November Field Notes, Issue 11, coming in hot! It’s the last day of the month. I got this out just in the nick of time. In this issue:
As a way of giving back, my husband Jeff spearheaded the Yountville Community Thanksgiving. He opted for pick-up or delivery again this year to keep everyone safe. Phat Ankle performed at the outdoor, drive-through pick-up, entertaining the parade of hungry bellies driving past to pick up their holiday meals. When the day was said and done, the event fed over 130 community members.
Porter, a neighborhood high school Freshman, jammed with us on his guitar for the day. He has been playing since 6th grade and just jumped in, without ever rehearsing with us. Pretty impressive. He now has a Phat Ankle t-shirt.
I played accordion on all songs except Danke Schoen, which was my debut as a vocalist. I have a youthful fondness for this song. In my early 20s, I was a bartender at a club. Wayne owned the building. Two a.m., when the lights came on, we’d play this song, LOUD, to move the people along, off the floor, and out the door. In nostalgic form, we made it our closing number.
The pick-up event wrapped up around 2 pm and Jeff and I made it back to our home to host our own dinner with close family and close friends. I had ordered a nice heritage bird from The Fatted Calf, raised in Kansas on the Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
To ease the stress, I outsourced all the sides to guests and just focused on the turkey, stuffing, and gravy. I just gave them the category and let them riff on Thanksgiving classics. One person was assigned “white potato”, one got “sweet potato”, one got “green vegetable”… you get the idea. It was akin to unwrapping presents to see what arrived at our Thanksgiving table.
We received our third Moderna shot two weeks ago. Napa County Health had a one-day, all-day clinic at the Yountville Community Center. We got in line at 9 a.m. with my 87-year old father, and all received our booster shot for winter.
I went in a bit squeamish because my second dose had put me out for more than a day. I am happy to report the third jab left all three of us relatively unscathed.
Jeff and I took the show on the road for the first time since 2019, driving to southern California. We hosted an outdoor lunch for close to 30 people at a wine club member’s backyard in Costa Mesa. It was a full day of cooking and entertaining, moving through six of our wines.
We hit another club member’s home near Sacramento and hosted a similar dinner for 12 people the following week.
Permits have been filed and people engaged for the Bungalow. Looking forward to having a space where we can host and entertain with food, wine, music, and some magic (stay tuned on the magic part).
I like to have something on hand to put out, especially for impromptu holiday entertaining. These festive nuts are colorful, a little sweet, a little spicy, and work well with cocktails or any of our wines. This is my adaptation that has evolved over three years of Nik Sharma’s recipe, from his book, Season.