

The main course was an Asian duck cassoulet (with edamame instead of beans).  This was served along with a citrus cardamom salad, sautéed mushrooms with sesame seeds, and Japanese pickles.  The wine was a 2007 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red.

Asian duck cassoulet

Asian duck cassoulet

Then came the palate cleansing course, the trio of sorbets (pomegranate, blood orange, and tangerine).

trio of sorbets

trio of sorbets

Dessert was chocolate pot de crème served with Dean & Deluca chocolates.  Served with it was a 1990 Rayne Vigneau.

chocolate pot de creme

chocolate pot de creme

It was a lovely evening, and I think great fun was had by all!