Cauliflower, Broccoli & First Dates

heartwoodThirteen years ago I went on a first date. He invited me to a winery. I had never done a wine tasting. I had no idea what to wear to winery. I went out and bought a new skirt that I felt was appropriately casual and sophisticated that morning. He doesn’t remember my skirt– just the giant oversized sunglasses I was wearing. I remember I drank the samples way too fast and had no idea what to say about them.

Two years later I married the man who planned that date and last weekend we went back to the winery. I wore jeans. I still don’t really know what to say about wine. We’re still laughing about those sunglasses. We’re taking the bottle of wine pictured above to Thanksgiving dinner.

Dinner which will be at the home of the family that came with that awesome guy I went on a date with 13 years ago. They’ve made me feel welcome from day one. Today I will sit around their table and count my blessings while eating way, way too much homemade cranberry salad.

My contribution to the meal is a cauliflower and broccoli salad that is always part of the menu at my familys Thanksgiving celebration. I made it from a recipe written in my mom’s handwriting and thought about the celebration at their house.  An event which most years has included close friends, which taught me from an early age that the boundaries of family aren’t defined solely by blood and marriage.

I hope your day is full of peace and gratitude, wherever you are and whomever you are with. Thank you so much for spending a bit of your time with my words today and your support of my writing in general. My cup runneth over…

Oh, and just in case you need a last-minute side dish, here’s the recipe for that broccoli and cauliflower salad (minus my mom’s handwriting):

1 head cauliflower

1 bunch broccoli

2 small onions (finely diced)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 slices bacon (crumbled) – optional

– Cut the tops of the cauliflower and broccoli into small bite-size pieces (the smaller the better)

– Mix the ingredients from mayonnaise through pepper by shaking them together in a jar

– Right before serving, pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir until coated. Top with bacon.

(It’s best if the veggies can sit together overnight, and the dressing can chill as well — but if you truly are making it last-minute, it’s just fine right away too!)

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you!

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