“It is still one of the best phone calls. On the Monday before Thanksgiving, David called and asked about our plans. I told him we were going to visit family in Sebastopol. There was a brief pause. I knew David had a plan and my answer was not the one he wanted to hear. Then, David asked ‘Oh, well, I assume that Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this year? I’m talking about Saturday…what are you guys doing on Saturday Thanksgiving?’

“Years later it is still our tradition and it starts the day after Thanksgiving. Trucks get loaded at the ranch with all of the essentials to create a kitchen at Las Posadas. Two Big John Grills and the rotisserie, of course. Pots, pans, burners, chopping blocks and tables. Sonora drives the big flatbed loaded with both tents in case it rains. Luis hauls the propane heaters. Chava and Gabriel split the oak and madrone rounds into perfect wedges for firewood. David rummages around the cellar digging out wines from decades past. Early on Saturday morning, Benny starts the fires at 6:00. By 9:00, there are enough coals to shovel under the rotisserie. Six turkeys are threaded onto the bar that will turn and baste for hours. Food starts to hit the tables at noon. Platters of smoked salmon, cured meats, cheeses, and plenty of cornichons. Champagne and white wine to start as the reds stack up like trophies awaiting their table assignment. Jorge and I cook quail and lamb racks that are snatched right from the grill as guests mill around the rotisserie. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted squash and a mountain of Brussels sprouts are all plated down a kings table. Ernie, Jorge and I carefully remove the Turkeys to the big wood block to get carved. With plates filled the extended Abreu family raises a glass to the year past and all of the Saturday Thanksgivings to come.” —Brad Grimes