Thursday 26 November
We were happy to not have to travel over Thanksgiving. While Barbara watched the Macy's parade and wrote Christmas cards, Holt deboned a Busch's turkey breast for an elaborate ballotine, decorated the inside of the skin with fresh sage leaves, and stuffed the interior with sausage (raw - which bastes the turkey from the inside as it roasts) celery, onion, dried cranberry and bread, with carrot sticks laid lengthways to give color.
We took some pinot noir and Kentucky Bourbon cake (as we're on a roll with them) as well as the lovely ballotine to Zac and Lauren's, as Lauren has no objection to meat at Thanksgiving, so long as she doesn't have to eat it.
There we met their friend Isabel, the other Lauren, whom we had met at their house two years ago, and their new dog Ruby, who is still learning to cope with guests, but did very well, especially with guests who'd feed her dog treats. Humans were allowed to have a salume platter and varied cheeses, including a strong Australian Roaring Forties blue, along with Old Fashioneds with dried cranberries at the bottom.
Then to the table, where we started with a bang: Zac's handmade ravioli stuffed with the Afghan-style pumpkin, kaddo bourani, and topped with onion and sage butter and a drizzle of REAL balsamic vinegar acquired in Modena.
There were so many things to choose from that we went into buffet mode: the turkey ballotine, a pie pumpkin stuffed with a mixture of mushrooms, greens, onion, and a little fontina cheese, two kinds of mashed potatoes, and platters of roasted brussels sprouts and crisp green beans.
Many of Zac and Lauren's favorite Acorn wines accompanied us along the way, but for dessert we made the transition to Larceny bourbon, along with Lauren's classic apple pie (with a little bourbon - in fact, almost everything we ate had a little bourbon in it), and Zac's salted caramel and ginger ice creams.Drink flowed, talk flowed, and we only left when everybody was yawning their heads off. So thanks, Lauren and Zac, for another superb Friendsgiving.