Weekend Report: Thanksgiving Families

(Yes, I still have ApacheCon blog postings to finish; I’m waiting on a friend to supply some graphics-fu before I wrap those up with a bang.)

The Thanksgiving week started out in a Murphy-esque way after we all arrived back home from our respective trips. The day after I stopped taking Airborne, I got a cold, which was quite a doozy on Wednesday. Luckily, we weren’t planning to travel far.

Thanksgiving day my lovely wife Amy volunteered to do the cooking and watch Roxanne, allowing me to sleep in and feel a bit better. We spent the traditional Thanksgiving locally with my mother, stepfather, stepbrother and his beau. Although my stepfather has been seriously ill, we made it through Thanksgiving with all traditions intact, if a little more tired than usual.

My mother’s traditional Thanksgiving is pretty familiar, with a couple of twists. The good white wine goes with cheeses, crackers, and crudite. The only requirements – besides good wine – is that one of the cheeses is blue, the stuff with mold in it. I lucked out and picked a wine that went perfectly with my light french blue (on the gorgonzola side). With the TV on the in background, there’s the traditional half-hourly dashes to the oven to baste the turkey and set the next side dish into motion. I usually help with the gravy, and then do the mashed potatoes as everyone else takes care of a vegetable.

Our biggest twist is the addition of sauerkraut, steeped with the turkey neck, as a side dish. It’s a surprisingly good counterpoint to the white meat, and comes from the tiny bit of Germanic blood in our background. Dinner is simple, and is accompanied by the good red wine. Everyone got through dinner fine, Roxanne even with unscathed clothes after deciding that the best use for cranberry sauce is to spread like jelly on the cranberry bread.

After the cleanup and finishing of one of the football games, we have coffee with the traditional pecan and chocolate mousse pies. Yes, I actually like pumpkin better, but my stepfather’s dark chocolate mousse pie has been a staple since I don’t remember when.

Friday we drove a couple of hours to spend a night with Amy’s family in CT. This is always great, because her parents use this as an excuse to have everyone else over, including their kids – all close in age, and (usually) all who play together for a while, leaving us a little bit of time to catch up. The dinner was, of course, traditional – turkey sandwiches. Hot or cold as you decided on microwaving with gravy (or not, with homemade cranberry sauce) yourself.

The highlight of this trip was bringing Lucas, our beloved Siamese cat, home again. He had been staying with family for a few weeks since we had both been traveling previously, and he’s a very social guy. He took the trip just fine, but I sense that he’s still a little miffed for having been sent away for a couple of weeks, since he’s still not purring nearly as much as he usually does. Siamese can hold a grudge for quite a long time…

Sunday was fairly productive in getting the house ready for winter, and trying to face up to going back to work in the face of only XX more shopping days until the midwinter holidays. Hope everyone had a good trip, wherever they went! (Or didn’t go, for those of you working a normal week and not succumbing to the odd colonial America holiday!)

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