Thanks for pitching in


Imagine putting on a dinner but you don’t know how many people you’ll be feeding or how much food you’ll have. You put the word out to come and eat or to come and bring cooked food. You have to have faith in your friends and neighbors that somehow it will turn out happily.

And it has, for 13 years now, on one very special day, Thanksgiving. That’s thanks to my very special friends and neighbors. I am the kitchen maven at the annual dinner to feed whoever needs a Thanksgiving dinner organized by Janet Ettenger, Diane Malecha, Malibu Methodist Church and Malibu Jewish Center. It was a terrific success this year thanks to the amazing, caring community we live in. In a year when there is so much need, so many people brought food or offered a helping hand. Thank you to Janet and Diane and to the many, many volunteers who cooked, carved, and schlepped about 25 turkeys and hams, pans and pans of stuffings and casseroles and pies and everything else that goes into feeding two to three hundred people in about three hours. A huge thank you to the dishwashers and clean-up crew.

This was the first year my son, Isaac, and Janet’s children, Eden and Elijah, took charge of organizing the food and volunteers and the donations of toiletries. They did a fabulous job. They had big shoes to fill and got great help from Simon Ettenger, home for the holidays from Berkeley. Thanks also to the musicians. It was a joy to see and hear them. The haircutters were a perfect addition and I hope will join us again next year.

Malibu’s home cooking also served about a dozen boys incarcerated at Camp Kilpatrick and they were very, very grateful. They’re 14 to 18 years old who have classes taught by Malibu acting teacher extraordinaire Susie Duff. Their troupe is called “Locked Up In Malibu.” Spending time with them is one of the most meaningful parts of my family’s Thanksgiving. Thank you to all the families of Malibu on a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner!

Cindy Vandor