Happy Thanksgiving from England

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I must say, Thanksgiving snuck up on us a bit this year. It’s usually one of my favorite holidays… it encourages thankfulness, time with family, food, and then restful fellowship with full bellies and dessert. What could be better? 🙂

For many Thanksgiving is a holiday rich with traditions; the same people, place and foods every year. Thanksgiving for me has always been a little different year after year, but I’ve been blessed with varied and rich memories because of that. My earliest Thanksgiving memories involve huddling around my Grandma’s large kitchen table, waiting for her to finally sit down as she fussed over us, so we could all eat the feast she had laid out before us. A feast that would impress even the Barefoot Contessa.

Then there are the many memories of getting out of school early to drive to the cabin in Virginia, built by hand by MeMe and Papaw. We’d spend the week reading, doing puzzles, playing kanasta or Rook, hiking, the men would hunt, the women would shop, and we’d all try our best to sleep through the veritable choir of snoring that echoed through the walls at night. I clearly remember being CONVINCED a bear could break through the bathroom window and eat me while I showered. I cherish those memories of sitting on Papaw’s lap in the big recliner, sipping ice cold mountain water out of tin cups, watching MeMe shuffle about in the kitchen.

In the later years, our routine changed up year after year. We’d host at Mom’s house occasionally, or we’d go to family members’ houses. One year we went to an Amish restaurant and ate like kings – and didn’t have to wash a single dish, which gave us something to be thankful for. I remember dining with Sam’s family a few times, with excellent mashed potatoes, sage stuffing, and my introduction to corn bake, which I’m sad to say is not my favorite.

But perhaps one Thanksgiving memory that might be unique from yours is that fact that turkey is not solidly embedded in my Thanksgiving traditions… My Papaw absolutely hated turkey. Mention the word and he would snarl and jut out his tongue. “Yuck.” And being the patriarch of our family, we respected his wishes and always had ham (and often turkey on the side). But, now that I’m married and Thanksgiving-ing with Samuel, we do the turkey thing. Kind of.

See, up to now in our marriage, we’ve had small scale feasts with just us two, or we’ve gone and celebrated with friends. Which means, I’ve gone 5 years without having to make a whole turkey of my own. A turkey breast has always sufficed. In fact, I sent Sam to the store this year (as I wasn’t quite up for grocery shopping yet after surgery) with my complete Thanksgiving list. He shopped like a PRO, guys. BUT, he bought a whole turkey instead of just a turkey breast. When I opened the grocery bag and saw the entire turkey wrapped up, I got nervous. There are few culinary hurdles that cause the same level of anxiety as a turkey. Just think of all of the movies and sitcoms that depend on the burnt-turkey storyline. Too many to name!

But, thankfully, my mom  bought me a subscription to Food Network Magazine and they have article upon article on how not to butcher (ha) your turkey. So, here goes nothing. I’ve procrastinated long enough. It’s turkey time.

Sam and our Thanksgiving visitors (Taylor and Matt!) will have to be patient… and very helpful, considering I can’t yet lift the turkey. Heh heh.

The good thing is, if anything gets ruined, we can hop on over to the grocery story since today is not a holiday here. There will be no long lines, no Black Friday ads (and no people complaining about Black Friday). So I leave you with this video about the Brits and their knowledge of this oh-so-American holiday. Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for YOU!

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