Boy, I fell off the turnip cart pretty hard last week … teaching, having a paper to finish by last night to present on Friday at my alma mater, having my in-laws here for Thanksgiving. I even worked for a few hours in between turkey making chores on Thursday. So I was not the best hostess, but the paper I was working on came together in a more reasonably coherent manner than I had hoped, so it seems to have paid off. We’ll see …
I did not follow Steve Verdon’s turkey preparation advice; no brining, and I must have my stuffing straight from the carcass, all soft and steamy. But the bird turned out well, and we also had two graduate student guests from my department, which delighted me greatly.
I wish I still had the bottle from the wine that our wonderful local wine guy, Howard, recommended to my husband for the turkey; it’s a St. Aubin, which is a non-fancy-schmancy appellation in Burgundy, so the wine was a pinot noir. It was, to run the risk of goofy wine talk, silky, yet at the same time had the smoky undertones that I love in a good pinot noir.
Then on Friday morning we went to the Manet and the Sea exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was very well done, and not the sardine-crush of humanity that I’ve come to dread at large art exhibitions. Having seen the Manet-Velazquez exhibit at the Musee d’Orsay last December, I was keenly interested to see what interesting features they were going to pull out of Manet. One interesting thing I learned is that he used some insights from Japanese sailboat and wave painting both to give depth to his water and for compositional reasons. So that’s why in any Manet painting with a boat he places the most prominent boat in the lower-center-left part of the canvas. Very interesting. They were also comparing Manet with his contemporaries, particularly Monet and Whistler. The Whistler paintings were great to see in more of a collection than I’m used to, and it was also great to see Monet’s Terrasse a St. Adresse without having to travel to New York to see it at the Met.