"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water." W. C. Fields
The food just kept appearing…seemingly out of nowhere...served up by a ghostly dark-haired blur. But of course, that's not possible; who was that Wonder Woman in the kitchen?
I don't want to short a single contributor, so I will play it safe and just say that I did not contribute one dish over the entire week of our Thanksgiving reunions with family back east. With a culinary repertoire that consists of oatmeal and toast, you don't want a guy like me anywhere near a kitchen; I can't even make a good pot of coffee. Bobbie can hold her own in our kitchen back home for one meal a day; the rest of the time you are on your own. Fortunately, there are chefs galore on both the Forbes and Johnson sides of our family, and to them I tip my "Food is Good" ball cap.
Meal preparation at family events is one of the purest forms of love I can think of—an unselfish, magnanimous gift that requires planning, shopping, preparation, timing, and lots and lots of money. As someone who never aspired to spend hours in the kitchen, I carry a certain amount of guilt. At home I can at least clean up because I know where things go; anyplace else, and I wander around like a doofus…looking for the super secret cupboard where coffee cups go (Tracey, if you come up missing any mugs try checking the medicine cabinet upstairs…or the big bottom drawer with all the kitchen doo-hickys).
With this in mind, and guilt enough to last a lifetime, I did the only thing I was capable of doing when seated at a table of unselfish chefs and helper elves about to partake of the first of two exquisite Thanksgiving day meals...as lovely to gaze upon at as they were to eat. I raised a bubbling glass of champagne...complete with a colorful peachy puree hugging the bottom...and made my specialty, a Toast.
"To Tracey, for the beauty and flavor and labor you heap upon us." It struck a cord; from that point forward spontaneous "To Tracey(s)" echoed all hours of the day and night, from every room in the house…including a couple from bathrooms after particularly laborious number twos. Yes, the Johnson's will celebrate just about anything when there is a near empty glass in hand (sigh).
|Just "peachy" champaign glasses|
|A nicely converted garage served 13 guests just fine. I thought the motorcycle and kayak were nice touches :)|
|Thanksgiving brunch…a tasty warm up for the main meal|
|Megan…Darin's daughter…with Granddad|
|From left: Young Dan, grandma Elaine, granddad Dan (my brother) Owen (Spielberg), and my son, Caleb.|
|Brother Dan, demonstrating the fine art of popping a champagne cork to granddaughter Maia (Brent and Anita's daughter)|
|Caleb Everett Johnson…"Everett" was his granddad Johnson's first name (my dad)|
|Young Dan and Caleb|
|Brent and young Dan|
|Elaine and Brother Dan...|
|My favorite…Anita and Elaine|
|Owen and Mom…Anita|
|Yours truly and Owen Johnson…I call him Oh Jo|
|Two and a half men...|
|Caleb and Darin|
|"To Tracey," and young Dan|
|Brent and "To Tracey"|
|preparing for a "To Tracey"|
|A father son moment|
|Megan…a fashionista :)|
|Caleb and Japan Dan|
|The Serious music studio… upstairs|
|Caleb, doing his D J thing|
|Megan, trying on Granddad's watch|
|A food/beer hangover in the making...|
|Turkey Vultureess…stripping meat from bone|
|Loopy (as in "crazy") and Anita, as in "Anitanotherbeer"|