Read, Drink, Listen: November 2016


Children remember Thanksgiving as magical: a day off from school, parades in the morning, guests, and a big dinner that goes on forever. Their parents remember rising early to prepare the turkey and make the side dishes before setting the table. These book suggestions are for the parents. A Southern Thanksgiving: Recipes and Musings for a Manageable Feast by Robb Forman Dew and Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well by Sam Sifton offer tasty and pragmatic twists on the traditional foods. In Table Settings: 100 Creative Styling Ideas, Tessa Evelegh shows ways to transform the table and delight the eye. Available at a Hennepin County Library.

Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.


November brings many things to be grateful for, especially coming together to honor the bountiful harvest. Thanksgiving has become the occasion that truly marks the holiday season. So while you pile on mashed potatoes, indulge in pumpkin pie and ready yourself for that gorgeous turkey centerpiece, here’s a delicious wine recommendation to add more to be thankful for in this season of togetherness. The Quinta da Raza Alvarinho/Trajadura from the breathtaking vineyards of Vinho Regional Minho, Portugal, is one wine impossible not to love. And, yes, it is a white. This fantastically alluring combo of grapes explodes from the glass, with notes of fresh peach, sliced pear and orange citrus making this the perfect pairing to all of those decadent fall-like flavors that will grace your table this holiday season. Enjoy and be grateful. Look for similar selections at Edina Liquor.

Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee.


I love taking time to reflect on things that I’m thankful for. I also look for music that feeds my soul on a regular basis, and this month, I look to one of my all time favorite groups: Earth, Wind And Fire. Their compilation CD, Gratitude, includes live and recorded songs that we have come to know and love as anthems. Included are the very familiar songs “Yearnin’ Learnin,” “Shining Star,” “Singasong,” and the title cut, “Gratitude.” The lyrics remind us that gratitude and love are “gonna make a way.” Sing: “We just wanna give Gratitude / Got plenty love we wanna give to you / With feel good music we’re tryin’ to say / Thank the Good Lord’s gonna make a way.” Happy Month of Gratitude. You are all Shining Stars on my playlist! CD available at Amazon, iTunes and at

Patty Peterson, award winning vocalist and Jazz 88, KBEM radio host.