What is it about Thankgiving that gets us so excited, so filled with antipipation? I’m sure it’s partly the heady lead up to the Christmas season and all the parties, gatherings, and over-doing that entalls. But in my family’s case – I think it’s more than that.
My sisters and I have made it a tradition to gather from the far corners of the Eastern US coastline somewhere to celebrate Thanksgiving. We’ve done it in Duck, NC, Stowe, VT – and most often on Edisto Beach in South Carolina. This location is a favorite because it is easy driving distance for 2 of the 3 of us, and while the house my one sister owns isn’t quite large enough for everyone (we number from 11 to 17 to more depending on how many of the kids and grand kids join us), it’s a start in getting housing for all.
But back to the boot camp atmosphere. We’re a heavy eating, heavy drinking, and mostly heavy exercising family. And I emphasise the exercising! My sisters are keen walkers – 2 – 3 – 5 miles – no sweat. Well, actually – a lot of sweat, but no problem. I’m less keen on doing these scheduled exercise based jaunts – I prefer a purpose to my exercise – talking a hiking trail, doing a 5K Gobble Wobble – those are my prefered ways of getting out and working off the heavy eating portions of the holiday. But then I think nothing of 6 hours of Downhill skiing – every day for a month. So who am I to judge? Just do what suits you I guess.
Anyway – Thanksgiving serves as an opportunity for me to do it all. Under the heavy eating category, there’s my sister’s Pecan Pie. I spend the weeks up to Thanksgiving thinking about how many slices I shall enjoy this year. 1, 2, maybe more? In some years she has seriously splurged and made 2 pies – so I can safely eat just one slice at the Thanksgiving feast proper, and be assured that there will be left overs for the weekend. This year there was just 1 pie – so I ate 1.5 slices on Thanksgiving. Good thing too – never had another.
And then there’s the Sea Cow. Actually – fried oysters at the Sea Cow. I adore fried oysters – but in Montreal our oysters are the thin lifeless kind that even fried just don’t burst into flavor in your mouth. But on Edisto – where oysters are harvested in great abundance year round – and the Sea Cow gets fresh oysters daily- the resulting fried oysters are the stuff of legend. Only place I’ve been where the oysters might have been better (and I’m not so sure they were) was New Orleans. Oh yes, the fried Oysters at the Sea Cow are that delicious. Now if only they made Double Chocolate Bread Pudding.
To add insult to heavy eating insult – there’s Charleston. Oh yes – Charleston does it right for restaurants. This year we feasted at the Charleston Grill – Fried Catfish and grits. Oh make my southern roots sing for joy!
And of course – let’s not forget the thanksgiving feast proper. My sisters and their families divide up the cooking chores – everyone cooking their favorite thing- My brother-in-law’s Turkey, my neices pumpkin muffins, my son’s Cranberry Sauce, my sister’s Chili, the stuffing, the casseroles, the pies, the freshly baked corn bread – and the wine. Boy am I glad someone always figures a salad would be a good idea!
And of course – there’s just getting together. There’s never enough time on a long weekend to indulge in much serious contemplation and consultation – but we do get to at least hear the breaking news, to admire how everyone has lost weight, gained weight, done their hair, bought a new shirt. And it avoids the – I haven’t seen them in ages – comment when you dutifully gather at least once a year.
Enough basking in Thanksgiving heaven – Does your family have Thanksgiving Traditions? What makes your memories sigh for the next opportunity to indulge. Come on – share your thoughts and pleasures – it’s too short a life to keep the joy of getting together for some later day!
Signing off (and Yes – I know posting Thanksgiving thoughts in Feb is silly – so no comments on that score) – The seriously late posting Soup Lady.