Friday, October 21, 2016

Grab Him by the Party


I’m so sick of politics that I might write in a vote for Martha Stewart and call it a fucking day.  She hosted The Apprentice too, don’t forget.  I know, I know.  Opting out is not an answer.  I am sure the election is wearing thin wherever you live, but it’s probably not as bad as Ohio.  I suppose Nevada and Pennsylvania have it tough too.   I have to deal with this shit even at the farmers market.  There is a Trump campaign office on the block, an Ohio Women’s GOP table, a county Democratic office, and a Hillary table all vying for attention while I’m just trying to find some fucking Hubbard Squash and remember which heirloom apples I like and which is that one that tastes like bland ass.  They berate you.  The Trump people are always flushed and red faced and SO MAD and the Hilary people are snarky and off-putting.  The funny thing for me is that amid the rampant profiling either party does, I seem to throw a bit of wrench into their “should we talk to him or are we wasting our time?” flowchart.  I’m questionably young enough to probably not be a Trump supporter but my Log Cabin Republican hair and matching shirt and market tote monograms don’t exactly read free spirit “millennial” either.  So they trepidatiously bother me, unsure if they are going after the enemy or preaching to the choir.  I’m the big, loud, gay political question mark of Delaware County.  So I do what I always do when I’m annoyed: tell them what they want to hear, and rudely dismiss them.  You know, Hillary is so damn corrupt WHY ISNT SHE IN JAIL AND BENGHAZI YA KNOW and Trump is SO inexperienced and I worry for our safety if he’s elected! What kind of role model would he be FOR OUR GIRLS?  Was that so fucking hard?  Why do we all need to fight? I get a nod of satisfaction, a pat on the back from Trump people—sometimes a kinda homoerotic neck grab/massage, and the Hillary people ask me if I want to contribute.  To which I always say Thank you so much! And walk away.  I’m not having it.  I’m done.  In case you didn’t already know, smiling and saying Thank you is the easiest way to shut down most anything.  Followed only by my seasonal favorite Have a merry Christmas.  It’s a somewhat polite way to end a conversation and slither out. 




My family is equally divided in politics and we have some major arguers.  My mom and grandpa, particularly. My sister will ignore it for two drinks, but once she’s poured her third, watch out.  I dismantle arguments deftly with unrelated questions, forceful parameters on answers, and witty correction if anyone tries to veer back toward politics.  I moderate kind of like if Kim Jong-un and Oscar Wilde had a baby.  My sister eclipses arguments by dramatically gesturing and singing from various Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals over her whiskey.  I encourage her to go with Evita vs Phantom because I’m not sure my crystal can take the high notes.  It is hard to argue politics with a drunk woman acting like a cat belting out Memory at the table.  If you have a current or former theater nerd in your family, you understand.  They never grow out of their showtunes, god love them. 
Suffice to say, the holidays will be interesting this year in the wake of the election.  God willing it’s indeed over.  Fuck it.  Who has time for this with Thanksgiving so rapidly approaching?  As I said last year, I love hearing about other families’ Thanksgivings even more than I like talking about my own.  So If you didn’t share the rundown of your holiday last year, please do so.  How many people? Who cooks? Shared or divided labor? Formal or casual?  Do you eat at noon, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8?  How late do you run?  I run about an hour late usually.  I’m right on schedule until people get here, at which point I stand and chat a while and empty a prosecco bottle until the energy shifts and people start looking at the oven.  One table?  Two tables, one room?  Two rooms, two tables?  Are people welcome all day or just for the meal?  How do you handle football?  Do you turn your heat on so the cold people are comfortable or turn it off so the hot people are tolerable?  Honestly, no detail is too small for me. 


An adorable ad for Bell Telephone from National Geographic October 1954


I’m a week earlier than last year on my Thanksgiving series, but wouldn’t you agree it’s time?  Please answer any or all of the questions and let me know about your Thanksgiving.  If you answered all these last year, what’s different this year?  What was your triumph last year and what was your demise?  I would say my triumph last year was my scheduling and my demise was my ugly platter of carrots and parsnips.  You may comment on politics if you like, but I really don’t give a shit.  We have more important matters at hand! 
Up next...

104 comments:

  1. Do...not...get...me...started! I live in Oklahoma, so that should say enough about politics and the fact that I am in the minority here. I will be "doing" Thanksgiving this year. Mom, brother, and I split our share of the cooking, and my cousins bring what they are told. Mom or I make pies, and my brother does the turkey (he cannot "make" the turkey since he obviously did not give birth to it), with mom finishing it with the gravy. My kids are on housecleaning and ironing duty because I am terrible about making sure linens are kept ironed, and paper anything is not allowed at my house. There will be ZERO politics allowed because I do not want to have to replace windows simply because I have people who do not agree with me coming, and pitching out of one of the windows would seem inhospitable.

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    1. Hahaha I totally understand! I don't agree with dems or GOP so I'm almost always annoyed by political talk! That's wonderful that you can share it with your mom and brother! What kind of pies? I think pie baking is honestly one of the most enjoyable pursuits. I'm with you on delegating ironing and banning paper plates! if you have any window damage, I know a wonderful custom window maker!

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  2. Having lived through the referendum earlier this year I empathise. I never knew what it meant when historians would say the english/spanish/american civil war divided family and friends until then.

    Last thanksgiving I'm pretty sure we had duck rice takeaway, my husband and I arguing who picked up the last takeaway, i like to keep the tupperware they use and their child sauce is so good they sell it separately if you want more than one. The UK doesn't have anything like Thanksgiving and they are so irreverent that it would only serve as another occasion to take the piss out of each other endlessly but on purpose. I am sorry but when I see those thanksgiving dinner scenes on the tv or movies and they go around saying what they are thankful for - me and my commonwealth friends bar the canadians always giggle inexplicably. I still await your series in any case!!

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    1. Haha thank you! I have to confess we have never been Thanksgiving share what your thankfulers. I won't knock it because I think it's sweet but it always feels a little forced. I like one toast to health, each other, and those we're remembering. Yes I would say 2016 has been the year of big waves! Duck sounds so good. It's rare to find duck on the menu here and even more so to find it prepared well.

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    2. I'm assuming you meant chili sauce and your finger went astray...but also, I have no idea what duck rice is.? A U.K. thing?

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    3. I had always thought that the whole "what are you thankful for" thing around the table was for the movies. You mean that people do it for real? This wouldn't work in Australia. We're too cynical!

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    4. Yes! I think it's more normal to do it than not! I think people like it because it feels on topic but it's always an awkward exchange! I like the more open-ended "what is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?" Or "who made the worst turkey you've ever had?".

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    5. I roasted a duck on the weekend they are easy to find here!

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  3. I don't even live in the US and I am so sick of the election. I don't even know how you are coping AT ALL. But I like your strategy at the farmer's market, telling people what they want to hear is often my plan too. Then I do what I want of course.
    Thanksgiving is really the best holiday. I hate Halloween so much, I dread it every year (and I say this knowing it was Ellie's favourite holiday, well I'm sure she had the most stylish Halloween ever). But Thanksgiving, it's all about the food and the gathering, what could be better? We've had our holiday of course and this year we had our family dinner on the Saturday (which really pissed off my youngest daughter, but she got over it) and then on the Sunday we went to the theatre with our good friends Jonathan and Christopher, then had another Thanksgiving dinner here afterwards. Two dinners! It was bliss. I did all the usual dishes which is another comfort of the day, the sameness.
    I'm doing another dinner for the US holiday for our immediate family and some friends. I want ALL the Thanksgivings!
    XOX

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    1. I want all the Thanksgivings too! I so love the timing of Canadian Thanksgiving. But love late November too. I feel for you all having to hear so much about the election but not getting a vote! I just hope Americans really do vote. I'm worried the disdain for both candidates does not translate to abstention. I did see the thing that Canadians did sharing what they thought was already great about the US and thought it was so sweet! Did you find your Bell's? I can send it up to you if you weren't able to!

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  4. I want to come to your house for thanksgiving.

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    1. You might change your mind depending how the election goes!

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  5. Let me just say how much I love your posts! The fact that you don't post that often or on any kind of schedule make them all the more delightful when they show up in my inbox. We do a 30 person Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncles. They provide the turkey and mashed potatoes and everyone brings something else. It's always a lot of fun to see cousins from out of town and everyone does their best to come home for the event. The sad part is that I don't have leftovers so I have often thought about doing a small Thanksgiving meal the next day but somehow don't get around to it. You inspire me, however, so this might just be the year!

    I'm also in OH (Cleveland) and agree with you that I cannot wait for this all to be over!!!!

    Thanks for your wonderful post and beautiful pictures.

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh that sounds so fun! 30! That is huge! How many tables? And what time do you eat? I'm imagining later with so many arrivals. What are you making this year? I haven't ever done as many as 30. I think the biggest one I did was 24 a few years ago when all my extended family ended up being home rather than on vacation like usual. It was fun! I fucked up the gravy though and no one will let me forget it! Oh I'm so glad Cleveland made it through the Convention without any problems!

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  6. Permission to speak, Captain?

    I confess: I no longer really care about the full-on traditional meal and can live without it.

    I know, shocking.

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    1. Not shocking! I know a lot of people who just don't like that whole setup! My sister hates Thanksgiving food. I'm bribing her to be excited by having her make White Russians with dessert. So, no turkey. What do you make instead?

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    2. Best Thanksgiving meal I've ever done involved lamb loin chops.

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  7. omgawd
    have i mentioned that i love you?
    yes.
    well. i still do.
    i have just been reading every single mouth watering thanksgiving post you've ever done. AS WELL AS the christmas ones too.
    i miss your grandpa and grandma too.
    ... like when you were 11 and he tried to sneak you into the bar at hilton head and he lost a tooth in the process? and he told one and all that it was a sex injury!
    LOLOLOL! and your gram laughed so hard that people believed him!
    and then.
    OMG stephen andrew. the food and tables in each post ... using up adjectives that now are becoming boring to you i'm sure.
    but the trouble is... they ALL really apply. and i haven't even mentioned the hilarity of your writing yet.
    but oh that food...
    gorgeous. fabulous. delicious. elegant. incredible. help. stop me! i've gained 5 pounds already.
    and since my state is one of FIVE in the nation that doesn't allow write ins...
    i will not be voting. the first time i haven't. both are too revolting.
    sending love and hugs to you and princess barbie. XOXOXO♥
    oh.
    ps!
    i had to do this comment of blatant though true praise ... because as you know...
    i don't cook.
    my favorite thanksgiving was on a tain trip to NY in the dining car... white cloths. a single fresh rose in a sterling holder. exquisite food. and miles passing by with a light rain on the windows. heaven!

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    1. oh tammy j i love your comment. reading SAJ is like when you are in hawaii and every turn you make is better than the last one. and you get tired saying oh how beautiful over and over. i love your favorite thanksgiving is sounds exquisite. xo

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    2. Oh Tammy I love the sound of your fab Thanksgiving! I would love to do the whole glamorous train travel thing! You know I like slow travel. Thank you so so much. You are so kind! I think I'm going to write a post about the tooth. I'm trying to find a photo. I know there's one of us all. We all look SO awful but it's hilarious.
      Thank you so much Janet! Are you having another big Thanksgiving this year?

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  8. I'm ready for the election to be over

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  9. I am tired of the campaign coverage too...I live in Canada and we have a much shorter timeline.
    The things that Mr. Trump has been quoted as saying are beyond the realm of goodness and kindness which I think are very important traits in a world leader...
    I do not profess to know the intricacies of the parties to really chime in here...
    I am very happy with our new prime minister Justin Trudeau.
    Wouldn't it be fun if the two candidates had to create a menu, shop, decorate the table and cook a thanksgiving dinner as one of the competitions?

    I am kidding of course, but I thought you might enjoy a little lightness...

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    1. We love Trudeau here too! I love how he reaches out to all communities. Thank you so much! Haha I was just thinking how much I wish that they debated Thanksgiving recipes and tables rather than who is more of a liar!

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  10. SAJ, I just wanted to tell you that I used your recipe for pumpkin pie last year and it was the best I’ve ever had! I live in a small down with NO DUCK eggs so I went to Fresh Market for the fanciest hen eggs I could find!!! ( Wouldn’t you think FM would have duck eggs?? WTF?) Anyway, sometimes we have 10 people and sometimes 4…doesn’t matter, same major food groups….turkey, stuffing ( as we call it in the south ), a few sides….and hard core liquor! Usually, my brother ends up making fart noises in his armpit and my sister falls down at least once, the grandkids eat saltines cuz they hate the food, and we laugh until we pee our pants! This year will be especially sweet and sad as my favorite Sister-In-Law died right after Thanksgiving last year. ( No, it wasn’t because I left the stuffing out too long before packing the left overs! ) Anyway, I fantasize about having large Thanksgiving gatherings like you, even with some homeless strangers at the table ( one could be Jesus, you know! ), but I just can’t chance that the holiday insanity might fade with strangers in our midst. I can’t wait to read about your preparations……..Nan

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    1. Nan! I love this comment! Thank you so much! I am loving the sound of your Thanksgiving! Hahaha you know some fart noises are good for morale. I'm not inclined toward "potty humor" (much more of a fan of dick jokes) but I see their merit. Thanks again and I love your name! My grandmother was Nancy.

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    2. And I'm so glad you used my recipe! Thank you so much! Duck eggs are so damn hard to find. Where do you live? If I've been there I've sourced duck eggs. Haha I am a resource for duck egg purveyors east of the continental divide.

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    3. I live in the People's Republic of Athens, Ga.!!! Home to the University of Georgia and the currently embarrassing Georgia Bulldogs! Work your magic, baby, and find me some duck eggs! But no where near Atlanta and its blood curdling, white knuckling traffic, please! Thanks....and I just LOVE your blog!!

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  11. Simply adding to the others...when I see you've posted your blog it's like getting a special present. And how did you get all these "foreign " readers?! I'm Canadian married to an American so we celebrate twice. But our kids are no longer home or close so it's a much more subdued event. Children were always mixed in with adults, how else will they learn to behave at a dinner party? Control freak, I like knowing what will be on my table, no pot luck except for dessert. And not so secret confession: I've started buying the dinner from the catering department of our local independent grocer. The meal is consistently good and I'm not stressed. I'd rather focus on flowers and table setting and guests.

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    1. Thank you so much!! You know I think I might celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving next year too. I love that you didn't do a kids table. I agree with you, let them in on the fun and let them rise to the good behavior! Or bad! One of the most elegant women I know does the same thing. She sets a stunning table, cleans her house, picks it all up, and has a fabulous time. No shame in not cooking! As long as it doesn't go uncelebrated!

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  12. I am on call the week of Thanksgiving which is the worst week for call, because Thursday thru Sunday is non stop. Typically call starts after 5 pm until the next morning except weekends which covers the entire weekend. So it will be non stop Thursday until Monday morning because they are declared holidays and treated as weekends. Ok enough of that. I am making a turkey breast, and I found a biscuit recipe at King Arthur website. They can be made in advance and frozen, then baked right before dinner. Cranberry sauce will be made in advance and I need to look at your pumpkin pie recipe. I want to do as much in advance. Yet only my husband and I are having dinner. I love turkey sandwiches and I need to find great bread for those.

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    1. Frozen biscuit dough is superior! Just like frozen pie crust. I love thanksgiving biscuits with cranberry relish. I'm sorry you're on call! I hope it's not too hectic! I love to make a buttermilk bread for leftover sandwiches. No real recipe just about 4 parts water to 1 part buttermilk, 3T sugar, 2t yeast and about 5 cups of flour. Make the dough weds morning or even tues. refrigerate and then pop it in log pans to rise and bake in a steamy oven.

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  13. SAJ where is your pumpkin pie recipe on your website?

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    1. http://stephenandrewblog.blogspot.com/2015/11/philadelphia-freedom.html?m=1
      But I'm going to post a different recipe next week! My friend and turkey farmer Elizabeth shared a different recipe with me and it's even better.

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    2. SAJ thank you as always. I too love Thanksgivings!

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  14. OMG- I read this out loud to the old man I live with (okay my husband that is 2 years younger than I am). He snickered and then chuckled. IF you get a chuckle out him you have WON the John Lottery.

    I am sick and tired of all the politics, too! Really! I want to just get this mess over with and move on to Christmas unless someone decides to pull the plug and now we all know it takes FOUR MINUTES from the Nod to Detonate until the BIG BANG happens.

    I didn't do Thanksgiving last year. That was just the time we found out the hubster had cancer and life went into a tailspin for us. From death's door he has been delivered and is now cancer-free---surprising even the doctors in our midst.

    We usually do things up with a formal table and everyone gets a bit dressed up. I cook for two days and have at time-line I follow on THE DAY! I like to do it all myself and not have people bring anything. (control freak that way- I don't want cocktail wienies in ketchup on the hors d'oeuvre table). My kids know better but you know how in-laws can be.

    Hope you are doing well. I have missed you and missed reading your blog- I am glad to be back a bit. Have a great weekend- xo Diana

    ps- I think we should campaign to right in Martha myself...oh...wait...would her prison record stand in the way?

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    1. Thank you so much! I don't write much because so often I really have nothing of any value to say! Haha at least for the holidays I have soooomething. I'm so honored! And glad I could bring a laugh! It really is amazing how bleak things looked last Thanksgiving for your family and how much things have turned around! Much to celebrate! I love the sound of your Thanksgiving and know it'll be fabulous this year! I think Martha's "crime" was a felony so maybe she can't be president! How awful. I'm with you, I like a plan and I like to do it all myself. Will all the kids make it home this year? I hope so!

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  15. The election.....no comment. It's too much like eating something you know will probably give you food poisoning, so I'm abstaining from politics for now the same way I abstain from seafood left out on the counter for several hours. Thanksgiving is another story! I plan on using the same recipe as last year, with the turkey quartered, breasts done sous vide and legs done in the oven. It made things SO easy that I was able to properly decorate for the first time in forever! Really, the whole day was just so much more relaxing. I plan on a repeat!

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    1. Haha you know I think rancid seafood is the perfect comparison to our presidential election. I'm so glad the souls vide made such a difference for you! It does for me too! Although I'm going kinda crazy thinking I might roast one turkey and sous vide another! I just kind of feel like roasting the whole bird again. We'll see. I haven't done it in four years so I think maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder

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  16. You are hilarious! I'm with you on all counts!

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  17. Thanks for the good laugh! I needed that!

    I actually did Canadian Thanksgiving this year, hosting my immediate family and jet-lagged friends from overseas. Turkey was served as a late lunch, which was a nice departure, but when the tryptophan kicked in mid-afternoon, I could barely stay awake. Of the two kids I hosted, one ate dry white bread, and the other had a pool of dry mashed potatoes. Gasp, not even gravy! And I nailed the gravy this year!

    Since poor Eric was in Paris, enjoying his white truffle pasta (don't ask...) it means this year, I'll be doing American Thanksgiving so he can partake in the festivities. I made a whole turkey this year, but next time around I'm back to cooking only the breast. So much easier!

    As for the elections, I'm ecstatic I'm not American. I am however very worried about either candidate.

    Living a stone's throw from VT and NY, I've listened to NPR for decades now, and Bernie's always been the voice of reason. It's sad he never stood a chance.

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    1. Oh your Thanksgiving sounds fabulous! I never believed the tryptophan thing until last year when I literally almost fell asleep face down in my cake. Hard to tell if it was that or the prosecco river or the fact that I had been up for like 5 days! No, I don't feel *too* bad for Eric! Truffle pasta sounds so good! Oh my, you have been listening to NPR a long time if you are pro Bernie! :) I know many people who swear they will write Bernie in regardless. So funny how many children are picky eaters! It will likely not surprise you that I was not a remotely picky eater.

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  18. You truly made my day. I agree completely with everything you said about that f'g election. About Thanksgiving: I do semi-formal even though it's just my husband, me and our cat. Okay, cats. The outside kitties are our force-against-the-mice who think they should be in our house (NOT HAPPENING!), and those kitties get all the stuff we won't eat. Love your blog - thanks for taking the time to post and the fabulous photos!!

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    1. Thank you so much! A small Thanksgiving is so wonderful! It's nice to have time to really focus on the day and the details. I miss having a cat!

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  19. It’s so nice to shift the focus to Thanksgiving, thanks for that! I watch debates, Fallon, Colbert and SNL skits equally so when I see the actual candidates my brain sees parody and is entertained (otherwise I’d just cry). I admire your decorum.
    I am in a new normal and miss the traditions of Thanksgivings gone by so I’ll recollect those. We traveled on an over-the-river-and-through-the-woods route for an hour to relatives. I was always so grateful that they hosted each year because I didn’t have the room/house for the crowd (13-20). Gorgeous house on a New England lake, a host who is a consummate decorator with Virginia roots. What’s not to love. I became quite adept at packing my vintage picnic basket (with a shelf inside!) with the ambrosia, crab dip, pumpkin pie (from the One Pie can, tried and true, though I am very curious to see yours!), and my potato casserole that feeds an army. It’s layers of mashed potatoes, onions-spinach-egg, squash-egg, then topped with cheese and baked. I also brought whipping cream and my portable mixer and made it fresh after dinner.
    The house has the family room with the fireplace going and football on (all that was missing was the tweed though I bet there was some, endearingly). The formal living room is warm and inviting as the hosts make it that way, and the cooks in the group pass around the appetizers as we gaze out at the lake through the wall-to-wall glass sliders during any lull in conversation. The kitchen hums as we move in and out (except for the one who thinks herself the queen and we’re happy she buys the rolls and stays out of the kitchen!). The food is laid out on the dining room table buffet style with the fine china and cloth napkins and we sit anywhere. It’s a wonderful combination of exquisite taste among fine antiques in the company of wonderful, loving, down-to-earth family.
    My triumph was early on when I used to make appetizers of mushroom turnovers (quite delicious and a hit) though they were time-consuming and were replaced with dip when life became more hectic. My demise is from a Christmas dinner so I’ll save that one for the next season. 
    Those traditions are past tense now (thanks divorce) and I feel it each year, though it’s getting better. New normal. New beginnings. New traditions, yet always keep some of the old. Food is great for that. We can make it anywhere.
    Beautiful photos, wonderful post, as usual, SAJ.


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    1. You paint such a lovely picture of the past tense celebrations you used to enjoy. Thanks for sharing all those wonderful details. I'm sorry for the loss you have experienced. We have our own loss that we're dealing with and, this being the first year, all holidays/birthdays are marked by a sense of loss and a very big hole. Hopefully, in time, we too will be able to forge a new normal.

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    2. Thank you for your kind words, Jeannine. They are very moving to me. Those recollections are some of the best memories of my entire marriage, almost magical. I am very sorry about your loss. What I have gleaned thus far, in the moments beyond the grieving, is that it is easier for me to allow whatever comes up around this and lean in, whenever I can, to the joy and love that remain. It is by grace that I am able to, and I send you my best for grace to ease your new normal.

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    3. Thank you, Nicole, for your kind words and the good advice. Your thoughts are very much appreciated.

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    4. Oh those Thanksgivings sound like heaven! Being Virginia raised and living in New England is such a great combination! So when you say egg in the casserole do you mean like an egg wash? I occasionally make scalloped potatoes at Christmas and they are so good. I like a thyme and white wine sauce with tons of white cheddar.

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    5. They were heaven, Stephen. The casserole is layered and the spinach/onion layer is mixed with an egg, as is the squash layer, which keeps the dish from becoming soggy. I use a box of frozen squash and frozen spinach, thawed and as water-free as possible. It bakes and actually rises a little. So it's a layer of mashed potatoes (buttered, seasoned to tasted-option to mix 8 oz. of sour cream with the mashed potatoes, which also makes the potatoes fluffier), layer of spinach/onion/egg, layer of potatoes, layer of squash/egg, layer of potatoes, topped with cheese, and baked, uncovered, at 350 for about 40 min. until it's all heated through. Your scalloped potatoes sound delicious!

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  20. I would love to ignore the rest of this election cycle, but too much is at stake, so Thanksgiving planning will have to wait until after November 8. In the meantime, I will do what I can to support the candidates and issues of my choice (upballot and down). While I won't presume to tell anyone how to vote, I urge you all to realize that the stakes at extremely high in this election, and each and all of us should care very much about its results. So grit your teeth and cast well-informed votes, folks. The most potent enemy of a democracy is an ignorant or disinterested electorate.

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    1. I see your point but disagree. If one knows who they will vote for why let it keep running you over? It's so long and upsetting there's no point in doing anything other than voting. I think the constant coverage and discussion is ruining autumn for so many. My main conundrum is whether to vote for Johnson and at least contribute a mark on the third party here in Ohio where every vote is watched closely or vote Hillary just as a not Trump vote. I'm inclined toward Johnson because that's the direction our Governor is leaning and I have utmost respect for him. I'm going to vote next week so we'll see if I have any revelations before then. After I've voted I'll be very happy to look the other way even if it's up a turkey's ass! I think I remember you saying that there are bogs around where you live, how did they fare in that giant storm you guys had? I've been in cranberry watch and I don't think a single cranberry has made it to Ohio yet!

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    2. The opening sentence of your above response is one of my favorites. I doubt that we actually disagree very much: for me, this Presidential election cycle has been, and is, agonizing, and the only way I have been able to work off some of my anxiety (downright despair) about one possible outcome has been to devote most of my free time to working, as a volunteer lawyer, on behalf of the Presidential candidate, as well as some of the down-ballot issues and candidates, I support. Regarding candidate Johnson: I won't impose my opinion on you, because you haven't asked for it and because I know that you will have taken a discerning look at him (and your down-ballot choices) before you vote.
      You have a great memory about the bogs: the south coast of Oregon, in particular, is excellent cranberry country. If you end up having trouble finding fresh cranberries when the time comes, let me know! I am looking forward to diving in to your Thanksgiving ideas on November 9. Fond regards, Leslie

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    3. P.S. We may deviate from our tradition of hosting Thanksgiving this year, as we just got an invitation to join a sub-branch of my husband's Minnesota family that migrated to Oregon's wine country and started a now-thriving winery. Particularly since one of their adult sons is battling ALS, we want to see and support them (and maybe, in doing that, also work through a bit more of my Ellie grief).

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  21. I wrote before but somehow my comment disappeared into cyber-void. I am so tired of "your" election that I am even tired of being tired of it. I love your photos of the Great Blue Heron and wonder where you take such shots? For Canadian Thanksgiving we cancelled it as there was freezing rain. I threw the maple flavoured, birch smoked ham into the oven, with butternut squash and brussels sprouts. I figure the ham is 30 dinners of meat once in the freezer and plus split pea soup! So delicious and only available at Thanksgiving, Christmas, perhaps Easter. I loved how the freezing fog edged the alpine plants in frost. I prayed the ground would thaw so my wonderful gardener young woman can finish the new non-rock alpine garden, that the rock chip mulch thaws (the pile is like cement). Scree garden with scree that looks like loam (less watering, less mowing). A non-rock rock garden that looks like a perennial garden! And the temperature has gone up. Tete a tete daffodils have been planted. Gardener returns this week (fingers crossed!). This is the last minute push for the season. Bird feeder up, hoses away, gardening finished so one dreams all winter of how the alpine plants will flower. At the top of the slope, one couldn't help sticking in a couple of Itoh peonies. So that is Thanksgiving here. Happy Thanksgiving to you! And thinking of Ellie's love of Thanksgiving while I eat all of the little Hallowe'en chocolate bars (peanut free!). Your photos are lovely and enjoyed the post, too!

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    1. Thank you so much! I know, I keep thinking of her too. I can't believe you've already had freezing rain! I'm relieved it's finally cooled down here. Hard to believe a few months ago I was ready to move to the south! I need breaks from the heat! Blue herons are all over! I love them so much. They are very bold and comfortable with people. Such elegant birds to watch. Glad it will be thawed enough your gardener can come back. I've been having the opposite problem, it's been so hot and dry that I've been reluctant to put bulbs in. I'm in the clear now though as it's cool and wet and the leaves have fallen enough to shield the new plantings. Good thing because I have 1200 waiting on me! Planning to do 100/day so it doesn't become too daunting.

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  22. Am writing in Martha, felony or no. Last year we had a mere seven with three arriving at the airport on the day. This year we will have twelve with the same three arriving on the day so the meal is around 4. I make the turkey, stuffing, gravy and drinks. My sister in law brings mashed potatoes, homemade bread that doesn't rise properly because we are at a high elevation and a green which may or may not be the dreaded but devoured green bean casserole. My bonus daughter will make an incredible Sweet potatoes dish with nary a marshmallow in sight. (Mashed with butter and an add your own sauce of OJ, brown sugar and ginger). Greens and salads will be brought by guests and hopefully Margaret will make a pie or two. This year I am going to try a somewhat make ahead meal from Ina Garten's make ahead cookbook. Fingers crossed. We have a small dining room table so we are having two tables of six each in the same room. So I get to use two different China patterns. I've been practicing table settings and may have bought way too many tablecloths. Last year I was busted for no chargers so am upping my game this year. I pull out my silver and fancy dishes so the first people who arrive are impressed. Everyone else brings disposable and that is fine with me. Hubbie makes his bourbon cranberry sauce. Thinking of no TV but a fire pit afterwards weather permitting. Will send you an update afterwards as expectations are dashed and planning begins for 2017.

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    1. I love this comment, especially your brilliant last line! Isn't that the truth? Your Thanksgiving sounds spectacular! I love the idea of a mountain Thanksgiving! I hope weather cooperates and you can utilize the fire pit. You can use the extra tablecloths as fireside blankets! It's funny I have never had the green bean casserole! One of these days I will try it. I've also never had a marshmallow with a sweet potato! Thank you!

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  23. I MAY JUST SHOW UP AT YOUR TABLE THIS YEAR!But I am NOT that rude to invite MYSELF.What would my small family do withOUT me!I make the ELLIE TURKEY DINNER.....this will be year THREE!I love her MOTHER's recipes............so easy and SO GOOD!
    TO answer a few of your questions.......ONE TABLE,eat at about 5pm,NO FOOTBALL,NEVER LATE!!!!EXHAUSTED once I sit down.........
    WE always take the CHRISTMAS card photo on TURKEY DAY so I MUST STAGE that in my head NOW!
    HATS or NO HATS.......color coordinated doubtful.ME in a TIARA.....MOST LIKELY!
    I couldNOT agree with YOU MORE on the election CRAP!GOOD GRIEF.............I'm VOTING TODAY ABSENTEE so that is DONE and onwards to THANKS-GIVING!!!!BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS...........by the way.

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    1. I love that you use Ellie's mom's recipes! Your Thanksgiving sounds fab and I love that there's no TV allowed! I wish I could get away with that. Why do they like football so much? I think whatever the photo, Banksy should be the star. I have an idea I will share once the election is over! Thank you!

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  24. I will join you and everyone else here in focusing on ANYTHING other than this damn election, but I will admit I am afraid of the "now what?" on November 9. I was hoping you would start writing about Thanksgiving preparations again, and was so happy to read you this morning! After an entire lifetime of huge family-filled, guests-attending, days-long-prepped, groaning-tables Thanksgivings, I am about to depart from the text. After my life (which was apparently fictional, only I didn't know it) blew up spectacularly this summer, I will be heading away from the scene of the crime to NY city with my youngest son to spend the holiday in my middle son's teeny-tiny apartment with its minuscule kitchen. We are going to cook together, and the meal will be drastically reduced to the basics: turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turnips. Not even anything green, like green beans or roasted Brussels sprouts. Bare minimum stuff. And only one pie: French Silk Chocolate. (Well, maybe pumpkin too -- I love pumpkin pie for breakfast with coffee.) And wine. I will have to bring a suitcase filled with mixing bowls and cooking utensils, and we may very well be eating off paper plates with plastic take-out utensils, but believe it or not, I'm excited and looking forward to it. We'll even get to walk just a few blocks away and take a peek at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which was always on the TV when I was growing up, but usually ignored after a few minutes. It might be fun to see those balloons in person. And it might not, and we might instead go searching for a place that will make us a decent Bloody Mary.

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    1. Oh my, Nancy, I'm sorry to hear there's been such an unexpected upheaval. I remember your descriptions of Thanksgiving last year and I'm sorry the rug was pulled out from under you. But your attitude is spot on! I love that you're embracing a new Thanksgiving and trying something different. I spent a Thanksgiving in New York and loved it! My sister and I saw a matinee and then an evening show I think! We saw Hairspray while Darlene Love was still in it and she gave me a hug and kiss after the curtain call. And pointed at me when she sang "the two of these" during 'Big, Blonde, and Beautiful'. It was quite a memorable moment! The year I was there it was bitterly cold so I didn't get near the parade. But I was really into fur coats at the time and loved going to the fur district and shopping furs! Haha

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  25. Thank you for this post, Stephen Andrew. You always entertain, give food for thought, give great tips and share beautiful photos. As this is a year of loss for our family, we're just hoping to get through the day.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm sorry it's a tough year for you and your family. We're nearing the end of a year of loss in my family and I relate. It's sad to go on with things as normal when they're not. I know for me there is a certain amount of pushing when I'm not necessarily feeling it. But each time I've been so glad I did.

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  26. Well I'm from New York where that racist bigot P*ssy grabber was manufactured. I've seen more than enough of him and his gold TRUMP everything and had hoped not to have to be subjected to more and yet THERE HE IS! Possible POTUS! OMG What happened to all the sane people??.. and I don't even like Hill! I just like sane options!

    Anyway - *sigh Thanksgiving. I cook, dinner is usually around 2-ish and the parade and football are on all day - some people come early and sit in the mancave and eat from the cheese, cracker, italian meats and fruit platter and drink from the bar whatever they ask for. Mostly it's Wine, Beer, a Manhattan (BLAH!!) or Scotch on the rocks. (equally blah. Pass the Merlot please) I have the traditional bird and if more than 12 people are coming I will also cook a spiral ham. I make an awesome scalloped potato dish, mashed brown sugared sweet potatoes, Harry and Davids cranberry relish is THE BOMB but I'm not sure they make it anymore. I seem to remember I couldn't find it last year. I also make a green been casserole and another vegetable that I change up now and then. The stuffing - have tried several - Laura Bushes corn bread stuffing is good, or I make my own basic recipe with cut up apples and raisins. I sometimes include a winter root vegetable mash, it's a big hit - kinda like mashed potatoes but it's root veggies. I make the pies the day before - apple and either pumpkin or pumpkin cheesecake, and a chocolate cream pie for those who look for something beyond the traditonal. Usually we have a fire or two going in the house (in fireplaces, not my cooking) and the last people peter out around 8-ish.

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    1. Oh Karen! You have the perfect holiday house! I am sure your Thanksgivings are just wonderful. So glad it works out that the kids and their SOs can come! Did you try my cranberry relish cocktail last year? I think I reall that you like gin. Sprite Zero + hearty pour of gin + cranberry relish. So easy and so good and so Thanksgiving-y. I have to make huge batches of relish because I love that cocktail so much!

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    2. I did not!! I will this year! You're welcome to join us, but I know you're busy with your own crowd :-)

      I have a job for you. Help me pick out a benjamin moore color that will really pop but not be obnoxious with the cottage. The cedar shingle is going to be stained a very light grey. Trim white. I need an outstanding rich deep blue.

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    3. You will love it! Oh thank you. I don't think it gets better than a New England Thanksgiving. I will try my best on this but am not a Benjamin Moore expert. Erin of the Impatient Gardener has experimented with BM blues extensively.
      http://www.theimpatientgardener.com/?m=1

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  27. PS... these photos are gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you! I'm trying to improve my photos. I finalllllllg broke down and got a real camera. I'd say it's 80% fun and 20% fucking enraging. Like when I ruined a shot of a buck jumping over a fence with a vivid orange maple in the background. Ugh!

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    2. Now that was a spectacular shot, and a real fucking outrage. LOL

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  28. Hello! I just found your blog and have been reading happily while football and endless political smear ads play in the background. I'm in Ohio, too. Voted early!
    I am in awe of your Thanksgiving prep. I start cooking on Tuesday. I make everything from scratch since I make a gluten-free meal. But I have learned a thing or two from you! I never thought to bloom the spices for the pie. Did not know the whipped cream trick. I only cook for my immediate family of 6 to 8. We eat about 5:00. If we are at our house, we grill the turkey on a Weber. Really good. If we are at my mother's, I oven roast two breasts. I do all the cooking with help chopping etc. The menu doesn't vary much from year to year: I'll try a new recipe for the same dish (e.g an apple salad with no mayo different ways) or maybe add a dish, but keep the basics. We have both cranberry relish-- and sauce from a can, which my mother loves. Looking forward to your future posts very much! Mary

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    1. Hello! Thank you so much! Do you make GF bread for stuffing? I hadn't thought of this until now but Thanksgiving really is quite GF friendly. Everything is pretty easy to tweak to be GF. Blooming the spices makes all the difference, doesn't it? I've never grilled a turkey but I've heard it is the easiest and most wonderful way to cook the bird. I know several people who swear by it!

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    2. Hi again! What a beautiful day today in Ohio!
      Sometimes I make bread for the dressing but if I can find a particular brand I get that instead. (The only thing it's good for is making dry bread crumbs!) You are right, many traditional dishes are naturally GF. Pie crust, rolls, dressing and gravy are the biggies. And I've never successfully made the infamous green bean casserole taste quite right. But since I'm cooking for celiacs, I can never not read labels! Even the turkey can have gluten.

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  29. Good grief! It took me forever to read all these comments! You are so sweet to respond to all of them. I am into the political scene, which has been ridiculous and all around us. As for Thanksgiving, I have not even had two minutes to think about it...but will let you know if I come up with anything worth writing about. All the best to you and Barbie. Little Wonder said he would like to meet her.

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    1. I couldn't believe the turns your political race took! Thank you! You always do a big Thanksgiving, don't you? LWD is so cute! I'm sure he's looking forward to his first holidays on the farm

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  30. Oh my goodness - the election is in overdrive here too! My husband is obsessed and can't stop laughing about it. We are all completely mystified as to how Trump even got in this position in the first place. It's a worry.
    As for show tunes... I'm like your sister. I was in the Australian Girls Choir for a few years, and we used to sing them all. This was before they got the gig to front the Qantas ads, and were flown around the world to sing on top of the pyramids and Machu Picchu for the ads. So I just have a repertoire of show tunes, Australian classics and no exciting travel. And I like to break out into a show tune at various times to annoy my kids.
    Good luck with thanksgiving. As you know we don't do it here, so I have nothing to contribute, but this year I'm hosting Christmas, and I'm already plotting...

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    1. Oh how exciting! I hope you'll post copiously about your Christmas. Do you like red? What are Australia's preferred Christmas colors? Oh what a shame you missed the travel windows from being in the choir! Oh well, you know there was some major drama on those trips! I remember when my sister was on a school trip to D.C. she called home bawling and hating all the girls in her room. My mom said she could hear all the other girls in the background saying the same thing!

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  31. hi SAJ. this year i hope we are not having to squeeze 25 people into this tiny house. although i do love a challenge i could do without that this year. hopefully someone else hosts and i can just bring my dish of butternut squash risotto stuffed portobellos. last year the wild rice ones were a hit even tho i didn't prep the mushroom caps as you suggested. but i really do love fall table settings and have a hard time resisting setting something up out in the garden so who knows. i can't wait to see what you do this year. you set the bar pretty high last year you know.

    xo

    ps - as for politics i have 3 words...
    House of Cards :)

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    1. Oh I hope you have some sort of celebration if only for my selfish purposes! I love your outdoor Thanksgiving table! Thank you so much, but I promise you will like my table way more this year. I'm going verrrrrrrrrrrry traditional. I wish it was HoC exactly because I would vote for Claire in a heartbeat.

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  32. How do you do, Stephen? First time reading your blog and commenting. Won't be the last. My darling daughter-in-law took over Thanksgiving two years ago when my mother was seriously ill. And I still thank her every year. My only problem is figuring out how I can totally control it. That's right, you read correctly. For me, it was all about the table setting and having a lovely day (food was secondary-I can't cook.) Lovely DOL is the dreamy type who creates on the fly. Dinner could be at 2-or 4- or 8. Now don't get me wrong. I do not want Thanksgiving back! I just want it B,H &G perfect. Is that too much to ask?

    oh yes. My deepest condolences for living in a swing state. Ohioans should be compensate handsomely for the suffering you all share.

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    1. Hello! Welcome. Oh how funny! I think those people are the real domestic geniuses because they enjoy it and there is no stress! I sometimes ask myself is it worth raising my pulse over serving ten minutes later than planned? I am still in awe of my best friend deciding to cook last year the day after thanksgiving. She didn't even go to the store until like 1:30! What if you ask your DIL if you can "help" by setting the table while she cooks? Then you can plan the flowers and settings and have a hint of planned perfection!

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    2. Wonderful idea! In all honesty, I always hesitate to intrude, but really do want to help. And I should involve my 8 year-old granddaughter who is creative. When I find my pulse rising, a little glass of wine should bring it right back down!

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  33. This year I want to try mashed potatoes in the slow cooker! Will have a few goes before the big day!
    Karen

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    2. Now with that method do you make and mash them like normal and then transfer to a slow cooker? I've always thought that makes sense. I do the double boiler method since I already have a giant cauldron out to boil the potatoes. I always make them around 9AM and then sample them with a drink while watching the parade! Haha such a healthy breakfast.

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  34. Well I am loving the election coverage sick and will be sad when it is over because you could not make this stuff up! It is like a tele-movie. It gets a lot of coverage here in Australia and I have watched all the debates and find it fascinating.

    No one really does Thanksgiving here but I do like to have a turkey just for fun on the night. I have no idea what a green bean casserole is…a casserole here is like a beef stew or braised meat dish that you slow cook for hours. Did you know that??

    In Australia, because Christmas is boiling hot people do their tables with a lot of white and blue theming like a kind of sparkly light blue (darker than tiffany blue). I usually do white red silver and gold because that's how I roll. We do a family dinner on Christmas Eve for about 8, I do all the cooking and I don't find it onerous. I've already decided that we are not doing a pavlova for dessert this year but maybe I'll change my mind. We do a boxing day lunch at my uncle's with everyone and we all bring a dish to that. My dishes are potato salad and pavlova.

    As you know both my trees are up already plus I have Halloween theming stuff for my son who loves it. It fills people with rage that I cross pollinate these celebrations but who cares?

    I think if Mr Trump wins, Melania will channel Jackie and wear a pill box hat a la Halston at Bergdorfs to the Inauguration.

    xx

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    1. Nooooo she won't do that! Kennedys are democrats! Poor thing has already been roasted for her fondness for prominent democrats! I think she would channel Laura Bush and wear blue satin.
      I've never tried or made a green bean casserole! But I think what it is is canned green beans with canned campbells cream of...maybe mushroom maybe chicken soup and then French's (a company that primarily makes mustard) packaged fried onions. I think it's one of those things that became popular in the early days of canned food marketing. I should investigate. I never had it when I was little so it doesn't sound appetizing now but I'm sure if I grew up with it I would love it!
      Love a blue and white Christmas! Love that you embrace all the holidays! Me too!

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    2. It's funny to read about green bean casserole. I did not grow up with it either, yet when it was discussed within in-law circles it had the same disdain. So funny. First time I tried it I loved it! I took over making it one year and, short story, it stayed in the oven much longer than it was supposed to, and my sister-in-law later said it was the best green bean casserole she ever had. I think that's the key - let the flavors really meld together so the creaminess is almost gone, yet the flavors are still rich. Next time I took the time to find healthier versions of the ingredients and found non-hydrogenated-coated onion rings at Trader Joe's. And not canned green beans! Frozen (or fresh). There are lots of healthy versions of cream of mushroom soups, yet Campbell's is hard to beat in flavor, so I might still use that one. :) p.s. If you love mushrooms add some of those. Let us know if you try it! I think I've just talked myself into making it this year.

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  35. So happy to see a new post from you! OUr family has lost two important people this year, so celebrations will be bittersweet. I think we are hosting and gained some extra nieces and their grandmother (my SIL) this year. We have a smallish house, but manage to squeeze in. No cable tv means no political ads and no football, which is heaven for me. We sat around the kitchen table and voted by mail last week, a long ballot in California this year.
    Our bird is slathered in butter and herbs, spatchcocked, and barbecued. Home made cornbread stuffing,mashed potatoes,some fresh green beans, cranberry chutney and gravy. I like to make pumpkin crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert and my SIL will make her pecan pie.

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    1. I'm so sorry for your losses! It is hard and weird trudging into the holidays while grieving. I love that you fit everyone in and there are no politics or football! Your meal sounds so so good. I've actually never made cornbread stuffing! I really should. I remember a cornbread stuffing recipe wth dried cranberries that I thought sounded really good. I do like to have cornbread muffins along with biscuits at Thanksgiving.

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  36. All I will say about the election is that it has made me think up the most clever tweets and hashtags but my husband always says you don't talk about religion or politics with people so I just keep them locked inside my own brain and occasionally share them with him just to make him laugh. This election is horrifying at best and laughter is the best medicine anyway, right?
    I'd like to know how it is almost Halloween already. Where has this year gone???? It feels like just yesterday it was April and May and we were cleaning and painting and trying to get settled and now the holidays are upon us?!?!? Hopefully the next 4 years go by just as swiftly because either way I think we will all need it....
    In all seriousness last Thanksgiving was so NOT normal for us with half of us living here in TN and the other half still in NJ and me ordering the whole meal pre-cooked and serving it up in that little corporate apartment kitchen. I'm grateful to have a home filled with my own things this year. We smoked our turkey a few years back and will never, ever cook it indoors again. Having all that oven space for all the critical side dishes is a huge bonus. I always use my turkey transferware although that link to that china you sent has me second guessing what the table should look like. WANT! NEED!
    It's just the 4 of us this year again but probably won't be for long because everyone who has come to visit already has fallen in love with this place and I don't think we will be the only ones in our family living here in the future. Good news for the one who loves to entertain.


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    1. Haha I know I'm so sorry I shared them with you! But they just looked sooo you! I was kind of thinking about smoking a turkey too. I've never done it but I like the idea a lot. Plus I'm sure it smells so good. I am so excited for your Thanksgiving! I loved your table last year though with the buffalo check! It must feel amazing to be home! And though big Thanksgivings are fun, I'm sure it'll be perfect to be just you guys this year. Does the political culture feel a lot different down there?

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    2. They are so gorgeous but I am always hovering a thin line between the next feature on A&E's Hoarders: Buried Alive (in lovely patterns of china) or having a hoard that is impeccably organized like that of Martha Stewart, who honestly, should indeed be written in on the ticket. I bet she could teach us all a Good Thing or two....
      Politics seem very quiet here right now and for being in the Bible belt one could assume it would definitely sway one way but then again Nashville is really such a melting pot, who knows? Most people are mum on the subject which is fine by me because I always have my husband giving me the stink eye from afar lest I engage anyone on the matter.
      I've been running on empty regarding my blog (although we've done so much to the house and property - maybe just overwhelmed because there is so much to share and where do I start?) and totally disenchanted even reading them anymore (what happened to original content? Everything is sponsored this, or telling me how to find zen or how to properly wash my face or posts just sharing what is already in the magazines the mailman delivered yesterday - geez!) then you appear and inspire and delight. A breath of fresh and original air. You should probably move down here too. :)

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    3. Oh that is the wonderful thing about the South! Why talk about that when one could have a nice chat about something else? So funny about Hoarders! That's what my next post is about! Or maybe two posts from now. I know what you mean about blogs. It's a shame because it's such a great forum. I just love the format so much more than others.

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  37. My great-grandparents (on one side of the family) were each from a family having 13 children. I was an only child and I had only one child. So, my daughter and I are now down to a family of two and I have come to look at the big holidays as celebrations for big families, particularly those having small children. It seems things are just more fun with children around. For the past several years, I have spent Thanksgiving house and pet sitting for friends that like to spend Thanksgiving at Williamsburg and we find a good spot in town to find our turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie. For Christmas this year we are going out of town, preferably where we can either walk the beach or visit a city and listen early on Christmas morning to hear the church bells ring. Lest you think I have no friends, yes I do, but my very best friend (of 50 years) lives in another state and celebrates quietly with her husband and small family.
    I, too, will be glad when the election is over. I read recently that this election has made life very stressful for lots of friends and families. I have already vowed to put politics out of my mind after the January swearing-in and to concentrate only on doing the things that make me happy in life and not to worry about what our country is going to be like for my daughter 10-20 years down the road. One should not worry about things they cannot change. Happy Thanksgiving to you and I hope you have lots of cooking fun!

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    1. Thank you! Oh it is really tearing people apart! I can't believe how nasty people are getting over it. I think your attitude is perfect about accepting it for whatever it is after it's over.
      Families of 13 children?! My god those were some packed houses! I know what you mean, it's a hard meal to scale down. I hope you have a lovely vacation! I've traveled many times over Thanksgiving and it's a nice time to get away. Not sure where you are, but Hilton Head is wonderful over Thanksgiving. It can be cool but so pleasant and some days are nice and warm.

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  38. Oh Stephen, terrific post as always. We have already celebrated our turkey day up in the great white north. Ours was more relaxed because we elected a good-looking, popular guy who marches shirtless in the pride parade, pretty much making every single Canadian weep with joy in spite of the fact that our dollar is in the tank and J. Crew is now as spendy as Chanel. I balanced a new stepfamily and managed to not kill anyone or burn the turkey in the new gas stove. I oughta be put forward for beatification. Enjoy the day and keep calm with the election. xo

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    1. Thank you so much! I just love Trudeau and he is so popular here! We all loved his time at the White House! So are you allergic to pumpkins? Or some of the spices? How awful! All squash? Can you make a pumpkin spice cheesecake?

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  39. Well hello! Thanks for the lovely post. I was getting tired of checking each morning for a new one from you. Now that Ellie is gone, I only have you to turn to you for laughs! I have to say that here in MS, we call the cornbread stuff that is served with turkey "dressing"...couldn't be more southern than here. Also, I admit I have made that green bean casserole dozens of times, but not in a great long time. The Cream of Mushroom soup is mixed with sour cream! That gives it a little more oomph! Something you don't know about me? I have three of your short recipes in my "note app" on my phone...SAJ cranberry cocktail, SAJ vegetable puree for gravy, and the latest, SAJ white trash sangria! For kicks, I am sending along a recipe that I think you and your friends may enjoy. Fill filo cups with a mix of 1 c. Hellman's, 1 c. shredded swiss cheese, 1 can drained rotel tomatoes, 1 pkg. bacon bits! Bake 350 til browned and puffed! I keep the shells in the freezer and all the other ingredients are easy to keep on hand, especially if you buy the cheese already shredded. So easy! My thanksgiving dinners and celebrations have run the gamut over the years. This year we may just cook hamburgers on the grill and drink your cranberry cocktail. Of course, I will use my wonderful thanksgiving dishes that I found years ago. Take care and happy planning!

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    1. Hello!! So nice to hear from you! Oh I like your little appetizers! Some mushroom would be good in there too. Have you tried the cranberry cocktail yet? It's so good. I can't wait for my first one this year! One of these days I'm going to have to try the green bean casserole!

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  40. My grandmother always made Hubbard squash pie not pumpkin! She's been dead 50 years but I have her recipe somewhere. My mom got tired of wrestling with the squash so she went back to her families pumpkin pie. Love them both, love a scoop of pumpkin icecream once A year but I can't stand the explosion of pumpkin spice in everything the last few years . I would like to subtract frozen green bean cassarole and add roasted Brussel sprouts with goat cheese and pomegranate to the menu but I think the goat cheese haters and green bean casserole lovers would pitch a fit. I Make pomegranate jelly every year with fresh picked fruit. It looks so festive in a footed glass jelly dish on the holiday table. I make the gravy with a little red wine ...ssshh dont tell! I usually cook, but I might take the family, just a few of us this year to our little mountain town's Thanksgiving at the community center, makes it nicer for the people without families to have a bigger crowd. Even if I am a guest at Thansgiving dinner, if the host does not give me the bones and some leftovers I will be cooking a turkey and I must have pumpkin pie for breakfast the next day. So the leftovers are almost as important as the main event for me- turkey/cream cheese/ cranberry sandwiches - a little fresh rosemary too if you like, turkey/wild rice soup- a little leftover gravy ups the flavor, turkey divan, and turkey enchiladas with homeade enchilada sauce using a pinch of cinnamon, garlic, dark dried chilies ( ancho and negro) and a hint of chocolate- a cross between enchilada and mole sauces.

    Thanks for getting me thinking about Thanksgiving, I've got to plan! Christmas will be more of a crowd plus4 birthdaysand an anniversary between dec 24 and Jan 2, but more cooks and helpers then.

    Joanna

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    1. Thank you so much! That is so wonderful to think of sharing your family with your town! That is really lovely. I will have way too many leftovers but I just don't care! Oh the squash wrangling is definitely an undertaking. It took bits of an entire afternoon. Fine for me because I have the time but I would say it's not worth it if one has a busy schedule! The pomegranate jelly sounds so good! And I totally agree that the Brussels sprouts sound so much better! I always want to make a big citrus and arugula salad but people don't want salad on Thanksgiving!

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