The Joys of Entertaining and of Being Entertained

So many people wrote to me that they were making my pecan pie recipe or my cranberry sauce or dressing for Thanksgiving! It’s so nice they let me know and it gives me such great joy to know that people are making my food all over the country and loving it! Actually, all over the world as our son, Zach and his fiancée, Agata, were in touch with me often from Warsaw, (thank goodness for Facetime!), as they made my whole Thanksgiving dinner from my book and entertained 11 people for dinner with only one guest being an American.

Zach, Agata and I chatted at length last Saturday, on my birthday, and they told me how much joy it gave them to see all their friends truly relishing every bite. Everyone just loved every part of their dinner, with even one of their guests getting up and sneaking the crumbs left in the pecan pie plate! How very happy it made them to see all of that!

Dining room table set for Thanksgiving dinner.Roasted turkey on a cutting board.That, to me, is the joy of entertaining and feeding people. That is what gives me so much pleasure.

Here are pictures of their table in Poland and their turkey.

Zach and Agata also said they didn’t know how I cooked Thanksgiving dinner every year, that it was SO much work. They remarked that the two of them were working together and that I did it pretty much by myself. Isn’t that so sweet? I do get help from my husband and honestly, I haven’t made it the last two years.

I wanted to share with you my big birthday celebration. Our oldest son, his wife, and my husband made a beautiful dinner and our friends, Anne and Frank, joined us. But before dinner, they sat me down on the sofa in front of the fire and played a video that they had made of my friends and family from all over the world, singing or wishing me a happy birthday!!! It was incredible and literally brought me to tears. Such an amazing, fun and super sweet gift!

Homemade pici pasta.For the dinner, they made homemade pici pasta with a parsley, sage, Parmagiano pesto, a beautiful half-leg of lamb on the grill with Julia Child’s mustard, garlic, soy marinade, and a delicious chocolate cake. That recipe was from Home Cooking with Jean-Georges cookbook, which I will share with you later.Pici pasta with a parsley, sage and Parmigiano pesto sauce.

Woman carving a medium rare half-leg of lamb.

Here I am, carving the lamb.

Awedge of chocolate cake with strawberries, a dallop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.

A beautiful birthday cake!

I know I am so lucky!!

As you get ready for the holidays, you may want to check out and download my holiday cookbook of small plates, savory and sweet. It’s free and yours for the taking.


Our holiday winter MARY’s secret ingredients box starts shipping tomorrow – Monday! Makes a great gift that will arrive in time for the holidays. And every purchase contributes to our partnership with Feed The Children. Maybe this can be the year we eradicate hunger. Wouldn’t that be nice?