Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

As has become our habit, we had Thanksgiving at a restaurant at the beach. I had a wonderful seat that offered me a view of the water, the sky and Catalina. When it got toward sunset the sky was a soft pastel blue and the clouds a pretty shade of pink. The water turned a translucent blue and then as the sky went dark it blended with the water. Still I could see the planes that had just taken off from LAX, though they were already just small blinking lights heading somewhere north.

I heard somewhere that it was the warmest Thanksgiving on record here. It certainly wasn’t a day for sheep skin boots and mufflers. But with the low angle of the sun and the short days, the sun didn’t heat things up like it does in summer and it was really just pleasantly warm. I spent the morning sitting in my yard knitting the project for the next Yarn Retreat Mystery.

Getting to and from the beach is always an interesting ride. Going, we took Topanga Canyon Boulevard as it wound through the mountains, the town of Topanga and then the really rugged section with jagged mountains empty of civilization.

We took Malibu Canyon back. By then it was dark and most of the view invisible, but as we climbed higher, I looked back and saw all the lights along the curve of the coast line. Malibu Canyon mostly passes through uninhabited land, so there was just darkness on either side, though I’ve ridden it often enough to know what was out there even though I couldn’t see it.

Just before the break for the holiday, I got the final version of the book cover for the next Crochet Mystery. My publisher had hoped to be able to switch out the dog for a cat based on my late great cat Rocky, but it was too late. So, Rocky will be on the next cover.

Personally, I love the cover. I do wonder, if the artist who designed it was aware that the flowers appear to be hydrangeas which happen to be poisonous.

And now it is time to put all my attention on writing the next Crochet Mystery. I have it plotted out and have written the beginning. I know the crochet projects I will include. As for the recipe. My son has been bugging me to make something I used to make all the time when he was a kid. He called it Chinese jello, even though I got the idea from something we’d had at a Japanese restaurant. I figure if I put it in a book, there is a greater chance I’ll make some for him. And I bet Jakey will like it, too. I made up the recipe, but always did it by taste, so I’ll have play around with it and then write down the final directions.

It is never too late to learn new things. I just found the perfect way to make sweet potatoes after all these years. I love sweet potatoes, but I could never get them to turn out the way I like them. Then I read a cooking magazine that offered a different way than I’d been baking them. It was really simple. Bake them at 425 degrees for two hours. When I first took them out, I wasn’t so sure it had worked. Black crinkly stuff had drained out of them and I thought they might be burned. When I opened them up, the inside of the skin looked kind of black too. But the orange part was wonderfully soft as I scooped it out and when I tasted it. Wow! I just added a little butter and walnuts and sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top to add a little contrast in flavor.

I am so thankful that the world is still unfolding.


Linda O. Johnston said...

It's fun to enjoy family traditions for celebrating a holiday, and your visit to the beach sounds like a great one! And congrats on your new cover.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it's funny how holiday traditions are different depending on your locale. It took me a long time to get used to Thanksgiving without cold weather. It just didn't feel right. Now it feels great.