As per usual, we had a lovely early Thanksgiving celebration in Napa this year. We were especially lucky because our friends Morgan and Joanna were able to join us, making the drive down from Reno, where they moved a few months ago. It's hard enough to make plans with people who live in the same city let alone out-of-towners, so we were elated when it turned out they'd be able to come.
We all got in to Daniel's parents' house in the evening and ended up staying up rather late, drinking wine and catching up, which led to a rather slow start in the morning followed by a pretty leisurely day. We drove out to the Oxbow market to wander around and ogle the foodstuffs and then headed to Yountville for a walk. We ended up in the French Laundry gardens, of course, where Joanna made friends with the chickens straight away.
It rained early in the morning but cleared up by mid-day, leaving us with blue skies and clusters of bright, dramatic clouds. A beautiful day to be in Napa. We didn't linger terribly long because some of us needed to get home to start cooking but it felt to be good to be out in the fresh air, building up an appetite for the upcoming feast. I personally was tasked with an appetizer and a vegetable; I looked to Smitten Kitchen for both and made squash toasts with ricotta and mint and balsamic glazed brussels sprouts. After a few hours in the kitchen, we all gathered by the outdoor fireplace and toasted with champagne. Fall in California is a wonderful time.
I'm spending today running errands and packing for my flight to San Diego - I leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to getting away for a few days and spending some time with family. We're in for a good amount of feasting and hopefully some time outside enjoying the beautiful weather. I'll be back soon with photos, hopefully - so happy to be celebrating one of my favorite parts of the year!