I laughed out loud when I read Last Minute Lady’s post on her Italian family’s Thanksgiving. Growing up, my best friend came from a very similar family – it was just as Last Minute Lady described. I am lucky enough to come from a family in which much of the family resides in the same city. Each year, my family would have Thanksgiving “lunch” with my dad’s side (calling this meal “lunch” merely reflects the time of day – there was nothing lunch-like about this full-on Thanksgiving spread, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, salad, sweet potatoes, and mincemeat and pumpkin pies with ice cream, all washed down with Manhattans by the adults – and this was merely Thanksgiving meal round one!). Thanksgiving dinner was typically celebrated with my mom’s family – similar spread, different crowd, both loud and boisterous in their own ways.
My best friend and I met playing soccer when we were 13 and were instantly inseparable. We would always see each other after family obligations were met on holidays and Thanksgiving was no different. I would typically hit the scene post dinner and was immediately ambushed by most family members with cries of “Eat honey eat!” “Sit down, have a plate. How about some pie. You have room for lasagna don’t you?” “You’re looking too skinny, honey,” was a favorite tactic of my friend’s father, yet I was most definitely a “robust” teen – I liked my groceries. I usually succumbed, of course, and would manage to eat my third, yes, my third Thanksgiving meal of the day. Those were the days.
Now I spend my Thanksgivings in a similar manner as far as trying to squeeze all families in. I have managed to pace myself a little bit on the food front and hopefully skip the potatoes at lunch – yet sometimes I can’t resist. A fantastic tradition in our city is an annual 5 mile race that takes place on Thanksgiving morning - a good way to make room for the meals to come.
We have never hosted Thanksgiving – my husband and I are luckily still considered the “younger” generation in our families – ha – yet I will still typically prepare our own Thanksgiving meal for our family to enjoy over the holiday - if for no other reason than to have the leftovers. Usually on the Saturday or Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend I will make an abbreviated Thanksgiving meal with our favorites – I keep it basic with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and salad. I always make sure to have some good bread on hand for sandwiches the next day.
How do you fit it all in on Thanksgiving?