In her last hour here, we went for a walk. We walked through the fall colors and cool air down a street I'd never finished going down. Just a little further beyond a café we used to go to is a park with swingsets. We browsed through shops whose windows I've been watching for years, but had never been in. We went back to have one last hot chocolate at JS Bonbon. My sister had the lemon thyme hot chocolate, which was a very striking flavor, but good. I opted for their gianduja, always good and comforting. We narrowly missed the streetcar and walked back, arriving just as her taxi was pulling up. Good timing, and just as well she was already all packed.
We spent much of the weekend cooking and cleaning while my sister was out salsa dancing full-time. The culmination of our work was hosting a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, with two token Canadians to lend some credence to the celebration. For the first time since we bought it, we cleared off the computer table in order to seat everyone, and even then there were many more people I would happily have invited. It's just as well that as many people as did went away for the weekend, and thus were uninvitable. And now we know we can seat thirteen people if we need to.
Dinner came together amazingly. We cooked squash, gravy, and stuffing the day before, so there'd be only turkey, veggie gravy, and cleaning on Monday. We bought birthday cake for my sister and vegetarian quiches. We read up on how to cook turkey in more than one cookbook, borrowed a roasting pan, bought a rack last-minute at the mall, and finally, on Monday afternoon, cooked our first full turkey. It turned out perfectly.
The dinner was a feast, as Thanksgiving is meant to be: dips and bread, vegetables and dip, two quiches, turkey, meated and meat-free gravy, homemade cranberry sauce with a nicely contrasting citrus flavor, stuffing, spinach and green bean casserole, cornbread, mashed potatoes, a candy-like sweet potato mash, and a sublime pear gratin with very rich blue cheese for contrast. And lots of wine. And then there was chocolate birthday cake and pumpkin ice cream pie for dessert. I was full of so many good flavors.
Although the evening came to an end rather soon afterwards (many attendees had exams to study for and papers to write, all due this week), the apartment was remarkably clean. Several people washed dishes, for which I am particularly thanksful, for it only left us food to put away in fridge and freezer, plus some vacuuming and furniture-rearranging, and everything was back to normal.
Well, almost. The computer desk has still not been this clean since we first bought it.