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As a journalist covering luxury travel, cuisine, and architecture for magazines such as Bon Appetit, Town & Country and Outside, I feel safe in saying I've been to the mountaintop of luxury, culinary experiences. I've had 200 year old Napoleonic cognac in the bar at the Lanesborough hotel in the London, in the shadow of Buckingham Palace. I've spent New Year's Eve at a private event at the top of the UN in New York, as fireworks reigned over the east River. I once flew in to a remote lakeside restaurant in Canada, one of the best in the world, for a dinner of venison with a four star Michelin chef. I sat on a stool in a private kitchen as Chef Paul Prudhomme, that legend of New Orleans cuisine, fried up with potatoes in duck fat for a boozy brunch. I relished a birthday dinner of humble dal and rice along the Silk Road, high in the mountains of Pakistan.

All of my best Thanksgivings, though, have been in the company of family and friends. My delightful Aunt Mary Ellen going back to her house in a golf cart to get a jar of Watermelon rind pickles she wanted to give me as a gift. A walk through the farm on Thanksgiving day with my friends Bob and Luanne, my husband, and my erascible Boykin spaniel, Mister. My father and brothers shooting mistletoe from the trees to decorate the holiday thresholds.

This year, it's gonna be different, of course. We'll do our own thing. We'll be alone. But our hearts will know we're doing the right thing, making the world safer, honoring our friends and family with love, even with our masks, and social distancing and all the rest.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. I believed it last year. I believe it now.

Eat some good food, the best you can find, and be thankful, where ever you are.

The meals will vary. But the hearts remain true, pandemic or not.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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