That Place

Appalachian Mountains, Sunrise

It starts as a thrumming in your ears and you can't decide whether it is your heart or your excitement when the hills begin and the flat ends.  It's rusts and burnt umbers and coppers and sepias (now that the golds and oranges are all gone).  It's mists that cling to the sides of mountains like parting lovers well into the morning.  It's the smell of November in the woods; of seasoned leaves on the ground, curled, crunchy and smelling faintly of sassafras and new frost.  It's hot coffee in cold hands, layers of clothes to shed away as the sun finally crests the mountain.  It's story after story of history (older than time itself you're sure) of travels and trials, loves and losses- unending, bigger than all of everything you've known when you really think about it- made new again in the retelling.  It's history lessons coming faster than before because time is so short and seems to be growing shorter still.  It's laughter made brighter by the time and distance that has separated you, a place of kinship deep inside that tells you you're home (in that throbbing heart place).  And it's your heart wide open, circuits blown all over again because it was her place.

There is just no place for your heart to hide there.  

Pine Mountain, Kentucky
   Gratitude abounds for having had the opportunity to come from where I do, to be loved deep and true, to feel linked to something so much bigger than me, to know those that have come before and know that who I am is no accident.  It is, in fact, inevitable.  

We had a fabulous time in the mountains this weekend with family. It was beyond great to breathe the air and walk the woods and see those that love us best. The kiddos ran the obstacle courses in the woods and we ate chili and laughed and carried on, commiserating on UK Football and looking forward to basketball season. I won't talk about what bootleg fabulousness I smuggled home. Just know that it's good to have country cousins.

A boy on an adventure and Ms. Fluffy, training site mascot.
Kentucky National Guard, CSM Harold L. Disney Training Site
    Thanksgiving approaches swiftly, friends.  My immediate family will have ours this week.  The actual week of Thanksgiving is so crazy busy (hither and yon and back again) and everyone has eaten themselves sick on turkey by then so I decided last year that we would start our holiday earlier in the month.  My menu has been so fun to plan with the new found source on quail.  The menu feels huge, but there are some standards that just need to be there if it's Thanksgiving, especially with kiddos at the table.  It actually is more like two menus; one for the adults and one for the kiddos- but it's all good.  That, happily, just means a week of leftovers.  I'm sure we will come back for the dessert course a few hours later when we can breathe again.

Thanksgiving Menu

Gorgonzola, Honey, Toasted Hazelnut Crostinis
Spiced Cider Mimosas

Kale Salad with Apple, Pancetta, and Pecans
d'Arenburg The Hermit Crab (White Rhone Blend)

Quail with Cranberry Madeira Sauce
Clementine Brined Turkey Breast
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Thyme Roasted Fall Vegetables- Brussel Sprouts, Golden Beets, Butternut Squash
Cranberry Chutney with Lemon and Fennel
Orin Swift Locations

Pine Nut and Honey Tart
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
Brandy and Bourbon Cream Coffee
Pappy Van Winkle 20 year old Reserve Bourbon

I'll let you know how it all goes.  If I can get it together, I'll photo as much as possible- or employ my sis as photographer.  One way or another we will get it documented.

Until next time, pass on your own Thanksgiving menus and let me know what traditional dishes you can't live without.


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