Above was our “kid table” for the five little cousins–did you have one of those? Do you remember sitting at the kids’ table? I do. Always a rowdy good time…until you’re a teenager and find that you’re still there, then sort of a sulky good time.We also had a diverse guest list: besides my family, my in-laws (who were the hosts), my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law and his family, we had cousins from South Dakota, one of whom is a square dance caller (Conor calls him the “cowboy”), and a college exchange student from China who knows more about American politics than I do.The menu included: turkey, gravy, dressing (stuffing), mashed potatoes, a puree of sweet potatoes, corn, rolls, bread and butter pickles and beet pickles from South Dakota, and I also made brussel sprouts with bacon and lemon, and a salad with arugula, roasted beets, roasted butternut squash, blue cheese, toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds, and a sherry vinaigrette. I’m going to make this lovely salad combination even on non-holidays: you can roast the beets and squash in the oven at the same time (squash cut in chunks, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet; the beets scrubbed, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and wrapped tight in a foil package) at 425 for about 40 minutes; a handful of pecans toast quickly in a skillet, the the dressing is finely chopped shallots soaked in 1 part sherry vinegar for about a half hour or so, then add a spoonful of dijon, a spoonful of honey, a squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper, and drizzle in 3 parts walnut oil and/or olive oil. Assemble everything on a large platter like a composed salad, not tossed in a big bowl, and drizzle the dressing all over.I hope your meal was lovely too and everything was a success and no one was harmed during the proceedings. Now you’re hopefully sitting in a cozy chair with a nice beverage, Charlie Brown on the tv, and your loved ones all around you. Cleaning all those dirty dishes you made.