Monday, October 26, 2015

One More Moon


I love hearing about other people's Thanksgivings more than talking about my own.  I know you don't believe me, but it's true.  I have a few questions I ask anyone and everyone I can--What time do you eat?  When do you shop? How many trips? Do you cook everything or do you let some people bring things?  Do you tell them what to bring or trust them?  What's your attendance policy?  RSVPs or open door?  What's the biggest Thanksgiving you've ever made?  What's your biggest disaster?  Stuffing--bread or cornbread?  Oysters? Sausage? What wine/spirit do you serve? Do you go Black Friday shopping?  Tabletop--china? paper? One long table or many? Do you brine?  Cranberry sauce or relish? What was your favorite Thanksgiving (so far)?
To start my series of Thanksgiving posts, I hope you'll answer as many as you can bear.  I ask each of these questions with an open mind.  You might think that because I have firmly set ideas for my Thanksgiving, I would project a right or wrong attitude about others'.  But that's not me.  I love the personality of family holidays and see different as neither right nor wrong. 





I've been on Thanksgiving since June this year.  That's a record, even for me.  I was feeling some delayed doubt over severing a long-expired relationship; and was having trouble deciphering regret from boredom from disappointment. I think our cool, grey, rainy weather in June was telling my biological holiday clock that the time was rapidly approaching and I clicked into high gear.  You might wonder what the hell could he even do in June? Truthfully, not much.  So I bought a bunch of shit that made me feel Thanksgiving-y.  A few gravy boats and it was all better!

Not quite, but planning Thanksgiving (or any holiday)  early did for me what it always does.  Connects me to myself--and through tiny details, helps me focus on the big picture.  The big picture, apparently, is a stockpile of gravy boats. 


Gossamer

The next full moon will be the evening before Thanksgiving.  Allegedly
be (yet another) Super Moon.

43 comments:

  1. I am dying for this series! We don't have thanksgiving here but I like turkey, I like gravy boats and I entertain a lot.

    Cannot wait to see what you've got up your tiny sleeve x

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    1. Oh I wish Australia would adopt some type of Thanksgiving/harvest celebration! I would love to see a FF Feast with sequins and gardenias on the table. Not sure I've ever mentioned my true envy of your freedom to grow gardenias with gay abandon.

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    2. Wait and see what she does for Christmas Stephen, it all starts rather excitingly with the tree and doesn't seem to let up until a beach holiday in January! We all love to live vicariously through FF here in Oz.
      Cindy F
      PS Must say that I am also dying to read your adventures with Thanksgiving this year as well.

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    3. Oh I love FF holidays! Do you think she will handle ham this year or go with prawnograpgy? Thank you, Cindy (the name nearest and dearest to my heart, by the way)!

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  2. You asked so....
    We eat around 2pm and I have always naturally commandeered Thanksgiving in our family although the only family members left living by me are my dad and baby brother and once my baby brother married he started spending Thanksgiving with his wife's family. My father is EXTREMELY disgruntled that I have moved to Nashville. I think it's secretly because he is out a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner invite but that's just me.
    Speaking of which, I am silently freaking out about this Thanksgiving because I am living in a temp housing apartment with my son and my husband and daughter are still in NJ until the house sells. Because I work in retail it will be impossible to go home for Thanksgiving, they will have to come out here and I cannot for the life of me envision making Thanksgiving dinner here but if I have to I will. I keep praying I find a house or at least ours goes under contract so we could move into a proper rental house or something that feels a bit more homelike because this is my most favorite holiday of all.
    I always serve dinner around 2pm and cook everything myself. I will allow my stepmother to bring dessert and wine and I let her decide what the dessert will be because I know it's either apple pie or pumpkin. Since they are both Thanksgiving stand by's I will ask which it will be then have the other on hand because Thanksgiving with only one dessert option just isn't Thanksgiving.
    I purchase all non perishables about a week ahead and the perishable stuff 2-3 days before. I always make a stuffing with sausage and have made both bread and cornbread stuffing. Bread is my favorite. I am the maverick who doesn't mind trying out a new recipe when entertaining even though every entertaining professional warns you not to. Why not? You have to try it sometime so why not get a general consensus?
    The craziest Thanksgiving we ever had was when my husband and I had bought our first house together 15 years ago and decided to paint the kitchen cabinets white around Halloween time. We didn't realize what we were getting into and by Thanksgiving we had half assed painted kitchen cabinets but we were young, in love, trying to get pregnant, just bought a puppy and could have cared less. The pictures of me cooking from that day with those crazy looking cabinets crack me up.
    The BEST Thanksgiving we ever had was when we had sold that house 5 years later and moved into a rental a few blocks away because we couldn't find a house we wanted to purchase. My sister and her husband came to town to visit and even though the rental kitchen was tough to navigate and cook in we had a blast! Such a great weekend and the food was amazing. I keep reminding myself of how much fun we had in that rental house that whole holiday season because it is the only thing that is comforting me about not having a house this holiday.
    Sorry not sorry for writing so much but you did ask for it. ;)

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    1. Oh do not be sorry! A+ comment. I worry all the time about what will happen when my brother is married. I'm keeping my fingers crossed your house goes into contract ASAP. I'm sure it looks so beautiful right now--its red paint must be at its best in the fall and winter among the scenery. Will your dad and stepmother make the trek to Nashville for the holiday? Giggling at the thought of the cabinets. Painting cabinetry is so annoying. I'm with you-I'll try something new anytime. I figure I can save it along the way if something goes wrong. I agree on bread stuffing, it's my favorite too. How wonderful to have had that experience with your sister! Goes to show that it really is all about the people around the table. I take it house hunting is still complicated! Hoping you find it soon!

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  3. Another Australian here, so we don't do Thanksgiving, although I know I would enjoy it. Those beautiful Autumn trees seem to be key, and we don't have them either. Oh well, we do Australia Day in January, usually with a communal street party in our cul de sac, featuring barbeque lamb and steak, and Pavlova dessert, something of an Australian tradition. Can't wait to hear what you do.

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    1. Oh I would love to learn about Australia Day! Very few of our trees still have their leaves by Thanksgiving which is sad because it would make it all the more picturesque. I've never made a Pavlova but always think they look so beautiful. What fruit do you prefer for your Pavlova?

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  4. I am Canadian and we celebrate Thanksgiving in October to celbrate the harvest. We eat around 6pm, it's always at my house for some reason, and all the shops are closed for the entire day, not opening until regular times the next morning. Most people have a turkey or ham and potatoes and sides of fresh vegetables. It's very low key. Last year I was invited to American Thanksgiving in Florida, where we have a vacation home. In the morning we took part in the neighborhood parade. One of our neighbors started a small parade a few years ago and now it has grown and become tradiition. We have pilgrims, dancers, riding lawn mowers, vintage cars and several "floats" (on wagons). My job was tossing beads from my bike. We atarted the morning with coffee and pastries at the starting point, then proceeded to parade our sad little parade around the neighborhood with parade music blaring. People stood on their porches in their pajamas waving to us. It sounds a bit silly but loads of fun. We then went to our friends for dinner in the afternoon. My first American Thanksgiving. I've never seen so many vegetables cooked into caseroles in my life. I've never seen brown sugar and marshmallows on vegetables in my life. I took care of deserts and made a cake, lemon pie and a pecan pie. For the first time in 35 years I wasn't in charge of a turkey. It was heaven.

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    1. I love the timing of Canadian Thanksgiving! It makes more sense to me considering that's when the harvest actually is for most crops. And it coincides with our peak fall color here. How funny about the parade! That is so funny! I love it. Yes, Americans love their holiday casseroles. Not my style, but I didn't grow up with them either. I don't like marshmallows so that's never been a thing for my celebration! I'll bet the weather was nice in Florida for Thanksgiving! How did people earn their beads?!

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  5. i'm going to love this thanksgiving series, i just know it!

    brace yourself but the best thanksgiving we've had in recent memory was in las vegas. i know. at the time our oldest and his wife were living there with their brand new baby (she will be 9 this thanksgiving) so that's how long ago this was. anyway, we all loaded up and booked fancy hotel rooms and drove the 3 1/2 hrs to vegas. my daughter in laws family came too and we all had so much fun. we watched all the football games in the sports book and were waited on hand and foot. we went to the buffet for dinner which was great b/c i don't eat turkey and everyone got what they wanted. it was just a really chill way to spend the weekend. totally anti thanksgiving but still with family and friends around it was perfect. like chaina above, it was heaven not being in charge! x

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    1. Oh that's so fun! There is a lot to be said for being in on the pleasure of relaxing during the holiday vs the marathon in the kitchen. My favorite Thanksgivig of yours was the one you served in your garden with the tartan overlay :) before I took Thanksgiving over, we used to always have ours at the...not quite five star Hilton Head Diner. That was fun though because in its earlier days it was owned by a talented Greek family and they would hide our loud group in the corner and sit down with us here and there between waiting on the civilized guests. But I did love my HHI Thanksgiving in 2013 when I brought all my kitchen contents down with me and cooked the whole thing in the rental house.

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  6. What gorgeous Fall Foliage and the lovely black lab makes it even better!

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    1. Thank you! Barbie is a wonderful model :)

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  7. Well you know all about my menu and of course you also know that the Canadian Thanksgiving is much more low-key. Every year though I think about travelling to Georgia to be with my Dad for Thanksgiving and we don't do it, which is insane because it would be so fun. My Dad is a great cook though he does have a disturbing tendency to wrap everything in bacon including the turkey, which means I would go hungry because I don't eat pork. But we'd have great wine and laughs and arguments about politics.
    Several years ago I hosted American Thanksgiving here at my house in Canada, my Aunt Deb and my Dad's wife got into a big argument over politics. It was the last time my Grandma Jean was here and she started yelling "Stop Pouring The Wine!" So I always think of that when Thanksgiving rolls around, it was so funny.
    Honestly one can never have enough gravy boats! XO

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    1. Oh I loved reading about your Thanksgiving! I'm so jealous that you get two Thanksgivings! I just love the timing of Canadian Thanksgiving. You absolutely should head down to Georgia sometime for Thanksgiving. It's so wonderful down there at that time of year (usually). And it's so pretty driving down because once you hit Charlotte, their leaves are about a month behind ours. I'm sure if you make the trip your dad will leave the bacon out! Who needs it when you can use herb butter instead?

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  8. Our Thanksgiving is family oriented and I stuff as many as I can around our table in our tiny bungalow. My Motto is the more the merrier...well unless someone drinks too much and then says something hurtful and all hell breaks loose!
    We alternate between turkey and prime rib of beef...lots of veggie dishes and a simple dessert because everyone is stuffed from dinner.
    Barbie looks like she is in her element with all those leaves! Beautiful pictures Stephen and I am sitting on tender hooks waiting for the next post!

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    1. How wonderful that you're so flexible with your guests! hopefully no one overindulged this year and there was peace at the table! Thank you so much!

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  9. Well, now that the kids are older we have some new Thanksgiving traditions. One is spending the morning at the beach playing Frisbee as a family. This means I have to have everything ready to go before Thanksgiving Day, because I will be coming home around noon to start getting stuff warmed up, turkey stuffed, etc. So I prepare almost nothing the day of, it's all in the fridge and ready for re-heating. This year I will be using the sous vide, so that will make things even easier! I shop the week before Thanksgiving, and prepare everything Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We also usually have some wine and play a round of "Cards Against Humanity" in the afternoon -- hilarious. We eat around 5 pm, outside if its warm enough, and then the kids start putting up the Christmas Tree after that. We don't do Black Friday -- ever. Friday is a family day, we might see a movie after finishing the tree or stream something or go wine tasting. Monty Python and the Holy Grail also figures in there someplace as well. It's mostly about family and lots of laughter. But great food as well! Love love love your fall pics, I am seriously envious although some of the grape vines are FINALLY starting to show some color. We'll have a short fall though, sadly.

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    1. Starting Thanksgiving at the beach is a wonderful thing indeed! I wouldn't promise to participate in frisbee though! I'm also with you on ahead, ahead, ahead. I try to do anything and everything I can ahead of time to make the holiday itself fun and easy. I feel like I finally have a strong grasp on that. Cooking the turkey sous vide is a huge help. You will be in heaven when you experience how much easier your day will be! Keeping my fingers crossed for you that it can be al fresco this year to enjoy your beautiful new patio! I hope you'll post photos of the grape vines in their fall color! I'm sure that's beautiful.

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  10. Um, the next full moon is tomorrow night.
    After spending 20 years in Tasmania and Devon, I got out of the habit of Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday).
    Now that I'm single and back in Virginia I make a point of getting invited to someone else's do.

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    1. Haha well I wasn't counting this one! But you are correct. 100% full tomorrow in Taurus! I can't imagine how difficult it would be to source Thanksgiving ingredients in Tasmania. What took you there? Glad you're back in the States to enjoy it now!

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  11. Oh gosh. I do two shopping trips, one for most of the stuff, including the organic turkey, and one for whatever I forgot, or is an unusual ingredient and has to be bought elsewhere. We usually eat around 4-5pm. We usually cook all together, whichever of us 4 siblings are in attendance, and whichever of the nieces and nephews are old enough to cook. And I've had as many as 16 people, and as few as 2. The most ambitious Thanksgiving had an Asian theme - think five-spice turkey etc.

    One year someone had a broken limb so we packed it in and went to the Four Seasons nearby and ate. It was fun, because it was different.

    Last year I told my daughter that she and her boyfriend had to be in charge the day of. They were. They did a great job.

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    1. Oh my your family must be very good team players! I'd struggle with one other person cooking in my kitchen, let alone many. How nice. I wish I had that warmth to make the cooking a family affair. Very interesting about the Asian Thanksgiving! I could see those flavors working well with traditional flavors when bridged by ginger and mushroom. Will your daughter and her boyfriend take charge again this year?

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  12. Oh, I love Thanksgiving too! When I was growing up in Massachusetts, it was my mum and dad's favorite holiday -- family-oriented and no presents! -- and although my mum did the lion's share of the cooking, my dad, my siblings and I all helped make sides and desserts. Usually it was just family, including grandparents, at dinner -- a monstrous turkey, mum's famous gravy, Bell's Seasoning bread stuffing AND oyster stuffing, mashed potatoes, turnips, green beans, and the de rigeur Ocean Spray cranberry-jelly-in-a-can, its ridged gelatinous cylinder tipped out onto a little crystal serving plate with a sterling silver knife to cut the tacky (but yummy) stuff into round slices. Once the dinner dishes were cleared, we'd load up the table with between 20 and 30 desserts -- apple pie, squash pie, pecan pie, French silk chocolate pie, Black Bottom pie (so tedious and tricky to make it is also known as "TFP"), cheesecake, pumpkin bread, cranberry bread, and so on and so on. Then all our boyfriends, girlfriends, just-friends and neighbors would come over, along with some of my dad's students (he was a high school English teacher) to partake of desserts and coffee. Oh! One of the most important parts, later, when we became older: It was a moveable feast, especially when we became attached to significant others, and were expected to show up at THEIR family's Thanksgiving! My mum would just move her Thanksgiving to Friday so we could all be there together. Seems like ages ago ... seems like yesterday. Now I've been trying to maintain as many of the traditions and make as many of the same recipes as possible with my own family for nearly 30 years. We've invited our own fair share of strays, girlfriends and just-friends over the years, moved the feast to Friday a few times, and always made everything from scratch. Well, except for that canned cranberry jelly (and yes, I put it on a crystal serving dish with my mum's sterling silver knife)! Love your photos, love your writing -- can't wait to read about your Thanksgiving preparations!

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    1. How much more perfect Thanksgiving memories can one have?! Even down to your geography! Sometime I would looooooove to rent (uh or even better, buy!) a coastal house in New England for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite trips as a kid was Massachusets in late October. I remember my bedroom overlooked a cranberry bog and I skipped many outings to sit from my perch and watch then bog! Such a striking image.
      Your Thanksgivings sound so, so lovely. I love the tradition and the welcoming attitude. And the ocean spray on a crystal plate with a sterling knife! I've never actually had the canned cranberry sauce. I love cranberry "relish" so much I've never veered. What a lovey image of all those desserts! What a feat! Thank you so much for your comment!

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  13. That moon shot is fabulous.
    I hate black Friday. We eat at one big table. Both cranberry orange relish and cranberry sauce. Bread stuffing (in the turkey and also baked). Beautiful table setting with flowers and cloth napkins. Sometimes huge groups, other times just family. Yes, people can bring things. We eat after I finish evening chores (feeding the horses) so I don't have to rush. A roaring fire, music, pecan and pumpkin pies. Is there anyone out there who can remotely match what you do? How about if we all send you a photo of our Thanksgiving tables. That would be fun.
    "Hello Barbie, you sweet girl."

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    1. Thank you! I always love seeing your Thanksgivings! Your house is so warm and active and just the perfect place for a holiday. I haven't cooked stuffing in the bird in so many years but it always was the best flavored! I would love to see everyone's tables! That is a great idea.

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  14. Oh my dear me, bring on this Thanksgiving series for this desperately homesick expat (being away for this breaks my heart every year)...bring it on! And you know that I have been wondering about the fall foliage and your photos are just gorgeous (including that of the winning model, bisous to Barbie)...so I think I will be super selfish and pretend that this post is just for me. heehee

    So most years I don't really do Thanksgiving for just Remi and myself. It is mighty hard to get a full turkey here before Christmas. If I am feeling up for it and not overwhelmed in a pity party after hearing all about my mom's preparations, I will do a turkey leg with my grandma's herbed bread stuffing and my mashed sweet potatoes, maybe with a butternut squash soup to start...really basic.

    It has been nearly fifteen years since I was regularly cooking Thanksgiving. This was in the tiny kitchen that my sister and I shared in Hell's Kitchen in NYC. It was a rent-controlled apartment and had - I am not kidding - a gas stove from the 1930s that lit with a match and had no temperature controls whatsoever, I just had to wing it and go by thermometer. Like you, stay outta my kitchen but everyone was welcome - in NYC there was always strays who couldn't make it home. I look back on photos and think "who was that person again?" but good times were always had, accompanied by jazz on the stereo.

    I have one story for you that will prove my love to this holiday. So, one year it was just my sister and I but I still wanted to do the whole shebang even though with the gas oven the turkey took truly forever to cook. Well, just as things were coming together, Robin, my sister turned to me and said, "Do you smell smoke?" and I did. She poked her head out of her bedroom window and there was a whoosh of flames. The building next door was on fire! Big time fire. The fireman arrived quickly and started evacuating our building. But when they arrived at our apartment, I told them we were just about to eat and would it be ok if we came down after. They looked at me like I was crazy but then said ok and that someone would come and get us if it was getting too dangerous. So we sat there and quietly (and rather quickly I might add) had our Thanksgiving dinner then calmly joined the neighbors out front. We offered leftovers to the fire men (so handsome! NYC firefighters! *swoon) after it was all over. I think I gave them a pie and took them cookies to thank them a week later.

    It is a pretty good story, isn't it? :)

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh that is so great about your old range! I'd love if you posted about your New York Thanksgivings, as long as it wouldn't make you too homesick! I spent one Thanksgiving in New York and it was so fun. But sooooo cold. I was in my fur coat phase so I was excited it was cold enough for me to wear them (awful, I know! I've donated them). My sister and I saw so many shows that trip because the city was cold and quiet so we had little competition for rush tickets. I still get excited when I think about Darlene Love flirting with me from the stage! Haha.
      Oh my god. Now this is where you may be even more dedicated than I. I would have grabbed my dog and my favorite pots and pans and not stopped driving until I was in Vermont. That is so funny! What a story. And how wonderful the firemen cooperated with you!

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    2. I flirted with them heavily. :) And I didn't have a dog then (couldn't afford it, I was so broke then) otherwise I definitely would have put the puppers needs first!

      It is always freezing in NYC for Thanksgiving. Truly, it can be in the 60s the day before but it will drop to the 30s without fail. But that wouldn't keep me from going to see the balloons being blown up the night before for the Macy's parade. *happy sigh*

      I love that Darlene Love flirted with you! Did you see "20 Feet from Stardom"? If not, you have to watch it! Today! It is so good: http://twentyfeetfromstardom.com/

      Is it just me or does today already feel like the weekend? I think that I am just too geekily excited about Ellie moving down!
      Bisous
      h

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    3. I will! No, I haven't. This was in Hairspray. I can't believe she's moving! I'm so excited to see the house!

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  15. Stephen, this isn't a Thanksgiving story, but a flood story. Our house was in the Easter flood of 79 in Jackson, MS. Friends loaned us their condo on higher ground. I threw things in a suitcase, grabbed my kids, clean jeans, and two dogs and decampted to the condo. When I opened my suitcase, I fell out laughing. I had packed my entire new set of Saladmaster cookware! As if it could be hurt by flood waters!

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    1. Hahaha that is so funny! I'm sure that was a practical, conscious choice as you had some type of Easter salad on your mind! Was the damage to your house bad? Floods terrify me. So sudden and such a roll of the dice. I would probably take a path similar to yours. Dog first and cookware second! Glad you all escaped safely and had good friends to offer a place to stay.

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  16. Thanksgiving is always at my house. For years I cooked the large turkey, many veggies and a meat stuffing along with bread stuffing. I always prepare everybody's favorites. Individuals make special new requests some years. One year my sister brought a friend and she ate veggies only. So I quickly doubled the veggie offering. I always buy deserts. Pumpkin and apple pie are the priority but I always have Bavarian mocha butter cream cake for cake lovers. Our Thanksgiving starts with a Champ toast and lots of starters (finger food) prior to the dinner. I find eating and catching up with each other works well.

    Lately I serve Prime Rib roast. This turns out wonderfully well. I also include all the traditional side Thanksgiving dishes. Surprisingly, nobody seems to miss the Turkey!

    I love Thanksgiving from the shopping, setting the table to buying wine selections. A wonderful holiday. Susan

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    1. Susan, your Thanksgivings sound fabulous and right up my alley. I love bubbles with Thanksgiving fare and also love starting the day with finger food. Thanksgiving is just about the only time I like guests to just hang around (out of the kitchen) well before meal time. And that cake sounds exceptional. One of my best friend's families ditched turkey for prime rib as well and never looked back. I love turkey, especially the smell, so I don't think I could ever give it up. I'm really excited that this year I was able to persuade a friend from the farmers market to raise turkeys for me!

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  17. As you know we don't have Thanksgiving here - but I have downloaded my Martha Stewart Thanksgiving special to read regardless. Love a gravy boat. We do a big Christmas with the Turkey etc, but it's very English centric in the food (plum pudding, hard sauce, custard etc). I'm not sure why we don't have a harvest festival, but it would likely be around Christmas time anyway - my Uncle is a farmer, and he is occasionally not able to make family christmases as he's out harvesting the barley and wheat. But they're usually finished before Christmas, so I'm not sure when we'd have a big feast. Also, we can grow stuff all through Winters due to no snow…
    I'll enjoy reading all about your big do though. The side dish with marshmallows on the vegetables has always fascinated me… xx

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    1. I've been mad at Martha since the reformat of her iPad magazine but I had to get over it and download it too. It's pretty good. I love that garden in Boulder, CO with all the shades of violet and punctuated by one of my favorite flowers, goldenrod. How fun that your Christmases have an English slant! I'm going to campaign for an Aussie Thanksgiving. I guess I'd have to visit first!

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  18. We were lucky...only had to replace floors. When we saw the water rising, we moved a lot of things across the street to a house on a hill. Many others had water to the eaves. The recent floods on the east coast were terrible.

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  19. OK Stephen you asked for it. I am Italian so we never did just turkey and the trimmings. We would start with stuffed mushrooms and an anti pasto platter. Then lasagna and big platters of sausage and meatballs. Believe it or not after all this came the turkey and sides. Dessert was a combination of store bought and homemade served with strong cups of espresso with the complimentary annisette shot. All this served on pretty Italian crochet tablecloths with fine china. Its so funny because my mom would actually fight every year to have it at our house, thats how much she loved doing it. We would stay at the table for hours and all the gabbing! I live overseas now and really miss the holiday. Love your blog Stephen and your perspective on life.

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    1. Oooooh I love this! Do you have a brother or a cousin for me? I'd love to be in on Italian holidays. My best friend from beauty school is Italian and her holidays always sound so fun and are such festivals. Absolutely love that your mom fought to keep it at her house. A woman after my own heart! Are Thanksgiving-type ingredients hard to find where you are now?

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    2. Hahaha Stephen unfortunately my brother is taken. I live in Beirut and believe it or not I can find all the Thanksgiving ingredients here, even the slimy cranberry sauce (but no fresh cranberries, darn!). However, its not quite the same without the crisp air and the fall leaves, but most importantly without all the family around boo hoo!

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  20. a non cook reporting in here sir.
    so I have to revert back to my childhood.
    my small family... mother father brother and I had just moved to Colorado. hadn't had time to make friends. no other family within half a country away...
    mother made sandwiches and thermoses of coffee and hot chocolate and we headed out. no destination in mind. the days when EVERYTHING closed on holidays. especially ones like thanksgiving.
    we wound up in Leadville. back then it was a jail. a saloon. a general store.
    only the saloon was open. we went in.
    there was a pot bellied stove roaring with a cozy fire. there were three men on stools at the bar. the bar tender brought my dad a beer and said "no food."
    we asked if we could eat our sandwhiches.
    he said "sure."
    so we did. we were high enough that there was plenty of snow on the ground.
    my brother and I made a snowman outside.
    Mother and Daddy made friends with the bartender and the three men.
    nary a gravy boat nor a turkey leg in sight. but I have never forgotten it!

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