Most of my family is going to be away this Thanksgiving. In fact, my husband is leaving tomorrow night for a two-and-a-half-week business trip. So, it's just going to be me and my mother-in-law (the vegetarian) for Thanksgiving. And, no. Turkey Day or no Turkey Day I will not be cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I will likely be making pumpkin lasagna with roasted corn, red peppers and dried cranberries and it will probably be awesome. But my mother-in-law is suffering from dementia and in the event everything goes to hell come Thursday, here's my fall-back plan for dinner...and lunch...and breakfast...and whenever else the mood strikes.
- 1 can pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce spiced rum
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Open the can of pumpkin pie filling and empty into a pan
- Add milk and maple syrup and cook until it's thickened and slightly reduced to the consistency of pancake batter. Mmm, pancakes...
- Remove pumpkin mixture from heat and allow to cool. (This makes enough for several martinis.)
- Combine sugar and spice in a saucer
- Prepare your glass by moistening the rim and dipping in sugar and spice mixture.
- In a shaker combine vodka, rum and 2 ounces of the cooled pumpkin puree with ice.
- Strain into glasses
- Decorate with a little sugar/spice sprinkled over the surface or, if desired, add a dollop of whipped cream and then decorate with sugar/spice.
Mmm. Is it too early to start drinking now?
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This week's special, extra long Thanksgiving excerpt is from In the Dark (Children of Night, book one)
When you live forever, you’re bound to make a few mistakes.
1969 San Francisco. World-weary Conrad Quintano should have known better than to fall in love with a human—much less Suzanne Fischer, the barely legal, adventure-seeking hippie beauty known as Desert Rose. And the very last thing he should have agreed to do was to raise her babies and protect them with his life. But even twelve-hundred-year-old master vampires can find it hard to reject a deathbed request—especially when issues of love, guilt and blood are involved.
Present day. Raised in virtual isolation, twins Marc and Julie Fischer have always known they are vampires. But they never knew their parentage—or their unique status in the vampire world—until their “uncle” Damian comes to fetch them home. The family reunion, however, isn’t what they expect. They’re thrust into a world for which they’re totally unprepared. And the father they expected to see, Conrad, is missing.
How to find him…and whom to trust? Solving the mystery of betrayal and vampire family values will prove the Beatles had it right. All you need is love…and an occasional side of blood.
While reading this book you may experience any of the following, an increased desire to wear flowers in your hair, dress in tie-dye or nap during the day. Other symptoms may include an intolerance to sunlight, an aversion to garlic-flavored tofu and a pronounced urge to bake…or get baked.
Thursday, November 28th, 1968
“All I’m saying is that the picnic in the park was a total blast and you missed out on a really great party today.”
Desert Rose was pouting. Arms crossed, her posture rigid, she glared sullenly at Conrad from one end of his couch. Lying comfortably against the cushions at the other end, he smiled back at her indulgently. He hadn’t been expecting to see her here this evening. Even though she’d taken to spending nearly every weekend with him, tonight was Thursday—definitely part of the week, as far as he was concerned. In her mind, however, the fact that it was Thanksgiving apparently made it the start of the weekend.
“I told you all about it when I was here last weekend. I was really hoping you’d show. You’d have liked it.”
“Yes, I’m sure I would have.” Enough talk now. Conrad reached for the girl and pulled her toward him. He rearranged her limbs until she was reclining against his chest with her head resting on his shoulder, her long, dark hair swept to one side. Unexpected, yes, he thought, as he began to lick lazily at her neck. But definitely not unwelcome. Three days was long enough to go without. He’d grown quite addicted to the taste of her over the course of the past month—which would have worried him, if he’d been planning on turning her. He wasn’t. “I’m sorry I missed your picnic today. It sounds like it was a…real happening scene.”
A strangled noise, emanating from the vicinity of the secretary desk on the other side of the room, greeted Conrad’s observation. He glanced up, his face breaking into a wide grin at the sight of Armand’s pained expression.
“A happening scene? Mon Dieu.”
“Well, it was,” Desert Rose insisted as she settled deeper into Conrad’s embrace, her eyes closed, her neck exposed. “With music and dancing and…just crowds of people. And more food than you’ve probably ever seen in your life.”
Armand’s eyes grew smoky as he gazed at the girl. His tongue danced lightly across the points of his teeth. He looked mesmerized, enchanted. He looked hungry.
Mine. Conrad stilled. It took a conscious effort to tamp down the unreasoning jealousy that was once again threatening to burn holes in his gut. Luckily, Armand seemed to collect himself before too much time had passed. A shaky sigh escaped his lips as he shook his head and went back to work, writing checks to pay the monthly bills. Conrad relaxed as well, and quietly sank his teeth into the girl’s waiting neck.
“Corn and beans and squash and cranberry sauce and those little pearl onions,” she continued her recital, in the slightly dreamy tone that indicated she was so relaxed she hadn’t even noticed Conrad’s feasting at her throat. “And mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, three kinds of pie, a big chocolate cake. Not to mention homemade bread and biscuits and pumpkin soup. Oh, and there was even an entire turkey made out of tofu.”
“It sounds delightful.” Conrad raised his head. “Armand?”
“Qu’est-ce que c’est…toe-foo?”
Read the rest of the excerpt HERE