Today I am particularly thankful for Auntie, who gave me "permission" to take leftovers to my mother instead of taking her out to a restaurant, as we have done the past two years. It snowed yesterday and today it is unusually cold. And icy. Not only would it have been impossible to take my mother out today, I would not have been prepared to cook, and so it would have been a bit of a disaster.
I am also especially thankful today for my quirky family, who have requested paella for Thanksgiving dinner. Pato is not big on turkey, and Boy-child doesn't care for poultry in general. Over the years we have done many non-traditional things for Thanksgiving; paella has been a favorite, apparently. So that's what we're cooking today.
Now, a story. We have the (bad) habit in this household of always forgetting something, usually a crucial ingredient, when we're making special or unusual meals. This morning, at about 4:30 (what was I doing awake, you ask? It's a regular thing. They say it's a function of age), I realized that we hadn't purchased French bread. Paella is incomplete without a baguette. So when I got up a couple of hours later I dug through the freezer (just in case - but alas, no French bread hidden there). So I started thinking about how I could procure some French bread on Thanksgiving morning, when absolutely everything is closed.
Suddenly, an epiphany.
Many years ago, in the Dark Ages, when I was a teenager, I worked at Sofitel. Hotels are always open. Sofitel had a bakery. I called. The bakery is still there and open 'till noon. Off I went.
Now I'd just like to mention that on the way I saw what looked to be a homeless man on the Ford bridge. He looked cold. Maybe he wasn't homeless, but he was very definitely down and out. Less than a mile down Minnehaha Parkway I saw someone walking her dog. The dog had on booties to protect his paws from the snow and ice.
Just had to get that out. Back to the story.
In the Dark Ages, when I was a teenager working at Sofitel, there were two ladies who worked at the bakery, Rosie and Audette. Rosie and Audette were war brides; they came over with their G.I husbands who either fought in WWII or were part of the occupation. Rosie had a son, Jean Pierre, who was my age. This morning there were two women working in the bakery, just like the old days, except that instead of speaking French, they were speaking Spanish.