Dear Ones,

Last Thursday, Thanksgiving day, 25 or so folks (and one little support poodle) joined my family of three for a sweet afternoon and evening of good food, conversation and games. Earth’s gifts, passed through many kitchens, were represented bounteously: two 16# turkeys (donated by Jim and Sue Dooley—Thank you!) and Richard’s vegan tofurkey, gravy, multiple baked dressings, cauliflower gratin, Wendy’s carrots and baked spicy acorn squash, Bruce’s sweet potatoes, beautiful string beans, potatoes mashed by committee, chicken-noodle soup, fruit salad, Brussels sprouts with walnuts and pomegranate seeds, cornbread and squash rolls, pecan and pumpkin pies with vegan brethren, Jane’s chocolate cake and Lew’s sopapilla, mulled cider and cranberry-raspberry version of Swedish “glögg” (pronounced glook). In other words, we feasted!

Guest Bill Buonora wrote to thank us for welcoming him, his friend Karen and her little poodle Coby: My poor friend, a former nurse who is isolated living alone without family found this day special to meet so many nice people. Sometimes, we do not realize the positive effect our efforts have on people. One of the things I have especially loved about these Thanksgiving potluck dinners is the way we all pull together to set up the space, create the meal, connect strangers, distribute the leftovers and clean everything up. So much laughter and love.

Here’s a recipe for your own holiday tables. It’s a “wow” in your mouth!

Curried Cream Cheese Dip with Flavor Explosion

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp. curry powder (or more, up to 1T total)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or more, up to 1T total)
  • 1/2 cup red pepper or red chili jelly/sweet chili sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries/raisins
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts/walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped (~3 green onions)
  • +1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut

Combine the cream cheese, spices, and 3 tbsp. of the jelly until smooth. An electric or hand mixer will make this easy. Spread the mixture into the bottom of a shallow dip dish (roughly 5″ x 7″). Spread the remaining jelly over top of the cream cheese mixture. Combine the dried cranberries, pine nuts, and green onions in a small bowl to mix, then sprinkle evenly over top of the dip. Chill until you serve. I first tasted this with Fritos dippers, but any sturdy chip or cracker will do! Wishing you all

Joyous Holidays in Good Company