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Stuffed and Thankful

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Yesterday was a smashing success. I hosted for 16 and everyone had a cozy, homey, relaxing time and a delicious meal. It was probably the best Thanksgiving food I’ve ever eaten, and I can say that because I wasn’t responsible for the whole thing. As I said at dinner last night, if aliens came down and this was their first taste of American food, I would be so proud—particularly of my sausage, kale, leek and butternut squash stuffing. But since the day was about way more than food (and patting ourselves on the back), we also talked about what we’re thankful for and how lucky we all are to be together, to be healthy, to be happy and, for the most part, to really, really like each other.

Of course there are many obvious things I’m thankful for—on Thanksgiving and every day. My family, my friends, my health, the health of my family and friends, my kids who are so damn good and cute these days I just might want another, a husband who is my 50/50 partner in everything, work I truly love, work that doesn’t require me to leave my house, a house that has power and heat and, perhaps most important, my deep satisfaction with my life (on most days). But there are more, less vital things I'm also genuinely grateful for and I think it’s important to acknowledge these, too. So here, in no particular order, is the rest of what I’m thankful for this season. Read my list, then share your own!

The fact that today is Friday, a clean house, long walks, my grandma’s china, Ina Garten’s gravy recipe, sunshine, sleeping in, fall, a roaring fire, Girls, Homeland, Revenge, Downton Abbey, excellent Chinese takeout that delivers, coffee, a great bed, seltzer, the fact that my kids want nothing to do with me because Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Pat are in town, Vince Guaraldi Trio, my new sneakers, fresh air, arugula, bacon (particularly applewood-smoked slab these days), the fact that I would never ever shop on Black Friday, blown-dried hair, people who give back, giving back, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, my garden, pecan pie, watching falling leaves out my window, a babysitter I love and trust like family, the fact that I am not, in fact, four months pregnant with a turkey-and-mashed-potato baby which is how I look and feel today, kosher salt, my dutch oven, stretching, leftovers, my book club, making new friends, reacquainting with old friends, facebook friends, facebook, good wine, decent wine, the fact that I live so close to my sisters and my parents, Amazon prime, the Twilight movie I’m seeing tomorrow, the popcorn I will eat there, everything bagels with scallion cream cheese, the fact that the fact that I lost my blackberry two days ago hasn't caused me to unravel (yet), kids who nap, my new green sparkly eye shadow (from a Glamour gift bag), a book I can't put down, my mother-in-law’s need to do my laundry and empty my dishwasher constantly when she's visiting, the gorgeous centerpiece she bought me that I’m staring at now and, my current favorite, the fact that she just walked over to me and said, “why don’t you and Nick go out tonight?”

There are many more but I need to get off my computer so I can get back to enjoying so many of these things I’m thankful for. Hope you guys will share your lists. And hope you had a great holiday!