Meet My Sous Chef

This is my nephew, Stone. He is six and he's been helping me cook since he was three. Here he's got a stalk of Brussels Sprouts that we are going to roast and drizzle with a balsamic glaze for today's Thanksgiving meal.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Toss Brussels Sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until tender and the outer leaves are brown and crispy. Toss with a balsamic reduction.

We both would like to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and share with you one of our annual traditions. We put a place card at every seat at the table and scatter some pens about. During the beginning of the meal everyone is encouraged to write on their card the things they are grateful for this year. We save these cards so friends and family that have been coming to Thanksgiving at my home now have several cards at their setting. It is fun and poignant and sometimes sad to read what we were grateful for in past years. During dessert, we read our current card out loud and some from the past. We also cherish the cards that have been written by those who are no longer with us on this planet.

This year Stone is in first grade and his writing skills are excellent, so he made the place cards.

Gratitude from the Past

"I am grateful for big things in life: That my family can come to spend a week with me and we have such a wonderful time together, I am grateful to have two nephews and the opportunity to really spend time with them. I am grateful that my cousin Davida is on the mend and was able to make the trip to join us at Thanksgiving. I appreciate the little things: Pat's help shucking the oysters, Bill's excellent turkey carving skills, Linda's delicious mashed potatoes and creamed corn which she brings year after year and everyone's help in the kitchen."

"The freedom we have."

"Good friends."

"Good health and old age."

"Having exciting happy moments, lots of them, with my family."

"I'm grateful for my family and friends."

"I am grateful for my lovely daughter-in-law."

"I'm grateful for my job and my life."

"We are thankful for fresh air from the ocean, good earth to grow vegetables, clean water for seafood, and friends to share with."

"I am thankful for my family, wife, health and great dinner, and I am finally thankful I am not a Yankee fan."

"I am thankful right now to be sitting among all these lovely people."

"Great food!"

"Thank you for yesterday, today, and tomorrow."

"I am thankful for God."

"I am thankful for this great opportunity to get to know a different country and new people and to be part of a traditional Thanksgiving in America."

"I am thankful to be able to watch the kids grow."

"I am thankful for the lives we live and all our loving friends and kin."

Thanks to all for being so dear
And I hope to see you again next year.

The same faces have again appeared
Along with some new ones which we cheer.
With our friends and family we remain very close
As we celebrate Thanksgiving
With those we love the most.

Happy Thanksgiving!