Author Topic: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!  (Read 2513 times)


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Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« on: November 18, 2019, 10:53:17 AM »
Thanksgiving is 10 days away.  Have you made your menu?  Do you know where you will be and who will be there with you?  Will you travel far?

I no longer travel over Thanksgiving.  Long ago I decided that Thanksgiving, and particularly the Friday after, are too unsafe to be out of the house. 

Once again, I have been invited to spend Thanksgiving with my girlfriend's parents.  they are not native born US folks.  Though they are now citizens, they did not have the benefit of the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving meal growing up, so they dont know what they are supposed to serve!  My favorite part of Thanksgiving is stuffing/dressing (another topic) and mashed potatoes.  The first year I was invited, they had NEITHER of these required sides! 

They do (over) cook a turkey, but they do not 'carve' the bird as much as they just sort of hack it up into sort of cubes or chunks.  The veggies that have been served have not reminded me of anything that were on any Thanksgiving table of my traditional Southern upbringing. 

I think that my girlfriend blabbed to her mom about my prior years' observations, as some of the menu is being adjusted.  However, I long ago stopped discussing the menu for any gathering Im invited to.  The initial  menu bears no resemblance to the meal served.  Worse, I am a planner.  (Make a plan.  Stick to the plan.  Use the plan.  Live the plan.  The plan will provide!!)  They are not exactly planners, but sort of dreamers.  They dream a meal.  Dream about enjoying the meal.  Dream the pluses and minuses of the meal. Then, as they have already enjoyed it in their mind, change the meal plan to something else as they have already dreamed the first meal, and they want some meal dreaming diversification, I suppose. The mom will make a reasonable menu suggestion, but then the children will start to complain that someone doesnt like this or that, or dreams about bringing something else, and from there, the combinations and permutations start going and what may start with a reasonably good meal ends up as a hodge podge of something completely different.  I have asked my GF to stop talking to me about the meal menus as the changes in the plans are irritating to my mental state.

And then there is the Drama!!  Mom wants to make something.  However, youngest daughter decides that SHE wants to make it instead, but do it differently.  I remember a year when the discussion turned to tamales.  (I dont care for them, by the way).  It ended with the youngest daughter (34 years old mind you) Forbidding! her mom from making them because she (YD)  wanted to make them, and if Both of them made them, there would be too many! 

Oh, and then there is the TIME. It is constantly in flux, not only because they are trying out new recipes that take more or less time than they expected, or too many cooks in the kitchen, but primarily because YD is married and her hubby's parents are also in town, SO they have to eat twice that day.  THAT means that they dont want to eat the same things at both houses, SO, once they find out What and WHEN the other meal will be, then the time for this house is adjusted.  Sometimes we have eaten at 11 (except it was really 1 because YD is a nurse and had to work the night before and wasnt able to wake up early enough to make it at 11!.... Sometimes it is at 4 (which could mean 6)  {The whole family has a sort of fluid relationship with the concept of time... Let's just say that it is not related to reference a clock} Sometimes it is Dad, though. Thinking he was to eat at 11, he took his medications which means he can not eat for another X time units, BUT MUST eat at Y time units, so he snacked  at time Y and isnt hungry NOW.  (or the meal is ready Now, but he JUST took his drugs so we must now wait to eat thus setting up another round or food reheating)

You know... after thinking over the last few Thanksgivings... I think I want to stay home.  I can cook as well as anyone I know, and best yet, I know what I like and how to make it and What Time it will be served!!

I guess that prompts a New Question:  ARE YOU looking Forward to Thanksgiving this year??   

Do YOU have any noteworthy rememberances to share with the forum
"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader


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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 12:29:12 PM »
I am a heretic; for the past few years my wife and I go to this amazing buffet that's a mile away from our house. I used to do the whole cook-all-day deal, but with two people it's kind of not worth it. Now I have more time to be a lazy bum.
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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 03:09:22 PM »
Very boring, very bland.  Same hosts for thirty years, although the "crowd" has grown from four to twenty-plus.  The "plus" has shrunk a bit as some tots have grown to adult size, though many are off with their own families, elsewhere.  Me, I bring creamed onions.  I open Joy of Cooking to review the notes I've jotted, and then make 'em the day before.  I go early to "help out," but my attention to the Macy's Parade has waned, 'tho someone will shout from the TV room, "The Rockettes are on!"  I have another glass of wine instead.
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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 03:13:40 PM »
I'm headed to New England to spend the holiday with my grandmother. She's 82 now, and keeps forgetting that I'm coming. The plus side here is that I will get to pleasantly surprise her the morning-of. :)

We'll have the usual (bland) foods, but I'm looking forward to the apple pie. She always makes one from the apples harvested in her backyard, and it's the highlight of the holiday!


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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 04:46:23 PM »
T-Day - Not sure what we are doing the day of.

But the day after is an annual event called "Leftover Surprise." Everyone brings leftovers and wine. It's a blast. I roast a turkey and slice it up for sandwiches, then make something with the dark meat in the slow cooker. And our famous "Granny Sartin's Could Lead to Dancin' Sweet Potato Puddin'" which includes bourbon-soaked raisins and wine.

Then I just potch up whatever I feel like making. Pies, salads, whatever.



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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 06:17:44 PM »
I sent out my usual invite to all our majors and students in my classes, offering a space for anyone that either couldn't go home, or didn't have a home to go to.

It will be the usual mix of faculty and staff who are new in town, a range of students from different majors, and friends.
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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 08:17:31 PM »
Nephew and I are going to visit my father. Two of my brothers and their spouses who are local to his city will come for dinner. I don't know if my stepsister will stay in the city she lives in or not; she doesn't get a lot of time off. My stepbrother might come. His children might come. I hope the children come as Nephew enjoys spending time with his cousins.

After every single child brought a dessert last year, leading to an embarrassment of riches and approximately seven desserts for eight people, we have now coordinated who is bringing what sweets to round out the feast. I am bringing apple and pumpkin pie, Youngest Brother and Spouse are bringing pecan pie, and Oldest Brother and Spouse are bringing tres leches cake. My stepmother will make her famous cheesy potatoes, which is the only thing she doesn't overcook to a cinder (alas for the many cuts of meat she has cooked nigh unto cinders over the years).

Usually we'd also see my mother, but she's going to be in Antarctica this year.

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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2019, 02:22:29 AM »
This is the first Thanksgiving since Bedette and I went vegan.  We'll be driving 10-11 hours to her parents' house, then cooking our own food--Tofurkey is actually pretty yummy these days.

I love the in-laws.  The only problem is that Bedette's family is rather fond of the current president.  (None of them ever left their small, dead industrial town.)  She and I are both big fans of one of the Dems running to unseat the Dear Leader.  This will probably come up . . .

Otherwise, I'm hoping for a good trip.  AND to get some grading done.  Yay.
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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2019, 04:33:01 AM »
We visit our friends-we-made-in-college and play board games all weekend. 

I have no idea what the official menu is (although it will always have some form of potatoes) or times.  In many ways it doesn't matter because we eat all weekend as people arrive/leave/back on their own schedules with sometimes food being reheated on the stove for a bigger group and sometimes the food being reheated one plate at a time in the microwave.

We gather with an assortment of kids/grandkids/parents/other relatives/friends/colleagues/students/random strangers who looked lonely in the store/pets and enjoy our time together as we have for almost 30 years now.  I attended the first time as a student not-going-home friend of a friend of a friend.  I met my husband at the Christmas version of this gathering.  The cast has changed over the years with some of the original founders long gone and their grandchildren/great grandchildren with us instead, but it's home more than my parents' house from which I've been gone almost 30 years or whatever dwelling I/my husband/kid are currently occupying this year. 
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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2019, 05:38:11 AM »
I am fleeing the country with my wife. We are going to a warm beach.
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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2019, 06:09:14 AM »
Thanksgivings now are not what they were a decade or so back.  We used to go to Norman Rockwell land (figuratively, not literally), with parents, in-laws, siblings and their families from both sides of the family, turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade mac and cheese (a specialty), 2 kinds of dressing (only my father-in-law liked the oyster dressing, but it was there every year), 2 kinds of pie at least, and often a birthday cake as well, since my daughter was a Thanksgiving baby.

This year, my son and I will have dinner together on Thanksgiving, and we'll probably call daughter and her husband who live 6 hours away to wish her a happy birthday.  We'll eat something that we both like (yet undetermined) and look at the photos from the 1990s onwards.  It'll be low-key, and that's okay. 


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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2019, 06:21:01 AM »
Last year, it was just my husband and me.  I cooked a turkey breast en cocotte, which turned out extraordinarily well, and made all the usual things, with pumpkin pie for dessert.  It was lovely and low-key.

This year, the whole family (minus stepdaughter, who lives on the west coast and will be making a trip east for Christmas) will congregate at younger daughter's house.  We all get along extremely well; whenever we're together, there is a lot of animated talk and laughter.  It helps that we all share similar political opinions!  The dinner will be on the Norman Rockwell side.  We've all been assigned our dishes to bring, which are the same things we make almost every year.  I'm very much looking forward to it!  We'll Skype with stepdaughter and her boyfriend (whom we hope becomes our son-in-law someday).


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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2019, 06:34:29 AM »
Our Thanksgivings are normally very small, we live far from family and are not terribly social. And we're vegetarian. For the past few years the four of us have just gone out to dinner, but I do make a pie. This is our first holiday with my mom living in our town, so we will not go out, but have her over instead. My expectations are very, very low as she is not "fun" and not remotely helpful either. But the day is followed by a three day weekend and I am much looking forward to that!


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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2019, 07:54:16 AM »
Anyone in the vicinity of Concord, MA on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, who wants to visit a couple of burying grounds, get lunch at a cool diner-like place and/or dinner at the most excellent Concord Inn, I'd be up for that.

Trains run on their usual schedules, I think, those days, and finding parking is much better than other large, nearby towns we might mention.

Just a thought.

On Thursday, I'll be making dinner with a friend: we were sort of thrown together one year, a couple decades ago, might have been after my divorce, in fact. We still do the same things: she makes the bird, I do the sides.

We also have this quirky banana-and-ice-cream dessert that we made up that year (each thought the other was getting a pumpkin pie...). She had the bananas and ice cream, and I put a brown-sugar/pie-like-spices/butter/etc. sauce together (cream of tartar is involved to bind it)...and it was so good we've made it every year since.

This year, I'm doing spinach-with-bacon-and-gorgonzola, and cubed root vegetables with rosemary, thyme, and herbes de provence. We'll probably do a basic mashed potatoes side as well. Oh, and stuffing with, let's see: cranberries, walnuts, chestnuts, celery, herbs, bacon, andouille sausage, and...oh, yeah, bread crumbs sauteed in butter with the spices.

Then we'll share recent artworks (hers) and jewelry (mine) we've made and jabber about books, and anything else that comes up.

She lives nearby so I'll walk home.

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Re: Thanksgiving 2019 plans!
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2019, 12:48:46 PM »
Thanksgiving is late this year.
Next Tuesday is my last day in the library and will be on the road to CT next day. On Thanksgiving Day, we'll gather at my aunt's house in southern MA. Buffet lunch in the kitchen and everyone eats throughout the house. Ham, kielbasa, and kugela are my 3 main items on my plate.
I'll be back at the library Dec. 2nd.