No matter whether I was at the gym, at the office or just out and about, for the week prior to Thanksgiving, everyone’s conversations centered on “what are your plans for Thanksgiving?”
This year, when I was asked if I was cooking or how many people we were hosting, for the first time in the 30+ years that we’ve been married and probably in my whole life, my response was “We’re going out for Thanksgiving.”
Before the person I was speaking to had time to make any judgements about this information such as: “That sounds really pathetic. Are they orphans or such unpleasant company that they don’t have any family or friends who will take them in for the evening? Even homeless people get invited to share Thanksgiving,” I quickly added, “None of our kids are able to make it home for Thanksgiving and neither Steve or I really see the need to cook an enormous amount of food for just the two of us.” As I was saying this, I hoped that I didn’t sound too defensive.
If going out for Thanksgiving meant trying to find an open Burger King, I think that really would be depressing. But we had an opportunity to make it special because we rarely go out to eat and after all, it is Thanksgiving, so we made reservations at The Girl & the Fig Café in Glen Ellen. They were serving between noon and 6:00 p.m. and we made reservations for 5:00.
It turns out that we’re not the only ones who decided to let trained professionals prepare, cook and clean up for Thanksgiving. The place was packed. While I certainly would have expected to see lots of empty nesters like us, there were lots of multigenerational families. It totally makes sense that if both parents are working, and they don’t have the time or interest in cooking, and grandma and grandpa are coming into town, eating out for Thanksgiving could relieve a huge amount of stress.
The menu at the café was a three course meal, with four choices for an entrée; Roasted Turkey, House Ham, Pan Seared Flounder or Risotto. Steve and I both chose the turkey but he started with an enormous Arugula salad with figs, goat cheese and pancetta. I had the Butternut Squash soup. For dessert, we both ordered the Brownie Sundae with Brandied Apples.
Everything was absolutely delicious. There was no need for the waiter to ask if I was done with my soup; I had practically licked the bowl clean, it was that good. And the service was efficient but friendly.
People often say that the best part of Thanksgiving is leftovers. No need to cook just for those. The portions at the Girl & Fig were so large that we brought home another full meal for the day after.
Our only disappointment of the evening? We couldn’t figure out how to bring home the leftovers of our Brownie Sundae without the melted ice cream leaving a puddle on the car floor.