Here it is, barely one week before Christmas, and I am finally sitting down to write a post about Thanksgiving. They say that time flies when you are having fun, but in my case, it’s more like time flies when you spend a week at a tradeshow, fall completely behind, and spend a week busting your ass to catch up only to find out that you have to do a performance review during a week when your entire team from across the country has flown in. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though does it…?
In reality, I could have foregone this post, and instead went back to my outstanding food reviews (down to 6 or 7 I think), but this is a post I feel like I have to write. In my first year as a food blogger there is simply no way I was going to miss writing about the biggest food holiday of the year. Especially when it gives me a chance to break from critiquing or recipe-ing (I know it’s not a word), and just tell a story. I thought about going back and telling about some of the Thanksgivings that we’ve celebrated since moving to Seattle, but decided just to write about this year. Maybe next year when I take an hour on Thanksgiving Day to write, I’ll touch on our Southern Thanksgiving, or my first one away from home, or the one where we ended up going camping…
This year, I made Jennifer a deal. If we went to Wyoming for Christmas with my family, we would do Thanksgiving with her family. She agreed to that plan partly because we did Christmas with her family last year, partly because she wanted to go to Palm Springs, and partly because I agreed to take her skiing in Colorado. So, on Wednesday, we packed everything up and made our way to Palm Springs to spend Thanksgiving with Kara (Jennifer’s sister), Shane (Jennifer’s rad brother-in-law), Kaelyn (our adorable neice) at her Aunt Shirley and Uncle Allen’s place in La Quinta. We ended up getting in pretty late, crashed on the hide-a-bed couch, and woke up to what turned out to be a wonderful Thanksgiving.
One of the best things about Thanksgiving is that is really about relaxation and food. It’s an opportunity to disconnect for a day; to just get lost in the good times with friends and family; to let work and stress and the day-to-day to just disappear. We started the day with a nice simple breakfast, and then Jennifer and I joined Kara and Shane for 9 holes at the Indio golf course. None of us are what you would call “good”, but we had a great time nonetheless. After enjoying the sunny, warm weather (something that might make this a more regular trip), we headed back to the house for some snacks, naps, and football before the drinks were broken out for a happy hour with some friends. After a bit of boisterous small talk, the friends headed out, and we headed to the dinner table for the coup d’etat of the evening; the turkey dinner.
Since I met Jennifer, she has always talked about her Aunt Shirley and the meals that she cooks for the family gatherings. And not just that she cooks them, but how delicious they are (especially her pot roast which is why I continue to experiment with different things to try and find something that is delicious but different since I can’t copy it…). And I’ve had the pleasure of having a couple of her meals, so I knew I was in for a treat!
The dinner was what I would call a classic or traditional Thanksgiving dinner with a couple of twists. We had stuffing and rolls to go with the new recipe yams and sweet potatoes, asparagus in lieu of the green beans and a “caprese-style” salad. And of course there was the roasted turkey and gravy. We all loaded up our plates, topped off our wine glasses, and headed to the table to enjoy delicious food and the second of great Thanksgiving traditions, story-telling. Over perfectly cooked, moist and delicious turkey, we recounted fun stories of Shirley and Jack (Jennifer and Kara’s dad) childhood. Shane and I talked about our own family traditions while enjoying potatoes and stuffing. We talked about the new yams recipe (that was joined by a miscellaneous sweet potato) and decided that the strong orange influence was great, but that it could use just a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg (at least that was one amateur chef/food blogger’s opinion). At some point we cleared away the dinner plates and broke out the dessert plates. I remember that there was a chocolate cake (a staple) and a pie, though the flavor is lost to the wine and festivities. The whole evening ended with a board game that Kara of course won. Funnily enough, I can’t remember ever having played a game with Jennifer or Kara that one of them didn’t win.
Thanksgiving is absolutely one of my favorite holidays, and not just because of the food. It’s the family and the friends, the coming together, the ability to just let everything melt away for awhile. For now, we are traveling for Thanksgiving, spending it with our friends and family members. I guess that’s what happens when you are the only DINKs left (Dual Income, No Kids…had to drop some MBA knowledge!). But one of these days, I hope to host a Thanksgiving; spend the day in the kitchen (but with a line of sight to the football games), cook a delicious meal for friends and family, and start our own traditions and storytelling. But for the time being, I am going to continue to enjoy these wonderful times with friends and family (especially if we get to go to Palm Springs!)
Thank you to Aunt Shirley and Uncle Allen for hosting, and to Kara, Shane and Kaelyn for making it a big fun party!