1. What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?
Dinner #1 at The Hubs aunt's house; dinner #2 at my parents; dinner #3 at my father-in-law's (where we won't really eat, just visit).
2. What are you most thankful for this year?
It is really hard to narrow this down to one thing, but I'm going to go a little non-traditional here. I'm thankful that my dear friend is getting the absolute best medical care that money can buy, and that she has all the support in the world as she bravely battles breast cancer*.
3. Do you have any traditions on Thanksgiving? The parade? Football? Long naps?
A new tradition, that just started a few years ago, is that I go to my parents house the day before and help my mom cook. I usually make the mashed potatoes**, and anything else she needs help with. We talk and cook and eat lunch, and it is generally a great time. We both love to cook and both love to entertain, and in a perfect world I'd be all settled in my dream house and be able to host (and put all that wedding china to good use!), but I'm not quite there yet. Helping my mom get ready not only provides some great mother/daughter time, but makes me feel more involved in the hosting aspect of the holiday.
4. Is it called stuffing or dressing? Is it in the bird or a separate dish?
Stuffing. Separate dish. But I don't really care for stuffing. It's just soggy bread! A bite or two is good enough for me.
5. Do you cook?
See above - I make the mashed potatoes, and help mom with whatever else she needs help with.
6. What is your favorite dish?
Oy. I don't know how to answer this. I like the MEAL - a little bit of turkey, gravy, potatoes, a roll (with real butter)... we don't do any of the "traditional" sides like green bean casserole or marshmallow sweet potatoes or whatever (ick).
7. What is your dessert preference?
Apple pie. Hands down. A la mode.
8. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
This is from my "past life" but it is a good memory. I got my late dog, Gracie, the week of Thanksgiving many years ago. I brought her to my parents house for the first time for our big meal, and it was just a really special /warm / snuggly time. she was about 25 lbs, and cute as a button, and it added something special to have a sweet puppy there. When I went back to work in an office, I had to re-home Gracie, and I was incredibly thankful to find her such a loving home. Sadly, Gracie had to be put down a month or so ago -- she was suffering from dehabilitating joint issues and had no quality of life. So this year it is especially poignant to remember her as a sweet little pup.
9. Do you plan to shop on Black Friday?
Eh, I work in the retail industry so I start getting sick of Black Friday / Christmas in about July. Been talking about it forever. I might swing through, but I'm really not interested. I am a BIG fan, however, of Cyber Monday. :-)
10. What are you most dreading about Thanksgiving this year?
It ending! I never dread anything about Thanksgiving. I love every second with all three sides of my family. As long as we've known each other, The Hubs and I have hit 3 Thanksgivings and while it always feels a little rushed, in the end, I'm always glad that I get to see EVERYBODY!
Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday -- and my very favorite day - of the whole year. I can't think of anything better than a day devoted to family and gratitude and delicious food, prepared with love. I love that there's no over-commercialization, no gifts, and that everybody is spending the day being grateful for what we have. I think that as a nation, our collective mercury rises on Thanksgiving.
This year I'm more thankful than ever before. It's a gorgeous day***. I have a healthy, happy, loving family. I have a NEW family that I adore, and a husband I love to pieces. We have a roof over our head that we're making into a cozy home, we are both employed, and we're both healthy.
I couldn't ask for a better life, and as I said during my wedding toast -- I wake up most days feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.
I wish you all the very best this holiday season, and I wish you all the gift of gratitude -- the most rewarding feeling in the whole wide world.
Off and running,
*My request of you -- if you're the type who prays, please send one up to The Big Guy for my dear DEAR friend AKPA, who gave birth to a darling baby girl yesterday morning, in between rounds of chemo for fairly aggressive breast cancer. Her strength is being tested right now, and she's not only rising to the occasion but smashing that thermometer, but could use all the additional support in the world.
**I've been making these potatoes for years -- they are super healthy but you'd never guess it. Basically, I boil yukon gold potatoes in chicken broth (vegetable broth works too!), then mash using a bit of the broth and a can of evaporated milk. While I'm mashing, I roast a diced shallot and a bulb of garlic, and then mash those in as well, adding broth and milk as needed. So basically, there's no added fat, but they taste amazing. Don't tell anybody about the fat thing though, or they'll get all up in your biz and make comments like "Well, then they must be terrible," etc., which is super annoying.
***Well, it is beautiful by late-November standards in MN -- it's very overcast and grey here today, but it is WARM -- supposed to hit almost 50, which is great for this time of year!