11.22.2011

Friendship and Thanks




I just booked my flight to visit David and Mark next March.  By then I'll be so ready to escape the last dregs of winter, and step into sunshine and warmth and spring desert flowers.  It's been ages since I've seen these dear friends, and I'll want to squeeze every moment out of my short stay.  David has promised me food shopping at his favorite haunts, mad cooking, and lots of eating.  I'm very good with the "eating" part :).


Last Saturday evening, Deb and Tom quietly tied the knot before an intimate group of family and friends.  Deb and I met 30 years ago, when we were hygienists working in the same dental practice.  We both returned to school to pursue second careers, and together often commiserated over the exhausting schedule of jobs, commute to classes, and a mountain of homework.  Even though our paths have taken us in different directions, we have remained close friends and I was honored to stand as her maid of honor this weekend.

On Sunday evening, Christina called me, "come over for a glass of wine!".  We hadn't had time to catch up in awhile and had much to discuss over olives, cheese, crackers and taramosalata.  Christina and I have known each other for some time - acquaintances, if you will - but only in the last few years have we become philenathes.  Friends were coming for supper one evening and I wondered, "would she like to join us".  We pepper our conversations with Greek - she has a better command of the language than I and has promised to teach me some fancy dance moves before the next Greek festival.


Chloe - 18 years old and wondering where her dessert is.

And this Thursday, I will celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with my mother, brother and his family - and then we'll continue on to my cousin's home to spend the remainder of the day with our extended family.  As I look back and take stock, my days are filled with beauty, and goodness, and people whom I love and who love me.  I am so very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.


FROZEN CRANBERRY TORTE

Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar

Filling:
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups whole cranberries, ground
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping or heavy cream

Garnish:
Zest from an orange

In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, pecans, 1/4 cup sugar and the melted butter.  Press onto the bottom and sides of an 9-inch springform pan.  Chill.

In a large mixer bowl, combine cranberries and 1 cup sugar; let stand 5 minutes.  Add egg whites, orange juice concentrate, vanilla and salt.  Beat on low speed of electric mixer until frothy.  Then beat at high speed (6 to 8 minutes) until stiff peaks form.  In a small mixer bowl, whip cream to soft peaks.  Fold into the cranberry mixture.  Turn into crust.  Freeze firm.

To serve, remove torte from pan and place on serving plate.  Garnish with grated or curled orange zest.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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