Thanks, everyone, for the Thanksgiving wishes! I hope my fellow Americans all had a great time with family and friends--and actually, I hope the same for everyone, holiday or no.
We discovered this year that:
• The carrying capacity of our dining room (and my wits) is about 11 or 12.
• Brining a turkey is a really good idea--a foolproof guarantee of juicy, succulent tenderness, even if your meat thermometer breaks and you cook the entire bird to an internal temperature of 200-plus degrees.
• Boiled eggs should be peeled while warm, or else the deviled eggs will be pockmarked.
• It takes exponentially more time to cook for 11 than it does to cook for two or four. But you can make it happen if you have the help of a wonderful mom who has cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd for 30 years straight.
• The six or eight three-week-old mystery chicks that my stepsister promised us turned out to be NINE in number. After much perusal of the McMurray catalog, we think they are eight Red Stars and a Black Star. But we didn't see them when they were first born, so we could be utterly wrong.
• An excellent day-after-the-holiday brunch can be created by pouring all the leftover eggnog* in a buttered panful of ripped-up French bread and sliced pears, then baking it for 50 minutes. Instant bread pudding!
* Ours was alcohol-free, since we grownups were doctoring ours on the side. But bourbon- or brandy-spiked eggnog would probably make a killer bread pudding, too.