I spent Thanksgiving away from family and old friends this year. Instead, I stuck around Fort Bragg and had a lovely time with new friends. Dinner was delicious. I made roasted brussels sprouts and a pumpkin bourbon cheesecake. The cheesecake turned out to be an adventure. It's a fussy cake to make, and after making the crust and batter, I realized that I didn't have a pan for the water bath (the cake bakes in a water bath for about an hour, then cools in the bath for an additional hour). I tried everything. I asked the neighbors for a pan. I thought about running into town to buy one, but the 45-minute roundtrip would have destroyed the cake. So I improvised. I baked the cake in a garbage can lid--upside down, holes plugged with tinfoil, lined with tinfoil, and shimmed on two bread pans in the oven to keep the whole assembly upright. It worked out just fine, and the cake was a huge hit. Next time I'll listen to mom and start the cake the night before.
Todd, an instructor at CR, and his fiance Heidi hosted Thanksgiving dinner. With help from friends, they chose the perfect sawhorses and doors to create one long table that accommodated all 25 guests. The table was decorated with fresh persimmons and the bottles of wine and bubbly were flowing. After dinner there was a persimmon tower building contest (my classmate Mollie holds the record at 7-layers of persimmons) and many hands of poker. It was a wonderful way to spend the holiday. Thanks Heidi and Todd!