The Livingston Inn | Madison, Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast

Our Secret Ingredient

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the Furlan household, we love all the holidays.  But Thanksgiving is perhaps our favorite.  Crammed in between decoration-crazy Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving is about family, food and gratitude – three of our favorite things.

The thing I am most grateful for is my family, and my wife Peggy is the heart and soul of our home and our business.  Some of you have had the pleasure of sitting in our front parlor, enjoying a drink and chatting with her.  She is gracious and engaging, a wonderful conversationalist – mainly because she is genuinely interested in getting to know people and learning about them – and a fantastic decorator, which is why the Livingston Inn is such a beautiful space. 

There is nothing she can’t do if she puts her mind to it. I believe that concept in general, but with Peggy, perhaps the difference is she puts her mind to doing things that seem absolutely impossible, and makes miracles happen.  She’s our secret ingredient.

As far as Thanksgiving goes, I have so many memories of Peggy creating beautiful, special, warm events – because that’s what she’s good at.  Making the ordinary, extraordinary.  Thanksgiving at our house has always been a huge feast, in an inviting setting, surrounded by the fun of friends and family. 

But Peggy carries off so much of what she does because she has boundless energy.  So much so that sometimes even I am astounded by what she manages to get done.  One Thanksgiving, she actually painted a full room in the middle of cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  And that was when she had an infant and a toddler underfoot!

Yes, I am thankful for Peggy.  And I know in no uncertain terms that if it weren’t for her, our kids wouldn’t be quite as wonderful, our home wouldn’t be anywhere near as beautiful, and our business would be average and ordinary.

So, as always, resting at the top of my long list of things I am grateful for is my family, and at the heart of it all, my amazing wife and proprietor of this bed and breakfast.

P.S. I asked Peggy if she would share one of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes: eggplant stuffing.  You’ll find the recipe below, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we have over the years.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium eggplant
  • 1 to 2 green peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 8 to 12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • fine bread crumbs

Boil eggplant until soft and drain in collander. Chop finely onion and green pepper, preferably in food processor.  Saute green pepper and onion with olive oil until translucent.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Skin eggplant and puree in food processor.  Add to onion and pepper mixture in pan.  Mix in bread crumbs until mixture becomes consistency of stuffing.

Place stuffing in baking dish and top decoratively with raw shrimp.  Cook in 325-degree oven until shrimp is pink in color (usually 20 to 25 minutes).

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