Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving with Friends

I do a lot of cooking solo--with just Caesar (hoping I'll drop something) for company, so it's always fun when I have the opportunity to cook with a friend who loves it as much as I do. This Thanksgiving, friend Janet Testerman and I spent the day cooking at her mother's house for a small group of family and friends. (For those who don't know, just so you don't get confused later, her mom's also named Janet.)

My first job was prepping the brussels sprouts. Janet's brother Ben announced that God must have taken the day off when brussels sprouts, beets, and peas were invented. Ha! I disagree because I love all three. I threatened to invent a dish including all three and name it after Ben.

 While I chopped, minced, sliced, and diced, Janet turned her attention to the potatoes.

And the stuffed pork loin, which we had instead of turkey.

Around that time Vicki Gillenwater arrived. She doesn't cook, but she joined us in having a drink we christened "champoms"--champagne, pomegranate juice, and pomegranate seeds.

While Janet and I cooked, Vicki visited with Ben Testerman and Francis Norris. That's Janet's dog Riley with them.

While waiting for the last few items to bake, Mama Janet, Janet & Vicki checked out The Blue Streak, Cynthia Moxley's blog. They were especially interested in the item about the Laikens and their reasons for leaving Knoxville. This led to quite a discussion about fashion and culture in Knoxville.

Dinner is served. Think we had enough choices?

Brussels sprouts with apples and bacon

Squash Casserole

Broccoli & Blue Cheese Casserole

Carrot Souffle

Green Beans

Mashed Potatoes

Stuffed Pork Loin

And even though we didn't have turkey, we had dressing

and cranberry chutney and gravy.

Mama Janet was first in line!

After dinner, Kevin Kampf and Vicki broke out the eggnog.

Ben opted for pumpkin ice cream--two bowls!

We also had peppermint ice cream, pumpkin cheesecake, and caramel cake.

Thanksgiving with friends. That's what we're having.


  1. Holy cow! What a spread! It looks fantastic. The Blue Streak appreciates the shout out, too. Wonder what that discussion was like!

  2. Ha ha--Vicki wondered where the Laikens had been hanging out. Not with the three of us we decided ;-)

  3. Really like the pix of Gay and Janet.