Last night, Lu called out from the dining room, “Dada, can I help you make dinner?”
Of course, he said yes.
She’s often in the kitchen with us, chopping and stirring, pouring flour into the running stand mixer. But her interest in being there waxes and wanes. If she’s particularly entranced by a specific book, Lu would rather lean her upper body on the couch, her feet stretched out on the floor, stare at the pages, and talk out the story to herself than cook with us. (“Can I have a little privacy?” she’ll ask us, and we give that to her.) She eats well, makes up food in her own kitchen, and gives us ideas of what to make for dinner that week. We’re never worried about her interest in what interests us too.
But lately, she has been particularly interested in helping. Last week, she said after dinner, “May I help wash the dishes, please?” That was, of course, music to our ears. Yes, you may. So she stood on a chair, rubbing a sponge over a plate, singing a little song. It didn’t last longer than that evening but it was lovely. Yesterday, she and I made a date coffee cake for church together, before 7:30 in the morning. And last evening, she stood next to Danny on a chair, her arm around him, stirring tagliatelle in a pot, and whispering secrets to him about what we would be making for dessert. (Banana ice cream, made only with frozen bananas and maple syrup.) It was a good day in the kitchen.
This is the week most of us are talking about being in the kitchen. It’s Thanksgiving on Thursday, of course. Whether or not you like to cook, this is the holiday of standing in front of the stove.
I hope that it’s joyful for you all, somehow.
We’re hosting 18 people for dinner on Thursday. We don’t really have the space in our tiny dining room, so we’re moving it all to our new kitchen studio here on Vashon. (I’ll tell you more about that place soon.) We may have to pull over desks and set up card tables to seat everyone. And everyone will have to bring a chair or two. But there will be roasted heirloom turkey (with smoked legs), stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts gratin, orange-roasted sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower with green olives and dates, crispy kale salad with dried sour cherries and a lime vinaigrette, wild rice salad with cashew cream, dinner rolls, cranberry chutney, olives, and pie (pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, apple-caramel pie, and chocolate meringue pie). I don’t believe that anyone will leave hungry. And it will all be grain-free and refined-sugar-free, with much of it dairy-free too.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot of standing in front of the stove we need to do to pull off this feast. You have cooking to do too.
So we would like to remind you about our gluten-free Thanksgiving baking iPad app and the digital download available for those of you who do not have an iPad.
And mostly, we’d like to say we hope you have a wonderful day. I hope the meal is delicious, the conversation relaxed, and there are board games and long walks and dance parties with your family or friends. We could all use a day off, right?
We’ll be back next week with lots of good food for you, folks. Happy Thanksgiving.