Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

When I think about Thanksgiving, my mind conjures images of my aunt's house (and, in the last few years, Terry's aunt's house, too). I taste my mom's crab dip, which I would argue has been the most consistent food item at the holidays. Sounds of laughter, wine glasses clinking, and couples bickering fill my ears. I smell pine trees in the mountains when we cut down the family Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.

This year, my senses got their fill of all these memories, and we created some new ones too. Our first new memory--and what Terry and I hope will become a new tradition--was a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot! My brother's wife, Ashley, convinced us to do it, so we woke up a bit early to get to Solano Community College for a 5K. We went with Ashley's friend Mary and all ended up running separately.


I didn't bring headphones, so I soaked up the ambiance of the race--eavesdropping on random conversations, taking in the semi-rural scenery, focusing on my run. I haven't run much lately, so I was surprised to find myself motivated to run the whole way at around a 6 mph pace. Despite the chill in the air (hello, Northern California), it was a lovely morning to be outside, and the run felt fantastic.

It was flat, too. Who can complain about that?

Team Trot!

As my brother said, "You had one job!"

You've never seen people this excited.

Crossing the finish line!

After the race, we took Chris and Ashley's dogs out for a run at the park (they ran, we threw balls for them) and got ready for the big day. I baked pies, Ashley created seriously delicious appetizers (bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese and Gruyeres, which are essentially homemade puff pastry with Gruyere cheese), and we all headed to my aunt's house around 3 pm.

As I described, our Thanksgivings combine tradition and new experiments. This year, we were all a bit concerned when my uncle (my dad's second-youngest brother) announced that he would not make both the deep-fried and the BBQ turkeys; instead, we had a whole BBQ turkey and an oven-baked turkey breast. As much as I love the deep-fried turkey, I have to admit that I really didn't miss it this year; both turkeys were delicious! Of course, the rest of our spread wasn't half bad, either!

On the table: green salad that Terry and I are already planning to make at home (pomegranate seeds, pears, pecans, magical dressing, bleu cheese), two types of mashed potatoes (my favorite!), stuffing, a sourdough turkey, green beans with bacon, gravy, two types of homemade cranberry sauce, approximately one dozen types of pie, and lots of wine. Plus the aforementioned appetizers, and I'm sure there's more I neglected to mention. It was a feast in every sense of the word.

Of course, the company couldn't be better. Dinner was hilarious and included conversations about family traditions and heirlooms, why my aunt really doesn't like cats (yes, Scout included), and the latest high school drama from my youngest cousin, a senior. I feel so blessed to be part of this crazy bunch. After some amazing news from a friend (I won't get specific until she announces officially), we  went to bed tired and full.

Today turned out to be a whirlwind. I woke up early with Chris and Ashley for a quick walk with the dogs. After breakfast (leftover blackberry crisp that I made yesterday and eggs a la Chris and Ashley), we all headed to Santa Cruz to pick out Chris and Ashley's Christmas tree! We didn't tailgate or picnic like usual, and my parents skipped the mountain tree because they're in an apartment this year, but it was still a successful adventure. Their tree is gigantic (12 feet tall), and it's going to be gorgeous once they've decorated it!

After a few errands and lots of driving, Terry and I finally said farewell to my brother and Ashley and ended up back at my parents' apartment for dinner, Love Actually, and leftover pie. We head back to LA tomorrow for what will hopefully be a wonderful UCLA-U$C game (we're just watching at home) and decorating our apartment for Christmas!

I hope you and your loved ones had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and wonderful Hanukkah, and I hope you have a spectacular rest of the weekend!

What was the highlight of your weekend so far? 

Do you brave the crowds for Black Friday? Terry and I made one purchase, and even that was out of the ordinary for us, but it turns out it wasn't a Black Friday-specific deal, so I'm not sure it counts. Oh, well. 

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving! Looks like it was a great day! We turkey trotted for our second year in a row this year, I'm hoping it's a tradition that sticks around for awhile because it's fun and a great way to start a day filled with lots of food!