Giving thanks, the RootDown LA way

[slideshow] Last week, our Youth Leaders asked if  we could gather for our own RootDown LA Thanksgiving celebration.  Let's have a potluck, they said.  So today we gathered at WECAN,  first for a little garden work and then an early Thanksgiving feast.

Menu please!  Our 15 pound bird started cooking early morning, rubbed with sage and rosemary from our garden.  Celia made and brought an AWEsome potato salad to share.  Warren got busy cutting up persimmons for the salad, which included greens and carrots Ali taught the Youth Leaders to grow in our own plots.  Kenny and Megan boiled sweet potatoes, plain and simple, then made a pumpkin pie with a pumpkin from Pie Ranch.  (Pie Ranch is an educational farm, where the Youth Leaders slept beneath the stars last summer, during our road trip to San Francisco.) Homemade cranberry sauce got several additions of sugar (and lemon zest), after we accidentally added SALT!  Yes, even we make that mistake.

Johnny's little nephew joined us and had very few words to say;  Anna hushed us so we could hear him say a quiet, "Thank you" as he gave thanks for the pumpkin pie.  Michel brought out coffee to have with our pie and we decided to call Ledette, who helped design our entrepreneurial and horticultural programs couldn't join us today. She was in an airport, en route to visit her blood family.  'It's your RootDown LA family!"  we shouted into a cell phone.  Our friend, Autumn, captured this all on film.  We'll post that footage soon.

This Thanksgiving week, we give endless thanks to EVERYONE, who's helped catalyze, advise, fiscally fund, and support RootDown LA: Katy Atkiss and family, Jefferson High School students and staff,  Kelley Budding, Jeff Javits, Jennie Cook, Mark Stambler, Judy Harper, Phil McGrath and McGrath Family Farms, Corinna Gebert, Ali Bhai, Ledette Gambini, Warren Calvo Leon, RootDown Youth Leaders, Roxana Reyes, Eria Ramirez, Ben Clayton, Vanya Hollis, Trigg McCleod, Mom and Dad Hanson,  Michel McLaughlin, Stephanye Monahan, D'artagnan Scorza, Laura Merrick, Claire Tondreau, Michael Pinto, Nat Zappia, Esperanza Pallana, Edie Kahula Pereira, Thom Fox, Christopher "Jebba" Hunt, David Lee, Holly Nichols, Alex Maloutas,  Jaime Lopez Wolters, Fanciful Baskets, Athena Katsaros, Jessica Koslow,, Joanna Hankamer, Bianca Siegl, Mary Diamond,  Max Goldberg, Susan Hendrie-Maraix, Matt Jensen, Patty Island, Thomas Sorensen, Julie Miller, Diana Liu, Loren Lewis Lefton, Rebecca Dames, Joyce Cox, Aria Alpert & The Herb Alpert Foundation, Elliot R. Cattarulla, Evann Grey, Harper MacDonald,  Anita Gonzales, Chicks with Knives, The Annenberg Foundation, The Crail Johnson Foundation, Liberty Hill, Clif Bar, The Marion D. & Chauncey McCormick Foundation, Nature's Trend, Inc, The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, USC's MYLA program, HEAC at The Accelerated School, and SO many others who have donated funds and time and love to keep this moving forward.  Happy Thanksgiving all!