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My husband and I joined our youngest child for the traditional Elementary School “Thanksgiving Feast”. It was our eighth consecutive year to attend and also, wistfully and inconceivably our last.

Following a filling, well-balanced lunch of chicken (revised from the usual slices of turkey) and all the accoutrements, enjoyed alongside live piano music graciously provided by a former music teacher, I made my way to a yoga class, then home to prepare dinner for that evening. My husband and I had been invited out to celebrate a friends birthday, so I assembled a quick pasta dish for the kids, served by our sitter alongside boiled peas from the freezer, while we enjoyed our meal at the Country Club.

washington thanksgiving lunchPASTA AND CHEESE WITH HAM

pasta and cheese with ham

6 ounces pasta

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup parmesan cheese

6 ounces creme fraiche

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles

8 ounces diced ham

Cook pasta according to package directions. Melt butter in a separate pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk, until smooth. Add salt and pepper. Simmer, whisking for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in cheddar, parmesan, creme fraiche and chiles. Drain pasta, toss with sauce and ham.


Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, August 2014