Another lovely Thanksgiving at the Carter's

Karen and Make's house
We had a terrific Thanksgiving again this year.  We did our traditional Macy's day parade watching.  Emma always gets excited about it, and Jim and I thought it was better than usual this year. They showed lots of bands too which probably made the difference. Then in the early afternoon we headed over to our friends Mark and Karen Carter's for Thanksgiving dinner. Karen's is my honorary sister and they are like family to us. When they lived in Baltimore they spent many holidays with my Mom, Dad and my sister's family. It's our third year in a row spending Thanksgiving with them. It's such a treat to not have to travel anywhere on the Northeast corridor on this weekend! We gave up going to Baltimore when we lived in Boston -- the drive was just too awful, and flying isn't much better these days.  Karen and Mark live about an hour away in the lovely little town of Hampton, Connecticut. I love their house and it's such a perfect setting for a Thanksgiving gathering.  It's a great old house with a newer kitchen, dining, great room added with a wood burning stove and great beamed cathedral ceiling. Mark's parents were there from Maine, and a work friend of Karen's joined us with her friend.  He's getting his PhD and is from Taiwan and Karen's friend teaching Mandarin and is from China. So, it was a very interesting and diverse crowd.  Poor Emma was the only "kid", but she brought her Ninetendo DS and her book and journal and kept busy. She really enjoyed listening to the real Victrola (old record player) that Mark showed her. They played some old records from the 20s on it -- they are so thick! I think it's pretty cool that the whole thing is mechanical -- no electricity required just cranking the handle.
Uncle Mark taking a break from dinner preparations
Karen changed things up this year and we had a little wine tasting with our cheese and crackers.  We tried three different types of local Connecticut wine from Priam Vineyards.  I really loved the Salmon River white.  I thought it was a great idea -- and fun to try new wines.
Dinner waiting to be served.
The food was all delicious as usual. I have really come to love their mashed potatoes which have tons of garlic and some sweet potatoes thrown in. For desert we had yummy apple pie, or fruits of the forest pie baked by the University of Connecticut bakery, with vanilla ice cream. Finished all of this up with Uncle Mark's fresh brewed from real beans coffee and more conversation.  Hopefully we were model guests because we want to come back again next year. I know I am thankful to have good friends who are great cooks and hosts -- I am thankful for many other things too -- including my family and friends everywhere. Happy Thanksgiving!
Emma and Jim.
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