I took one look at the post on Janaki’s instragram, highlighting the abundance of fresh ingredients that would make up her thanksgiving fare, and went into my phone, sent a message Janaki and imposed my invitation on her. I had missed her last thanksgiving dinner and I was determined to not miss this one. Thanksgiving happens to be Janaki’s favourite holiday, as I’m certain you’ve heard her mention, or perhaps have read at some point in our blog’s dialogue. Thankfully, she warmly extended the invitation, but forewarned me that it was going to be small and include an abundance of little ones. For some reason, she thought these details were negative, but I knew in the deepest place in my heart that this would ensure the occasion was both intimate and full of cuteness.
Perhaps even more magical was the opportunity to bring my sweetheart. I’d rather not bore you with the intricacies of how we met, but Marché is undoubtedly the link between our hearts. We arrived bearing the gifts of IPA for Pascal and Rosé for Janaki. A bold request, a 6 pack and a bottle of wine is all it took to unlock the keys to Janaki’s festive kingdom. An incredibly small price to pay for a night that, like all gatherings at Marché, would deliver memories that last a lifetime.
We arrived a little early, by my own design, and not moments after Sarah and I had exchanged hellos with everyone busily preparing for the the dinner, I was unpacking my camera to capture the magic as it unfolded. At first, Janaki wasn’t too impressed and suggested I put it away as I wasn’t invited to work. I told her it would be irresponsible for me to not document the evening, and that was that.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been blessed with the role of guest and observer at Marché. On this evening I was privileged to reconnect with the Odegard family, who’s portrait at Marché “A Family of Pirates” is still one of my most treasured. I always speak of the impact that experiencing Marché’s Thanksgiving has had on my person. This year was no different. Janaki continues to set the standard for how I view thanksgiving. I love her approach to dinners because it’s an attainable ideal. The setting is thoughtfully rustic, yet never contrived. The food is made with love. The company and conversation are always lovely. And most importantly perhaps, is that there is an unequivocal kindness that radiates from every detail. Thank you Janaki for having us. And Amy, a special thank you for treating all of us to the most comforting slice of pie we’ve had in ages– it’s been just over a week and it’s still on my mind.
Photographs and words by Luis Valdizon