Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Devin and I drove up to the San Francisco area, like we have done for the past couple Thanksgiving holidays, to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Alameda. With both of us having classes on Wednesday, we left Tustin at 1:30am on Thursday morning, arriving into Alameda at 7:30am Thanksgiving morning. After a two-hour nap, I had to make Eggplant Bake as my contribution to the potluck Thanksgiving dinner. Luckily, at this Thanksgiving meal was my cousin's boyfriend, a vegetarian, so I knew ahead of time that with my Eggplant Bake contribution, there would be at least two vegetarian-friendly main dishes for me to assemble my meal instead of relying on vegetable side dishes.

The fare included: deep-fried turkey, pineapple-glazed ham, butternut squash lasagna, eggplant bake, spinach salad, garlic bread, herbed mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, leek and red potato au gratin, sweet potatoes, wild rice and mushroom stuffing, collard greens, cranberry and orange relish, buttery garlic green beans, sup merah (Indonesian "red soup"), tomalito, homemade coffee and Heath bar ice cream, pumpkin ice cream, young coconut ice cream, apple and pear crisp, cinnamon streusel cake, and fresh fruit.

Top Row from Left to Right: Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing, Pineapple-Glazed Ham, and Collard Greens. Devin said the ham as very tender and juicy. He seemed to enjoy it more than the turkey!

Bottom Row from Left to Right: Green Beans, Eggplant Bake, and Harvest Spinach Salad. That salad was amazing. I love red onions and the ones on the Harvest Spinach Salad were very delicately cut on a mandoline.

Zack's contribution was Butternut Squash Lasagna.

Right Row from Top of picture to Bottom: Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing, Pineapple-Glazed Ham, Collard Greens, Leek and Red Potato au Gratin, and Tomalito.

Left Row from Top of picture to Bottom: Green Beans, Eggplant Bake, Harvest Spinach Salad, Herbed Mashed Potatoes, and Deep-Fried Turkey.

Carving the Deep-Fried Turkey. At the corner of the turkey is the yellow-corn tomalito.

My cousin Clarice made Pear and Apple Crisp.

One of my cousins brought Cinnamon Streusel Cake (I also ate this for breakfast the next day). The ice cream scoop was used for the homemade coffee and Heath bar ice cream, young coconut ice cream, and pumpkin ice cream.

Fresh Fruit.

The day after Thanksgiving, Devin and I drove to Napa.

Our trip was very spontaneous, so we didn't know if any vineyards would be open for tours or tastings. Fortunately, we chanced upon Copia, the American Center for Wine Food and the Arts. Here we were given wine glasses and purchased a prepaid card to sample local and international wines. Devin and I sampled about five or six total, finding that we both preferred the red wines.

The United States of Wine. A wine bottle from every state in the country.

This device was found in Copia's very interactive museum called Forks in the Road. The instructions indicated to put your nose near the end of a tube and push the button underneath the tube. A scent emits from the tube and the objective is to guess the scent. Then you lift the panel to see whether your guess was correct. I didn't guess any of them correctly.

With a stomach full of wine, I wanted to eat whatever we could find first. The first restaurant we found was Filippi's Pizza Grotto. Unfortunately, ten of Filippi's eleven locations are in San Diego County, where I spent eighteen years of my life. I have already eaten at two different Filippi's, so Devin suggested going to a restaurant unique to Napa instead of somewhere I already know and enjoy, regardless of my increasingly draining energy level. All in the name of blogging...

As we continued to explore Napa on foot to find a meal, I noticed this beautiful mural. Wait a minute... !

Oh Bear, PEPPERONI pizza?! I would have stuck with the salmon.

Finding ourselves in a small outdoor shopping center, we decided to stop for a meal in GillWoods Cafe. My review of GillWoods Cafe is located here.

My Veggie Omelet with Home Fried Potatoes and wheat toast.

Devin's Club Sandwich on wheat with french fries.

On the way back to Alameda, we made a detour through San Francisco. View of Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands.

So, after tasting wines, Devin and I ended our trip to Copia with a stop into the gift shop. The dachshund salt and pepper shakers were purchased as a Christmas present and not as a result of the wine's effects on my better judgment. This photo was taken when we had already arrived back home in Tustin.


Madeline said...

hahaha this entry was really cute. i enjoy the personal touch you add to your entries. i liked reading about your thanksgiving adventures because it gives your blog a more dynamic feel. you're not just a food reviewer, and the way that many aspects of your life are infused into your writing makes the reading much more enjoyable. :) good job!

Alyssa said...

madeline: Of the food blogs that I routinely visit and read, I enjoy those which incorporate the reviewer's personal life alongside food. Reading about weddings, travels, even pets helps the reader associate much better with the writer.