It all began with baking…isn’t that how every good time starts?
I made a pumpkin spice cake (recipe here) on Tuesday night along with 4 pastry crusts for pies so everything was ready for when my Mom and Dad arrived as my Mom is the pie master. We picked them up at the airport on Wednesday late morning and had a nice lunch and moved the party to my house where the baking continued. My Mom made a pumpkin, a pecan and an apple pie while I prepped the insides of the pies, she rolled out the crusts and put them together. When the pies were done we headed downtown to check them in to their hotel and off to dinner at Villa Romano for one of the best pizzas in town.
Thursday morning I rose early so I could make some cream cheese brownies and the frosting for the pumpkin spice cake. Once everything was done it was time to get ready and head down to Robin and Kenny’s for Thanksgiving Dinner and what a nice dinner it was. Two kinds of turkey (one roasted, one smoked), a ham and ALL the sides you could ever ask for. There were about 15 of us and we all sat down to eat together which was really nice and is really hard to pull off, so bravo to the Garrison’s as I know it was a lot of hard work. After the meal, there was football to be watched, dishes to be rinsed and desserts to be prepped. Kenny went all out and made a cheesecake that not only had a toffee bottom, but had pecan pralines and chocolate ganache on top! We carefully laid out the desserts under the watchful eyes of all the kids and dug right in. This was one of the best Thanksgivings I have had in California. Both the food and the fellowship were top notch.
Friday morning, I had an appointment to get my haircut so we took it kind of slow in the morning. After my haircut we went and picked up Mom and Dad at their hotel and hung out in my neighborhood. We had lunch at Liberty Café (great turkey cobb salad) and then went to my house to watch the Red Wings and Bruins game we recorded from earlier in the day. We all walked down to Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack for dinner, which was delicious as always.
Saturday (Tim’s Birthday!) we got an early start and drove up to Sterling Winery in the very north of the Napa Valley and rode the gondola through the trees up to the winery. The view was exceptional, the fall colors on the floor of the valley were like an autumnal patchwork quilt full of burnt red, deep mustard and everything in between. After the wine tasting we went to St. Helena to walk the shops and have lunch at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. We made a stop at the Bike Shop after lunch and our friend Brain was working so it was a nice surprise to see him and in his element (surrounded by bikes). After fighting the traffic during the long ride home I was wiped out so we called it a day.
Sunday I needed to rest a bit. I got my nails done in the morning and ran errands in the afternoon. Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner. We had Tim’s Birthday Dinner at Wayfare Tavern (Tyler Florence’s restaurant). It was amazing to say the least. We are so lucky to live in the Bay Area, a food mecca. I swear every time my parents come to visit, we have a list of places we have to go and eat. This meal was one of the best I have had in a long time, from the hot popovers once we were seated and the handcrafted cocktails to the sweet ending to the meal. Top notch.Mom and Dad flew home on Monday morning and I went back to work, ready to start another week. It was a such a nice visit and a great Thanksgiving. Hope you all had a great holiday weekend as well.