Monday, December 1, 2008

three thanksgivings??

yes, i was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate thanksgiving three times this year. first, my friends richard and caitlin decided to throw a "canadian thanksgiving" bash on october 12th. then we had our traditional holiday on thanksgiving day. finally, we created a new tradition..."vegan" thanksgiving on some very good friends of mine are vegan and they kinda miss out during the traditional meal. happily, i have not concluded the thanksgiving memories series i was thrilled when caitlin sent me her write up of the canadian thanksgiving festivities...and i will share the vegan day tomorrow...

caitlin is a new friend..just met her this year...and feel very fortunate that this extremely kind, giving, intelligent and funny person has come into my life...she moved here from canada last year and was feeling a bit homesick, so she took charge of introducing one of her traditions to her new friends here in napa...i confess that i did not know much about this holiday...other than seeing the date posted each year on my franklin/covey day planner!! i learned that thanksgiving is similar to ours..a celebration of harvest albeit without the pilgrim/native american theme. the food is pretty much the same...and, although the official day is a monday, caitlin said that canadians hold their feast dinner sometime during that long weekend...ours was a sunday night...i could go on and on describing this magical evening...but caitlin did a lovely job of telling the story....introducing caitlin...

"Canadian Thanksgiving has always been just that. Red and orange maple leaves, hikes in brisk fresh air, crisp Macintosh Apples and of course turkey with all the trimmings and lots of laughter with friends and family.

Celebrating the early October Harvest has always marked the transition into the cold, harsh Canadian winter. This holiday has always been a favorite of mine and moving to California I was afraid I would lose my holiday roots. How wrong I was with the beautiful Canadian thanksgiving I was able to share with my American friends.

We truly celebrated with the culture and flare that makes the Napa Valley so special. A beautiful sunny day in the heart of the Carneros region of Napa was the backdrop for the truly remarkable day. An outdoor table for 25 was set with the amazing design skills of Richard Von Saal. His kindness, passion and eye for detail was beyond evident with a barn wood center piece, dichroic glass chandelier, an eclectic mix of vintage pieces, and of course many bottles of the delicious wine that makes the Napa Valley world famous.

The food was a beautiful potluck of classic Thanksgiving food complete with a rosemary white wine turkey from Martha Stewart Everyday Foods, freshly baked Asian pear pie, winter salad and the best (I’m not kidding), Persimmon and fig preserves from Napa Farm House 1885.
Aside from the successful wine industry, gourmet food revolution, a lifestyle focused on health and wellness, and an appreciation for the arts the people are what make the culture of the Napa Valley so special. How lucky was I to be thousands of miles away from my family and spend a celebrated holiday with 25 amazing people. Only in California will you find around one table such an interesting and diverse group of folks as we had. Artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, photographers, writers, environmental activists, an editor of a lesbian magazine, wine makers, gallery owners, a professional dirt biker, and designer who all shared lots of laughter and great stories.

My mom will be happy to know that our family tradition of expressing what we are grateful for was carried on around this amazing dinner table of new friends. What was I thankful for? Of course all my new American friends who came together in celebration of food, friendship, and laughter. I can hardly wait to do it all over again for the American Thanksgiving tradition!"

was your holiday traditional..or did you mix it up? please share your stories in the comments section of this post...and check back tomorrow for "vegan thanksgiving"!


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Anonymous said...

Been away for the last week and just catching up with this lovely collection of Thanksgiving stories. So different, but with one common theme. I'd have loved to have been at this Canadian one, not just for the food, but for the company - I bet it was great fun!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

welcome back..hope you were away doing something fun...

the night was a lot of fun..really a special memory...