Thursday, November 24, 2022

Let us give thanks for health, happiness, travel, family, food, nature

Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers relax on a Thanksgiving Day in southern Spain.



Cookie and Keller tried something new last
Thanksgiving, when they took to a dune buggy on 
the sands near Cabo San Lucas, giving thanks for travel.
Cactus ATV Tours offers a fun time on the sand.








Last Thanksgiving, we were in the Canary
Islands for a Thanksgiving fruit drink here.


A favorite Thanksgiving meal for us on the road is lamb
skewers and a Greek salad, this one in Santorini.
WE GIVE THANKS this week for our family and friends, for decent health, and being double-vaxxed and triple-boosted.  We are traveling the world again after a rough run with the virus.
As we look around the table -- counting empty chairs -- we realize how fleeting and precious life is. We vow to make the most of each day, to embrace the world with kindness and compassion, to help others when we can, to be gentle with ourselves.
For sometimes, we're our own harshest critics.

WE VOW TO appreciate and share our many blessings -- which we often take for granted.  Warm clothing as winter approaches, beautiful stores in which to shop, the means to buy whatever we want.  We're grateful for the pleasure of concerts and theater.  The fun of cooking a meal together, or enjoying a dinner out. These are joys and advantages we don't take lightly. The delight in art,  the pleasure in sharing a meal are two of humanity's most basic and rewarding rituals.

SO ENJOY the shopping, preparation and serving of the meal -- whether in your own home, or with friends and family. Do something new to spread the thanks this holiday. Consider that sharing our bounty of food can be an important part of the holiday. Volunteer to help feed the homeless.  Or if you have a single neighbor or friend who might be spending the day alone, make a plate for him or her or invite the person over. You'll be amazed at how much it means. When you make dinner, consider incorporating a favorite family recipe handed down to you.  That ties the meal in with the memories.

HERE, BY special request, is my dear creative Gran Nystul's famous Turkey Wiggle recipe:

Gran's Thanksgiving turkey
  was chosen to be large enough
for her tasty "Turkey Wiggle."
2 lbs (4 cups) leftover turkey meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 c turkey or chicken stock
1 l/2 c uncooked white, brown or wild rice or 3 cups uncooked noodles
1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes or three fresh ones, diced
2 medium chopped onions (optional two cloves of diced garlic) 
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 c green olives and 1 c black olives, chopped
¼ c pimentos, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in butter or olive oil (if using canned, drain juice but save to moisten casserole)
16 oz package frozen peas, mixed veggies, peas or corn 
1 can of mushroom soup or cup or so of leftover turkey gravy
Gran Nystul's Weekend Turkey Wiggle delights
with its flavor -- and awakens sweet memories.

(Gran improvised; use what you have. That's the beauty of "wiggle.") 
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in large saucepan, bring to brief boil. Transfer to buttered casserole, cover with foil,  bake 30-35 minutes until liquid is absorbed but casserole is still moist. Top with croutons or crumbled leftover stuffing. Sprinkle with grated or shaker cheese-- gouda, gruyere, parmesan, sharp cheddar are fine. Delicious with a spoonful of chutney, salsa or cranberry relish.
BTW, historians tell us the turkey feast probably did not derive from the Pilgrims who may or may not have eaten the bird for their "Thanksgiving." They probably ate venison, and they'd have used their fingers. Gran would not have approved of that!

"Big Fish" at Coronado Playhouse is a delightful love story
beautifully sung, with a touching lesson about a tale-telling
 dad with a huge heart. Above Amanda Blair, Michael Harrison.

BEST BET: Southern California theater is alive and well and recovering from several years of pandemic and postponed shows. On the peninsula across a spectacular bridge from San Diego, Coronado Playhouse is producing "Big Fish," featuring a stable of fine actors, two leading actors with gorgeous singing voices and a spirited ensemble. A small live band adds class. Great holiday story with heart, and fine family entertainment. 
Tickets or more info:;
619 435-4856

Casa Mila -- La Pedrera -- is a monumental, magical place
with inspiration from Gaudi's visit to Mount Monserrat.

NEXT STORIES UP: We're off to Las Vegas for holiday shows, then on to Barcelona. Put these two contrasting and engaging cities on your bucket list. We love Sin City, and Spain's most lively town. Vegas is the brainchild of Bugsy Seigel and Antoni Gaudi was the architectural genius who left his mark on Barcelona. So come to the Vegas Strip then Gaudi's
showy Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. We feature the Vegas Bugsy couldn't have imagined and the Barcelona Gaudi created. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live. Catch us weekly for a fresh spin on entertainment, travel, the arts & more.
Get yourself in the holiday spirit at
"Rouge," an exciting new show in Las
 Vegas, with flashy lights, sexy dancers,
gorgeous bodies, festive costumes.


  1. Such a fun piece. Love the memories and recipe and look forward to Vegas entertainment.

  2. Always love it when you include a recipe. Your "recipe" for living fully is in every piece.

  3. Fun recipe and great nostalgia.

  4. Just tried your gran's "wiggle." A big hit with the family.

  5. That recipe is totally yummy-- "sheer brill" as our Brit friends say.

  6. Wow! Turkey casserole and dune buggies -- two of our favorite things -- in one place.