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Points North: Trains and Thanksgiving

I am feeling unnecessarily pleased with my weekend's train trips. Most of the trains were persistently early, and the one which started off fifteen minutes later, ended up arriving on time. Additionally, my tickets covered me for taking breaks at train change points, so I could wander off to spend this afternoon in Manchester (D.L. and family, German Christmas Market) without any extra tickets. (Admittedly, there was a bonus visit to Chorley involved in getting to Manchester, thanks to track construction.) It was like getting two extra trips thrown in free with the rest of my trip. For some reason, i also liked that I could spend Friday in Birmingham (Good Food Show), and yet skip Birmingham entirely en route back to London. I managed to miss all the trains I had reservations on, but still have seats.

On Saturday, I made my first Manchester trip of the weekend, to go to sioneva's for American Thanksgiving with American and Brits. They'd put together, with minor additional contributions, a feast: turkey, roast potatoes, parsnips, brussel sprouts, peas, rolls, a lovely potato-and-ham confection, pecan balls (with onions and brown sugar and breadcrumbs and other things), gravy, cranberry sauce, and, beforehand, a lovely array of appetizers. She couldn't find canned pumpkin, so she roasted her own, and made the best pumpkin pie I've ever eaten from it, with whipped cream of course. The lemon tiramisu was piquant and richly lemony, a nice contrast to the smooth sweetness of the pumpkin pie. Thanks to targaff and sioneva for all the hard work cooking!

Afterwards, we lolled about in food-induced stupor, resisting sleep (chocolate and sugar helped), and comparing cross-cultural notes and life story highlights. Many of us were new to each other, but the atmosphere was relaxedly congenial. Much as I'd done well with trains this weekend, I was all too happy to skip late night rail replacement buses and be driven back to Preston by a couple who live there. Wasn't targaff thoughtful to have invited old school friends for my eventual benefit?

LJ encounters: I met taldragon, thespis_mellie, and cynicaloptimist, as well as others who do not use LJ.
innostrantsa: I've been picturing your hair all wrong for the past two years! It has volume!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC)
Nov. 27th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
Nov. 27th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
Hiya! It was nice to meet you :)
Nov. 27th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
It was good to meet you too! Glad you made it back safely.
Nov. 28th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC)
You went to Chorley?!

Poor you.
Nov. 28th, 2005 01:13 am (UTC)
I spent a whole 20 minutes in Chorley! It was a touristic opportunity, of sorts.
Nov. 28th, 2005 12:46 am (UTC)
*laughing delightedly* Boy howdy, does it have volume! I'd forgotten that there was photographic evidence in sioneva's possession.

There's something really triumphal about train trips in which everything goes well, isn't there? Against all odds, you have won through against a mighty bureaucracy!

Those pecan balls sound tasty, as does every other aspect of your Thanksgiving feast... and mmm, pie made of freshly roasted pumpkin. You're right-- there is nothing like it. Wow.
Nov. 28th, 2005 01:15 am (UTC)
You and sioneva were exchanging the most delighted and mischievious glances in the picture I saw. It was so good to see a picture of you! (And a fine one of rhiannon76 as well.)

The pecan ball recipe is available for your delectation, should you choose to try them out.
Nov. 28th, 2005 09:46 am (UTC)
definitely try them - if you steal the recipe to your LJ, could i please have credit? (on behalf of Sara :) )
Nov. 28th, 2005 10:09 am (UTC)
Well, not so freshly roasted...it had been frozen for just under a month, as pumpkin is ONLY available here for Halloween. But it was good pie! I was pleased!

The turkey was, well, damn stubborn and took far longer to cook properly than it should have, which I will blame on Alton Brown ;p

And those pecan balls are heavenly!!! They taste, rather remarkably, like meatballs and have a gorgeous texture. Very nice!
Nov. 28th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
Ooh -- an Alton Brown brined turkey? Yum. But I envy not your pumpkin pie, because I believe in the very traditional can o' Libby's (makes two pies, never just one) recipe. Not the mix, mind you -- just the canned pumpkin that you doctor up yourself.

Ooh -- I did find out that golden syrup is a nice switch from corn syrup. Because, you know, when you burn the first pecan pie at 11 p.m. the night before, you have to get up and back a second one at 6 in the morning ...
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )