1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinarily adventurous?
Mostly traditional: fried turkey, mashed potatoes, apple/sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole (my daughter was told "that must be a white-people thing" by her roommate), cranberry sauce, crusted grape salad, homemade bread, pumpkin, apple, and cherry pies, cheesecake, apple cider. Did I forget anything? Last year I was culinarily adventurous and made sauteed Brussels sprouts with pancetta and pignoli. They were incredible. Why am I not making them this year? (kicking self)
2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.")
The people who will be here on Thursday. We so rarely have all the kids together at one time anymore, and will have them all, all week. And Sticky Bean! What could be better? And aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents—it's just so much fun.
3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for.
The ties that bind our hearts together.
4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory.
Once when I was a young teen, I was sick on Thanksgiving day. Because we had a lot of older relatives (grandparents, great aunts) and we didn't want them to get sick, I stayed in my bedroom the entire day while the whole extended family was downstairs having dinner and fellowshiping. HUGE drag. That's probably not the warm, fuzzy memory you were looking for, huh?
5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year?
THE MEN WILL DO THE DISHES! I am never so thankful for that tradition (started by my awesome husband ♥) than on Thanksgiving, when I've been cooking for three days and can't stand the sight of more soapy water.
6. Do your pets get any left-overs?
No. Just an hour ago, Pete was walking past the trash can and grabbed the entire packet of giblets I pulled out of a raw, oven-stuffer roaster. Treats are not treats when you steal them unallowed.
Now that I've said this though, my manic-hyperactive-hairball will sit patiently at Ben's feet while he carves the turkey, and Ben will throw him pieces of skin and fat, because although Ben presents himself as a cold-hearted meanie, he has no willpower when it comes to a pathetic dog begging for poultry.
7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying?
Yes, but we always thank the Lord before we eat. We always hold hands, usually while seated, unless we're eating buffet-style (which we will do on Thursday, with 23 people), in which case we will hold hands while standing up. Unless they want to sit on the kitchen floor. Either Ben prays or he asks someone else to. It varies.
8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing?
What else do you do on Thanksgiving Day?
9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing?
We have a tradition of apple/sausage stuffing, but my mother makes an oyster casserole that is incredible. So while we don't put oysters IN the stuffing, we do eat them elsewhere.
10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving?
As a matter of fact, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine recently published the 2009 Digital Holiday Supplement, which is completely free for anyone to download. It contains lots of info about the first Thanksgiving, as well as recipes, crafts, ideas for decorating, stories, etc. Go get yours here! It's free! For anyone!
11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying?
Pumpkin, cherry, and apple, as well as cheesecake. I will be enjoying all of them—that's called pig-pie. And another of our traditions is that we eat pie for breakfast on Friday. I'll need to do extra Pilates next week.
12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw-back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!)
My first reaction to this question was No. But then I remembered that I said I DID feel for the fish, so now I'm doing some real soul-searching. I think the reason I don't feel for the turkey is because it comes to be featherless, head-and-feet-less, gutless, and nicely wrapped in plastic. I had to unhook the fish , cut its head off, and gut it myself. So in the turkey's case, the violence of my meal is hidden from me, hence no bad feelings.
And guess who's here to share it all with me?
Be thankful ~