Food, friends, festivities make for merry season

2012-11-29T00:00:00Z Food, friends, festivities make for merry seasonOpinion by Alexis Powers Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. Each year I look forward to turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and my favorite - mashed potatoes. In past Thanksgivings, I've indulged to the point of wanting to get into my pajamas to take a nap (difficult to do when you are not in your own home).

This Thanksgiving was an amazing tribute to friends, good food and stimulating conversation. My good pal, Betty Crockpot, hosted. Six of us gathered around her spectacular table decorated with gorgeous dishes, beautiful linen napkins and unique napkin holders. Wine glasses sparkled, dishes of cranberry sauce added color and beautiful flowers set the scene.

Instead of baked or casseroled sweet potatoes, the fabulous Ms. Crockpot made a medley of vegetables. Looking at the beautifully adorned dish, I wondered how long it took her to cut each carrot, potato and other delectable vegetable. The delicious turkey stuffing reminded me of years ago. Brussels sprouts with butter and garlic made me swoon. No mashed potatoes, which saved me from feeling like a stuffed turkey after dinner.

Dessert was amazing. One of the guests went to the trouble of making a Nesselrode pie, something the hostess longed for. Along with that this guest made an amazing chocolate pecan pie. There was also warm apple pie with ice cream and the requisite pumpkin pie.

All of this was topped off with the afternoon's amusing banter. Lately I've been studying brain-to-brain communication, and a lively discussion about paranormal experiences, the possibility of life after death and other unusual occurrences got all of us to participate in an exciting dialogue.

One of the guests was visiting from Austin, Texas, a city I've never seen. He was eager to tell us how great Austin is, making it sound like the western version of Greenwich Village in New York.

Our conversations were filled with the experiences each of us had had in different cities, giving us the opportunity to regale the group with hilarious stories. I've never laughed that much at a Thanksgiving dinner. Kudos to Ms. Crockpot for an unforgettable holiday dinner.

The merriment didn't stop there. The couple who had the visitor from Austin asked me to join them Friday evening for dinner at the Arizona Inn. Being from New York, I love to dress up and, as we all know, Tucson is a laid-back kind of city. Wearing flip-flops with rhinestones usually suffices for dress-up. Not so for a New Yorker like me. When I dress up, I prefer over-the-top outfits.

Last time I was in New York my friend talked me into buying an exquisite fox hat. Every day when I walk into my closet, I look at the hat, drooling with desire to wear it. Well, I decided that Friday night was the night to wear this stunning headpiece. Choosing the perfect outfit took me about an hour but when my friends arrived to carry me away, I was ready.

I'm not sure my friends were ready for this sight! They said I looked gorgeous. Let's face it - how many times do we see anyone wearing a hat here other than to protect their face from the sun? The hat frames my face with beautiful fur. One of the men said, "Gee, Alexis, you look like a Russian countess."

"Just call me Natasha," I said as we drove off.

Dinner at the inn was delicious, conversation flowed, wine flowed and I had the best time. We took photos in front of the huge decorated Christmas tree. When we arrived at my home, the guests came in to say hello to Charlie and Toots and gaze at my Christmas decorations.

I can hardly wait until that holiday!

On StarNet: Read recent columns by Alexis Powers at azstarnet.com/alexispowers

Email Alexis Powers at northwest@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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