Thanksgiving brings so many memories of family and friends and food. I think that is why it is one of my favorite holidays.
When I was a little girl, we always went to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving. Grandma really did live over the river and through the woods too! My dad's side of the family were all there. My dad had two brothers and a sister, they all married and between them had 12 kids. My sister and I were the youngest of the cousins and were always a bit in awe of the big kids.
I grew up in the Midwest, and our Thanksgivings were very traditional. We had turkey and gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes (my Grandpa always made the mashed potatoes - no lumps allowed!), Waldorf salad, green bean casserole and rolls. And canned cranberry sauce of course. And for dessert - pumpkin pie and mincemeat pie.
One of my favorite memories was washing and drying the dishes after dinner, with my two uncles and my dad. After we were done we always made turkey sandwiches - turkey and butter on white bread, with some salt and pepper. This is still one of my favorite ways to eat turkey!
After college, when I moved to California, I was further from family on Thanksgiving and have some really great memories of Thanksgivings with friends.
One year my good friend Lisa came to visit me from Minnesota. We had a 22 pound turkey... for me, Lisa and my roommate Richard. And Lisa didn't really eat turkey. Made for a lot of leftovers! That year we also had one of Richard's favorites - rattlesnake. Actually pretty tasty. Odd having it in the refrigerator before cooking though. Kind of looked like coiled up fish fillets.
While I was in law school I had Thanksgiving for some "orphaned" friends. Michelle, Gregg, Matt and I. In the tiny apartment dining room that I had at the time. We had all the standards, and lots of wine and good conversation.
Just before The Mr and I got engaged, I spent Thanksgiving with some friends of ours. Roger and Kelley hosted a whole bunch of folks who were "family-less" that year. I brought homemade pumpkin ice cream and mashed potatoes. 10 pounds of mashed potatoes. Let's just say, we didn't run out.
Just after we were married, The Mr's brother and sister-in-law were hosting an exchange student from Belgium, and they all came down for Thanksgiving. The Mr and I cooked dinner at his parents' house (they have a huge, gorgeous kitchen, but don't like to cook). We'd read an article about the traditional Thanksgiving dinner being paired with different beers instead of wine, and decided to try that. Wonderful success! We also spent a lot of time putting together Thanksgiving trivia to help Frederik (the foreign exchange student) understand all of the traditions. That was a fun one.
Last year we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with The Mr's brother and sister-in-law. We were hoping they would be able to make it to San Diego this year, but circumstances didn't allow it. And now The Mr and I get to spend Thanksgiving (or any holiday for that matter) alone for the first time ever. We're really looking forward to it!
I know this year will have wonderful memories as well. I'm thankful to be sharing this special day with my wonderful husband. Life doesn't get much better than this!