Thursday, October 31, 2013

Turkey-less Thanksgiving 2013

First things first, I'm pretty stoked to be writing this tonight.  It's my first night off at home from teaching/homework in about 2 weeks; and, it's one of those spur of the moment nights off, so it's all the better.  Even better, I'm giddy to report that we're going to have a turkey-less Thanksgiving this year.  Heck yes, we are!

Thanksgiving has been pretty easy to schedule for the last several years with actual T-Day spent with  my side and then the weekend devoted to in-law hijinks (of which there are plenty).  My side is traditional to a turkey "T" with Thanksgiving prep and delivery, and that's always been lovely.  The in-laws prefer more of a hybrid vegetarian/omnivore approach, which is also lovely (and equally tasty, I do believe).  I do thoroughly enjoy a perfectly roasted turkey with perfectly lumpy mashed potatoes and perfectly gizzard-y gravy (fun word, that).  That's one of those perfect holiday bites to me.  But when you're working your way through multiple days of heavy food like that, it's enough to make even me spurn yet another dessert.  The "problem" with Thanksgiving is that it's all you have for about a week, seemingly, and then you don't get it for an entire year.  (Pumpkin Spice Lattes anyone?)  Granted, it's a delicious problem to have.

But change is in the air this year through a set of unrelated circumstances.  My side isn't getting together on Thanksgiving this year, not at my parents' that is.  We are congregating, and there will be delicious food, but it's going to be about a week and a half early and there won't be a de-feathered fowl in sight.  Check that--there might be chicken somewheres for my dad's benefit.  My parents are marking their 40th anniversary this year, which seems like something that should be celebrated.  And they're not the let's-invite-a-couple-of-hundred-people-to-an-open-house-no-gifts-please-reception-at-the-church style of a couple.  Which is cool.  But what do we do for them?  Obviously, we invite ourselves over to their house and basically get in their hair for the day.  We might even force them into some family pictures.  (We haven't told them this part yet; there might be glares, sighs, and any manner of you've-got-to-be-kidding-me looks.)  Somehow, by default of being the only daughter and about the most on top of this whole "let's get together and at least acknowledge the occasion" with-it-ness, I'm working on finding the food that will be celebratory-fancy yet diet-friendly for those so inclined.  There's only 13 of us when all is said and done, but there are enough kinks in the dietary needs that it's a bit of an issue at times.  Oh, and I'm the only one who doesn't live there.  Thank you internet for being my friend in this matter. 

What this all means is that we're celebrating Thanksgiving as it were on my parents' anniversary and forgoing the return get-together 11 days later.  I guess this is mostly for our benefit as we don't live in the same county as everyone else does, but you know, I would have packed the buggy and made the trip back anyways.  Either way, Thanksgiving is at our place this year.  Just us.  And you  know what we're not having?  Turkey, obviously (the title gave it away, didn't it?).  It's not that I am nervous about fixing a big bird, but does a family of four really need a turkey?  No.  Do I want to be drowning in leftover turkey?  No.  Do I love turkey so much that I want to cook an entire bird?  No.  Does the boy crave turkey on Thanksgiving proper?  No. 

Christmas 2012: just us at our own house.  There was no ham in sight.  No sweet potatoes.  Or pie.  In fact, I wager that there was nothing even remotely resembling a traditional Christmas spread other than rolls and hot chocolate.  There was, however, salmon (delicious) and crepes (double delicious).  Hands down, it was my favorite Christmas that we have ever had.  And this year's Thanksgiving is going to be more of the same.  Salmon for Thanksgiving?  Um, yes.  Let the feast preparationing start.

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