"You always have a vision of a Hallmark holiday," said my brother Andy, as we discussed our preparations on Thanksgiving morning. I had been describing in great detail my pie failures of the previous day. Both apple and pumpkin had issues, unforeseen results of trying new recipes when things needed to be just right. The apple pie I had made in advance and frozen, ready to bake when needed, had floated in watery juice and gooey crust. The pumpkin pie was a new recipe from our brother Mike. It involved bourbon and lots of egg whites, touted by Mike as "the best pumpkin pie I have ever tasted." After all the work of making it, the filling overflowed all over the oven, tasted disgusting, and went straight out to the compost. Fortunately, I had ingredients for my reliable recipes and spent part of Wednesday night doing just that. The pies were perfect.
There must have been something in the full moon, but everyone I talked to had bad pie karma this year. Andy was telling me that his partner Edward's first pumpkin pie went into their compost pile. Ed was busy in the kitchen making a second pie while Andy and I were gabbing on the phone. Later in the day, when our friend Sue Hruby arrived for dinner, she had her own tale of woe about the sugarless pumpkin cheesecake she made. The first one was a total flop, necessitating a second attempt which was the "Hallmark perfect" one she placed on our kitchen counter.
Otherwise, all went well and was blissfully uneventful, just a nice celebration with our family and friends.
Emily Wetherall, who usually spends the holiday with us, was surprised when she went to the ferry to pick up her daughter Emberly, who was supposed to be coming with a new boyfriend and had requested that Emily plan a quiet dinner with just the three of them instead. Emberly walked off the boat followed by her sister Willow with baby Sylvan in arms, and several friends of Emily's, who had traveled from Maine. Emily is celebrating her birthday today, Nov. 29. Everyone came for a surprise Thanksgiving weekend and early birthday. It was a great success. Happy birthday, Em.
I was pleased to run into Connie Lowe at the Ag Hall on Saturday. Connie had come from Fayetteville, N.Y., to spend Thanksgiving with her sons, Erik and Ted, and their families. Everyone gathered for dinner at Margaret Logue's. It was a treat to all be together this year, as usually Erik and Ted head off-Island with their wives and children.
Later in the day, Ann Leggett called to say she was here for the whole week. She spent Thanksgiving at Ann and Bill Fielder's house, with her brother and sister-in-law, Nick and Judith (Fielder) Leggett, who had come from Washington, D.C. I look forward to catching up with Ann during the week for lunch and good "art talk."
I told Ann to go to Shaw Cramer Gallery to see the drawing show currently on display. Nancy Cramer invited 23 artists to submit drawings. All had to fit into a 12-inch-square mat opening, allowing the show to be hung in a grid. It is a terrific idea and a wonderful exhibition, drawings being, I think, an artist's most personal expression. There was quite a crowd at the opening Friday evening. The show will remain up through December.
Another opportunity for art lovers is Muriel Bye's show, which will open at the Chilmark Public Library on Dec. 1, with a reception from 3 to 5 pm. Muriel's watercolors capture the spirit of many Island scenes. They will be on display through Dec. 27.
At our West Tisbury library, Chantale Legare will be the "Artist of the Month" for December.
An excited Russ Hartenstine showed up at the Fire Department on Sunday with news of the birth of his son, Azor Forrest, on Nov. 15. Azor arrived with a full head of blond/red hair and blue eyes. Congratulations to Russ and Jessica and big sister Sarah.
Matthew and Kara Merry will have a special celebration this week. Their daughter Josephine will turn three on Dec. 7. Happy Birthday, Josephine.
There will be a public meeting for anyone interested in healthier, locally grown food for school lunches. Ali Berlow, Executive Director of the Island Grown Initiative, will host the first meeting on Dec. 4, at 7 pm, at Island Co-Housing Common House. The program is hoping to "connect students to their food through meals and curriculum, support Island farms and the local economy, and create a sustainable, healthy community." What could be better? Call Ali for more information at 508-680-6360 or e-mail her: email@example.com.
Saturday, Dec. 8 is our church's "Greens, Food, and Gift Sale," from 9 am to 1 pm. Coffee, hot cider, and chocolate will be available throughout, with lunch served beginning at 11:30 am. You may call Barbara Howell at 508-693-4664 to order your holiday wreath or centerpiece in advance, or come to the West Tisbury Church at 9 am to see all your choices.
Linda Hearn called to remind everyone that our Town Holiday Party will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5 to 8 pm at the Ag Hall. Start planning your best potluck dish to bring to the party.
Not everyone spent a leisurely Thanksgiving holiday. Debbie Phillips and a group of authors worked at her house on chapters of their up-coming book, "Women on Fire: 20 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Secrets (and Save You Years of Struggle). Jackie Pimentel, Holly Getty, Robin Hughes, and Regina Weichert were the working authors. The book is expected to be published in time for Mother's Day of 2008. Debbie and I will keep you informed.
By now, everyone has probably heard about the fire at Deon's Restaurant this past Sunday. Mike and I had just turned out the lights when the call came over the scanner. He got home around 2:30 am and I was not too engaged in the conversation, so I called Betty Haynes this morning. There was a lot of smoke damage in the restaurant and, sadly, the original part of the building, Bill's mother's hot dog stand, is gone. So many people have wonderful memories of hot dogs and ice cream cones at the window, and we newcomers looked forward to a nice place in town to go out for a meal year-round. I am so sad for everyone at Deon's and hope they will be able to reopen quickly.