Julie Anne & Nick Rhodes for Hello magazine

It was a given that Thanksgiving would be at my place in London… being yet another American holiday. By nature of it’s name alone, Thanksgiving is a time of year to be thankful, and my friends are a huge part of that for me. In fact many of my friends are so important to me they are my extended family. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… if you measure wealth by friendship, and I do, I am a filthy rich woman!

Partners in crime: Julie Anne Rhodes & Jeanette Calliva

I couldn’t bare to be in that big house alone the first Thanksgiving after Nick and I split, so I invited 50 of my nearest and dearest for dinner. What started as a melancholy moment became one of the most heart-warming nights of my life.
The kids table: Curtis, Mellie, Anouska, Taj, Sam, and Jade

Now if you want to guarantee a few moments peace, be sure to feed the little kiddles first… then let them retire upstairs to watch videos (another thing to be thankful for, VIDEO… the unpaid babysitter), so they don’t go eaves dropping on your conversations like this front-tooth missing little imp hiding under one of the tables!
Busted! Sneaky little Miss Tatjana Rhodes
Although you might lose a few overgrown kids to the nursery as well…
Paul Young, Marina Fields, Mom, Stacey Young, and Amanda Kyme
… they do come down to eat eventually…
Getting down to business
Chow time: Dominico, Jeanette, Daz, Kaz, and Miranda
Antony Price, Steve Strange, and table-hopper Miranda
Melissa Simonetti, Tamara Beckwith, and Avril
Finally relaxing long enough for a bite with Dad

Of course all meals digest better when serenaded by singer-songwriter Sam Bradley, who is now all grown up and touring America, leaving a wake of swooning fans everywhere he goes…
On Nick’s Baby Grand: Curtis Calliva, and Sam Bradley (Mom’s watching on)
My extended family: Dominico, Diana, Jade, Jeanette, and Miranda
Still breaking bread together: Tatjana, Jade, and Emily Cash
My friend Jake threw a wonderful reunion dinner for us at his ridiculously cool club, The Wellington, when I was back in London last summer visiting. It was soooooooo much fun to be with all of my old posse again! Thank you Jake!


Jean Wolkoff, one of my very closest friends and AMAZING cook, shared her favorite “side to go” with all of us for our Thanksgiving celebrations this year… wherever that may be!

Grammy Pine’s Corn Pudding

Grammy was my Mom’s Mom…Margaret Shera Pine. She made this corn pudding for family holiday gatherings, and it’s my honor to carry on the tradition. This recipe is easily 75 years old or older, but it’s a family favorite. The past few years, I’ve made a double batch, with one in a slightly smaller pan for my nephew to take home and eat all by himself. Aunt Jean can’t come to Thanksgiving without the Corn Pudding.

Servings: 8 -10


  • 5 large fresh eggs
  • 1 pint half-and-half cream (not the fat free kind…it tends to separate)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans creamed-style corn
  • 2 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided in 2 – plus extra for the casserole dish
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 small white onion, chopped into quarter inch dice
  • Salt to taste
  • Dash fresh ground nutmeg
  • Black pepper to taste (she used shaker pepper, I use fresh ground Tellicherry)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large casserole pan with butter. (I use a lasagna pan; Grammy used a round casserole dish. I’ve also made this in my 5 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  2. In large bowl, mix together the eggs, half and half and heavy cream, then add the creamed corn and regular corn.
  3. Melt half the butter in a skillet. Add the chopped onion and gently cook the onion in the butter on medium low, ‘til soft and translucent (not brown.) Set aside. When cooled a bit, stir into the corn mixture.
  4. In the same skillet, melt the rest of the butter, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two to develop the flour’s nutty taste, and then stir the roux into the corn mixture, mixing it in well. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour the corn mixture into the prepared casserole.
  6. Since this bakes in a water bath, place a large pan (one that the casserole will easily fit into) in the oven. Place the casserole inside the pan. Pour hot (or boiling) water in the pan so the casserole is sitting in a bath of at least 1-2 inches of water. If your water bath pan isn’t large enough, you can put it on the shelf under the casserole and achieve the same effect.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees in the water bath for 1 hour or until set. When done, it’s light golden brown on top, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
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  • November 13, 2009
    9:56 pm

    I remember doing a holiday party for a client one year, and she requested Corn Pudding. It's quite delish! Hope you are well! Miss you!

  • November 13, 2009
    11:02 pm

    Hi Julie Anne,What a lovely blog and emotional one. Friends are truly very special and those that are so close to us are the ones who are right beside us all the way, no matter what. Of course that includes your immediate family as well.It is beautiful reading how after your split with Nick those you loved were there to celebrate what looked to be such a lovely Thanksgiving night. I can just imagine you cooking all day and preparing your lavish display of culinary delights with perfection. What a night it must have been. Thanks again for yet another delicious recipe.Aussie Mum

  • November 14, 2009
    7:25 am

    "Grammy Pine's Corn Pudding" yummmmmm….I find myself waiting for the next blog post so that I can peak into the the wonderful life of my beautiful friend. I really enjoyed this blog because it made me think about my family's Thanks Givings. Great memories of me surrounded by my favorite foods and relatives. Thank you for the memories, stories, and recipes. By the way I am looking forward to breaking my "Vegan" month to try Pine's Corn Pudding…Meagan Mullen

  • November 14, 2009
    6:57 pm

    OMG the photos – love em! xxxxLorraine "Daz" Collins

  • November 15, 2009
    1:28 am

    Such lovely memories…. Seems like only yesterday – yet so much has happened since! Love u honey xxJeanette Calliva

  • December 13, 2009
    12:23 am

    i was just looking up emily on images and saw you and scrolled, i was like hey i went to that american thanksgiving feast in london.then i saw jeanette, and your daughter under the table ( she was playing doggy)and knew i was there..and saw myself (nice glasses) how are you??? i will never forget that dinner party( and that oreo desert), that was beautifully done !!!!!!!!miss you, averil