I live in Miami, but every year the immediate clan and I spend Thanksgiving with my sister in New York’s East Village where my sister's family resides. Before that it was in remote, upstate New York on a stunning tract of land she and her husband helped preserve with the Open Spaces Commission. And starting next year it’ll be in the Bay Area, where they recently decided to relocate.

My sister and her husband are filmmakers. She directed an award-willing film about my family and a tragic international event my late uncle was unwittingly involved in. I’ll be sales-ey now and tell you it just came out on DVD and it’s amazing—even if you don’t really care for documentaries.

More to the Dolittler point, my sister and her husband happen to be the most avid dog people I know well—and that’s saying a lot, given my profession. Their dogs are uppermost in their minds as they navigate the Big Apple with them in tow. And it’s a top reason for moving out of it to a more dog-friendly part of the country. (Could there be a dog-friendlier zone than the Bay Area?)

So those of you out on the charmed part of the Left Coast, be warned—I’ll be making pit stops in your neighborhood more frequently, asking you for your private vet recommendations and hitting you up for real estate suggestions (are you listening, Gina?).

Back to Thanksgiving: Today I’ll be running the dogs along the West Side Highway (after I’m done with my coffee) then settling in for a loooong cooking session in the company of a fabulous, free-range “heritage” turkey and a couple of well-behaved (but quietly salivating) beasts.

In the course of this meal prep I’ll be making my famous cranberry bread (for which I earned my County Fair’s top prize at the tender age of ten). With Thanksgiving Day in mind and all the giving things that entails, here’s my recipe for your files (just don’t feed this raisin-packed loaf to your dogs, OK?):


    * 2 cups flour, sifted    * 1 cup sugar    * 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder    * 1 teaspoon salt    * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda    * 1/4 cup butter     * 1 large egg, beaten    * 1 teaspoon orange zest    * 3/4 cup orange juice    * 1 1/2 cups light raisins    * 1 1/2 cups cranberries, slices into quarters


   1. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl.   2. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.   3. Add egg, orange peel and orange juice all at once.   4. Stir just until mixture is evenly moist.   5. Fold in raisins and cranberries.   6. Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.   7. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.   8. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Here's Morgan (looking for fish), Madison (chilling) and myself (posing) on the pier next to the West Side Highway (after our run):