Thanksgiving open thread

by Grace aka costofcollege

We have an open thread for any discussion topics over the Thanksgiving weekend.  How are things going?

Related to previous conversations about the “bubble” in which we live, here’s a version called the Thanksgiving Bubble courtesy of CollegeConfidential.

Is Your Thanksgiving in an Elitist Bubble?

No green bean casserole: 0 points
From scratch using a recipe off epicurious and fresh green beans and mushrooms: 1 point
Canned soup base, canned green beans, French’s fried onions: 5 points

Heritage breed, free range, humanely raised, hormone free turkey sold by your local butcher or Whole Foods at price that could pay for a nice dinner out for a family of four: 0 points
Pre-cooked turkey dinner bought at Dean & DeLuca: 0 points
Fresh turkey, nothing special: 1 point
Frozen Butterball Turkey: 2 points
Store brand turkey that you saved up the store receipts for months to get for free: 3 points
Turkey you shot yourself in the woods, gutted and dressed yourself: 10 points, with bonus point given for deep frying it.

Homemade cranberry sauce with fancy ingredients like candied ginger, figs or kumquats: 0 points
Homemade cranberry sauce, nothing fancy: 1 point
Canned whole berry cranberry sauce: 2 points
Canned jelly cranberry sauce still bearing the ridge lines from the can (my favorite kind ): 5 points
No cranberry sauce because you’re from the deep south and they don’t do the cranberry thing there: 7 points

Fresh sweet potatoes with a brown sugar/rum glaze (family favorite): 0 points
Fresh sweet potatoes with store bought marshmallows: 2 points
Fresh sweet potatoes with homemade marshmallows: -2 points
Canned sweet potatoes with store bought marshmallows: 5 points

Fresh whipped cream for your pie: 0 points
Whipped Cream from a can: 1 point
Premium ice cream: 0 points
Store brand ice cream: 1 point
Cool Whip: 5 points

What’s your score, both from your childhood and from today?



104 thoughts on “Thanksgiving open thread

  1. For the IL’s (today) – 8 points. Butterball turkey, cranberry jelly with the ridges that is really just for decoration, whipped cream from a can (but it is Reddi Whip, not the Whole Foods stuff). I’m surprised it’s not higher because the food really isn’t that good or gourmet. There is also green jello mold made with cool whip – I think that should get some points. And usually the rolls (from a can) get burned because no one is paying attention to them at that point in the dinner prep.

    From childhood – 2 points for the Butterball. I grew up without cranberry sauce and with.sweet potatoes in butter/brown sugar. Homemade rolls. Frozen corn cut off the cob at the height of summer (this is less totebaggy than you think in Iowa). ALWAYS homemade pie with real whipped cream.

    Neither family ever made any kind of green bean casserole, although the dump a bunch of canned stuff into a dish is something that the IL’s would do. I guess no one likes green beans.

    I didn’t know that sweet potatoes even came in a can. I’ve never had sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.

  2. Childhood 18.5/25:
    Green bean casserole 5
    Turkey 2.5
    Cranberry ~5 (sometimes someone broke up the fresh-out-of-the-can jelly son the rings were unevident)
    Sweet potatoes 5
    Whipped cream 1

    Now 6/25:
    Green Beans: 1 (different recipt using fresh green beans, crushed red pepper, cherry tomatoes)
    Turkey: 1 (top of the line Wegmans Fresh)
    Cranberry: 5 because some of us like that, but we also usually have homemade quasi fancy with orange zest, so call it 3 overall
    Sweet potatoes: maybe this is null since we don’t have them. We always have mashed potatoes which this survey would probably call “fancy recipe” so score it a 1
    Whipped cream 0

  3. I think only three points for me – bought my can of redi-whip this morning and we are getting a fried turkey to go from Luby’s cafeteria. Green bean casserole is all made from cans or frozen items. Rolls are frozen. FIL is preparing all of this. I am bringing the bubble with me – butternut squash soup made from scratch, cranberry-orange-ginger relish, cherry pie (DH request) made with homemade crust but frozen cherries, caramel-pecan tart and cheese plate with some fancy cheeses and wine to survive the 24 hours a day of Fox News. Literally the toilet paper in the guest bath has Hillary and Obama’s faces on it. Bringing my running shoes with me in case I need a break…. I mean a walk to digest all of the food!

  4. 7 points for tomorrow, mostly because DS LOVES the cranberry sauce from a can with ridges.
    8 points for childhood. We never ate sweet potatoes of any kind. Always succotash. I hate succotash.

  5. I am not sure what to do with my sweet potatoes because mine are savory. 0 for everything else. Just got back from Whole Foods with the bird!

    Growing up would be close to 0, too. Immigrant grandparents don’t mess around with green bean casserole and canned cranberry sauce.

  6. Last year we cooked a free range bird from a fancy grocery – it was so dry. Next time I cook it will be Butterball with whatever stuff gets injected in it. I love sweet potatoes and will be sad not to have it on the table. We rarely used marshmallows on top growing up because we had too many diabetics.

  7. Frozen Butterball Turkey: 2 points
    Store brand turkey that you saved up the store receipts for months to get for free: 3 points
    Turkey you shot yourself in the woods, gutted and dressed yourself: 10 points, with bonus point given for deep frying it.

    Oh hell no. 20 points for a Butterball that you got up at 5am to put in the oven, even thought you won’t be taking it out of the oven until 1:30pm. When the little button pops out to say it’s done, that really means it needs at least 2 more hours.

  8. mostly because DS LOVES the cranberry sauce from a can with ridges.

    I almost had a conniption last year when I went to get Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce with ridges. All that had was ones with chunks, ones with pieces of orange, I was horrified. Happily, I was able to dig around back and find the correct kind.

  9. I’ve been known to fib about my Butterball turkey when I’ve hosted TG for foodie relatives. I figure Butterball is as fail safe as possible for hosting a big and sometimes complicated holiday meal.

    One of my friends told me the other day she had to go shopping and was looking forward to the “canned yams” she was going to make. It’s nice to have friends who get me out of my bubble. I had forgotten that yams come in cans, but I’m sure that’s what we had when I was a kid.

    Whipped cream out of a can is so much easier and it’s real cream. I’ve started to use it almost exclusively mostly for the convenience. Having to whip at the last minute or risking your homemade whipped cream get soggy from sitting in the frig tool long is not worth it.

  10. 8 for childhood. Today, well – no greenbean casserole, but having fresh greenbeans with garlic and ginger; turkey breast only store brand (4 of us – its plenty); baked whole yams for 1/2 of us (add some butter mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon when they are done); cornbread dressing (can’t be stuffing as no bird cavity to stuff); mashed potatoes for the other half; corn; rolls (unheated – due to similar disasters noted above in the past). Homemade pumpkin turtle pie and a store bought pecan pie, with coolwhip.

    Also, a few missing things this year since my mom’s passing. No cranberry sauce because DD#1 is the only one who likes it and my mom made hers from scratch, but not fancy. DD#1 wasn’t in the mood this year to make it on her own as she has always at least had grandma to make it with. No green pea/cheese “salad” this year as only my mom and I eat it. No chocolate pudding – again my mom’s recipe – that I have not perfected. And, for the second year, no pumpkin pie as my dad was really the main consumer of it. First holiday without my mom is much harder than I thought.

  11. Yams as a kid, was a recipe using the canned chunks of yam, then drowning in a brown sugar sauce made with the syrup. OK, but not my favorite. A co-worker makes a yam casserole that is really sweet enough and with the pecan topping could go in a pie shell and be a great dessert. It’s too sweet for me as part of the main meal. Also, I have a chorizo/cornbread stuffing recipe from a different co-worker – it takes a long time to make and results in a huge casserole dish full, but is so good! At several prior jobs we had huge Tday feasts the week before. At two jobs everything was homemake, even the turkey (and venison if deer season started well), and everyone would bring a copy of the recipe as well.

  12. Uh, this year we have a 9… we are having no sweet potatoes whatsoever AND 2 kinds of cranberries (where 6 of the 9 points come from)… 5 pts bc my friend is bringing a can with ridges and 1 pt becasue we are making Ree Drummond’s very berry cranberry sauce. It calls for whiskey and in my house, fruits with alcohol is a must (which is also why I made sangria and virgin sangria). Whip cream (if it’s served, I wasn’t in charge of dessert) will be from a can.

    We’ve always used a butterball or store bought bird. And never a green bean casserole… we just cook the damn beans and eat them with a little butter and seasoning. Nor are we big on sweet potatoes.

    This year’s menu:
    S&S turkey – apple cider brine and slow roasted, then high-heat roasted (Ree Drummond again)
    very berry cranberries, cranberry sauce in a can
    orange-glazed carrots
    mashed potatoes
    chocolate chip pie
    apple pie (store bought, or so I’m told)
    pumpkin muffins (if DH hasn’t eaten them all already; homemade)
    sangria (I cried making this because I can’t have any… I did have a wee taste to make sure the sugar content was right)
    virgin sangria (for the kiddos and the preggo)

    There are 7.5 of us… we weren’t going crazy.

  13. I’m doing the holiday meal several times (different branches of the family) so I score differently depending on which group is coming – roughly 5, because I never make sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

    Last year I spatchcocked the turkey and did a sous vide turkey breast for comparison, which IMO should get negative points :)

    For the group on Friday I’m cheating: smaller turkey, frozen mashed potatoes, store-made from scratch gravy, stuffing from a mix, pre-chopped mirepoix. Battling bronchitis and I don’t think anyone wants me standing over the stove breathing on their food.

    The one thing I have changed that I would recommend is getting one of those multi-pot slow cookers to keep various side dishes warm while people eat and take seconds. Makes a big difference when serving a crowd of 15+.

  14. So this is another thing where apparently certain parts of the country qualify as more down-to-earth than others. Not having cranberry sauce is inherently less elitist because that’s how they do it in the deep south? If you don’t live where there’s a wild turkey season you can’t possibly be grounded?

  15. We will be thankful several places. We travel with green bean casserole that rates a 5. Always. One of us likes cranberry sauce with ridges.

  16. Today is 1
    Childhood probably 4

    I had never heard of let alone encountered the infamous green bean casserole until moving here and asking someone why there were towers of canned green beans and onion crisps at the grocery store.

  17. Our normal Thanksgiving – around 4.5 (I get the cranberry sauce in a can with the ridges for the kids and myself so maybe I’d give us 2.5 points for that one). Growing up maybe an 8 at my grandmother’s house. I remember my grandfather having the Rediwhip at the table while my grandmother admonished him about it. This is a pretty regional list as those in the Northeast do not eat green been casserole or sweet potatoes. Growing up it was green beans with almonds/shallots, broccoli with this gross white sauce on it, stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and cranberry bread/rolls. DH is from Pittsburgh so I believe he grew up with the green bean casserole with fried onions/Campbells soup and jello molds but I had never had either. Last year I made the Pioneer Woman’s green bean casserole and it was fabulous.

  18. We go to DH’s family for Thanksgiving, do I am answering based on that (it is the same every year)

    No green bean casserole: 0 points

    Store brand turkey that you saved up the store receipts for months to get for free: 3 points
    MIL is pround of doing this! Personally, I can’t tell the difference between types of turkey anyway – they all equally suck – so it is fine by me.

    Canned jelly cranberry sauce still bearing the ridge lines from the can (my favorite kind ): 5 points

    Mashed squash, no marhsmallows, direct from the frozen squash bag (store brand): how many points should I give that?

    SIL brings a vat of mashed potatoes from the instant mashed potato box.

    Whipped Cream from a can: 1 point

    Pies are all from the grocery store. There is a little bit of foodie bubble though – one BIL always brings a homemade flourless dark chocolate cake, and I bring red cabbage cooked low and slow with bacon, raisins, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar.

  19. Oh and we’d have Eastham turnips growing up – mashed, which all of the adults made a big to do about. I would like them now but didn’t as a kid.

    We’re going to a neighbor’s for Thanksgiving tomorrow as we have no kitchen right now and I”m bringing a winter fruit salad and a lemon chess pie (made in my toaster oven).

  20. Funny Thanksgiving anecdote – one of my colleagues is Chinese with a wife and two kids. He said they were usually puzzled by Thanksgiving but one year decided to do the turkey. He bought the smallest one he could find, and brought it to his wife, who said “Its so big!”. So they cut off a couple of legs and put the rest in the freezer. He said even the two legs was way too much. The rest of the turkey evidently stayed in the freezer for a year before they tossed it. When he told that story, we were all rolling with laughter

  21. And I think I have said this before, but Thanksgiving was never really part of our tradition growing up. We lived too far from relatives and had no money or time to travel. When I was little, my mother would kind of try to do it. She would roast a turkey, and make some stuffing, and my father would emerge from grading hell so we could eat, and then go back to whatever we were doing. One year some family friends came by and we did a real Thanksgiving, but that is the only time I remember. At some point, we all admitted that we didn’t like turkey, so we stopped doing that. My mother then started making curry for Thanksgiving. I really remember so little about that holiday except for the time the family friends came, and another time when I was in high school and me and my boyfriend (who was Canadian and didn’t do it either) watched TV all day at his house. I remember watching a Pilgrim drama.
    I never went home for Thanksgiving in college because I didn’t have the money, so I used to sofa-surf for those 4 days.

  22. “Whipped cream out of a can is so much easier and it’s real cream. I’ve started to use it almost exclusively mostly for the convenience. ”

    I agree. I buy the can that has just cream & sugar. For us too – during strawberry season, we have strawberry shortcake with pound cake for dessert for a couple of glorious weeks. I can’t be whipping cream every night.

    I agree with Mooshi on the turkey. I generally do not like turkey, and Thanksgiving turkey is especially heinous. I load up on sides and appetizers. One good thing about the IL’s is that there is always an abundance of appetizers like spinach dip and shrimp cocktail.

  23. The seniors in the family have tried but don’t care for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
    So, we won’t be doing that tomorrow.
    I learnt to cook what I think of as a Northeast Thanksgiving meal. Green beans (not casserole), cranberry sauce cooked on the stove with fresh cranberries and orange zest (not canned with ridges), turkey (Butterball), mashed pototes, gravy (made from pan drippings), stuffing, cranberry bread, banana bread and pumpkin pie.
    My kids absolutely hate green beans, familiarity with certain veggies breeds contempt.

  24. “One good thing about the IL’s is that there is always an abundance of appetizers like spinach dip and shrimp cocktail.”
    Ivy, you are lucky. At my ILs, there is only an appetizer if I bring it, so I am bringing a big container of olives from the store olive bar.
    There is always plenty of cheap wine though, which is a Good Thing

  25. Honolulu, I totally agree with your comment at 11:14. I guess my family of origin didn’t qualify as real Americans, because we never had a green bean casserole on our Thanksgiving table. And our stuffing was based on a recipe that my grandmother brought over from her original home in the Middle East. Surely you can’t be a real American if you make a stuffing from scratch with weird spices, rather than Stove Top from out of the box.

    And I suppose I’m not doing any better in my own home today. I’m sure the “real people” will sneer at me for making gluten-free gravy for the turkey and gluten-free crust for my apple pie (which, yes, I am making from scratch).

    So Bah Humbug.

    On a much more positive note, though, I wish all Totebaggers and their loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. May we all survive the visits from or with our relatives. :)

  26. My childhood T-day was homemade raviolis or lasagna. The raviolis do take days to make, so there’s that….

    I made the whole ravioli dinner from scratch a few years ago (maybe 4 now…) and my friend still tells me that was the best thanksgiving ever. I think I’ll have to bring that out again next year.

  27. I have a glorious uncommitted 4 hours in front of me beginning in 3 minutes. This is when I was supposed to have begun binge-watching The Crown but I was weak and watched all last weekend. What do I want to binge watch next? Have already done Grey’s Anatomy, West Wing, and Friends. Am not a Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones person.

  28. Today 4
    Childhood 13

    I don’t know if I have ever had green bean casserole. I’ve surely never made it. My stuffing is made with sourdough bread and marinated artichoke hearts. For vegetables, we will have asparagus wrapped in bacon. I claim my status as a real American and real person.

    Sometimes I think these bubble quizzes serve more to separate people rather than to show what we have in common.

    We are gathering with people we love and sharing special foods. Does it really matter the details?

  29. I saw a recipe for cranberry torte using almond flour. That is the only thing I will make tomorrow an d i am super excited about it. Hopefully kiddo and DH will love it.. We will go to friends house where we get Costco turkey, canned cranberries, mashed potato from box, costco pie and pillsbury biscuits. since I dont like any of those things, it should be easy to keep to my diet.

  30. @Dell – no Costco mashed potatoes with the big pats of butter sitting on top?

    @Lark – I have the same. I get out early, school does not. I think I will go get some coffee and read in one of the big comfy coffee shop chairs. How about The Americans?

  31. Tomorrow’s menu:
    Turkey breast
    rack of lamb
    mashed red potatoes
    bacon wrapped asparagus
    salad with pomegranites, sweet bell peppers, walnuts and blue cheese
    sour dough rolls
    pecan, apple and pumpkin pie, with whipped cream from a can AND premium ice cream

  32. Reasonable people can disagree if the turkey should be baked or fried, if the stuffing should be cooked in the turkey or separately, if cranberry sauce should be homemade or from a can, what kind of whipped cream to use on the pies (and what kind of pies to have, or even if you need to have pie at all), but putting marshmallows in the sweet potatoes is a complete and utter abomination.

  33. I am making pecan pie using Trader Joe’s pie in a jar mix. I have high hopes, but I also bought an apple pie from the grocery store bakery just in case.

    Many families include their ethic flavors in their TG meals. Ravioli or lasagna has sometimes been served at my H’s dinners, and I grew up always having a side of chile sauce on the table. I never had green bean casserole until I tried making it a few years ago. Uh, no thanks.

  34. My ILs and I like brussel sprouts but no one else does. It shows up though on Thanksgiving side dishes and I wondered if people actually served them.

  35. We’re not hosting TG dinner, but my H is going to try to get a few turkeys on sale on Friday and fry them up for us. I’m sure most of the meat will go in the freezer. We like turkey, obviously.

  36. That should be “ethnic” flavors, not ethic. ;)

    I’m making Brussels sprouts and most in our family like them.

  37. Regarding ethnic traditions at Thanksgiving: for years, MIL used to serve tourtiere alongside the turkey, which was great for me because I love tourtiere. Now, what is weird is that in Canada, tourtiere is a Christmas Eve dish. The reason MIL did it at Thanksgiving was that she was a nurse, and always worked on Christmas, so they never had a fancy dinner on that holiday. So they just moved it to Thanksgiving.
    Sadly, she no longer makes it and none of the SILs wanted to do it. MIL gave me the recipe and I now make it properly, for Christmas

  38. We decided not to travel this year, no one is coming to us, and by the time we figured this out, friends all had other plans. So, we are going to the beach and will eat a tremendous buffet meal in a converted logging camp. I think that is +30 – there will be salt, salt and salt of the earth. I will report back on the green bean casserole, but I’m hopeful for a delightful rendition. Has anyone seen the cooking video on Facebook for Ritz/fried onion cups, filled with green been casserole? Swoon.

  39. Our classic vegetable dish was a cooked head of cauliflower in a sea of frozen peas – all cooked to oblivion so that you could scoop the cauliflower with a spoon. My mom’s family made a turkey and my dad’s family didn’t really celebrate because they are immigrants and it was not their tradition. Their country of origin has great food for Christmas but my grandmother thought it was beneath her station in life to cook, so it was take out….even the rice.

  40. My family made stuffed roast chicken for celebrations. Their stuffing receipe calls for a bit of garam masala (adds a nice flavor to the stuffing).

  41. “I never went home for Thanksgiving in college because I didn’t have the money, so I used to sofa-surf for those 4 days.”

    Your dorm closed for the T-day weekend?

    Our dorms stayed open, but got very empty during T-day weekend due to most kids going home. I always stayed, in large part because there was always a home football game that weekend which I needed to attend as a condition of my scholarship. It was always a good chance to get a jump on studying for finals.

    Those with kids in college, are your kids coming home for T-day? I don’t suppose DS will do so when he’s in college; most kids from here that go to school on the continent don’t. What I’ve heard is that those in schools or areas with others from here often celebrate as a group, and many others spend it with the families of friends they’ve made in school.

  42. We are having chicken and duck, yams, homemade cranberry sauce and stuffing. You didn’t mention mashed potatoes (no gravy – PITA and usually gross – but a sacrilege to exclude, apparently), corn casserole and brussels sprouts. No turkey, no green beans for us.

    There are only 5 of us this year. Wish turkeys came smaller.

    HM – +1 ITA

    ps. Thanks for the Games topic – Picked up Magic and Munchkin booster packs and Ticket to Travel.

  43. Finn – I spent my college Thanksgivings at the home of one of the deans. I was there the whole day, that’s where I learnt my Northeast Thanksgiving recipes.

    Looking forward I think my DD will be like few of the posters here, from a family where a “proper” Thanksgiving was not done. I am sure she will insist on holidays being done in the “correct” manner.

  44. “putting marshmallows in the sweet potatoes is a complete and utter abomination.”

    Denver Dad – once again the voice of calm, reason and common sense. On this and many other topics. =)

  45. +1 to HM.

    That said, I’m probably something like 2 points – unless also having vegan dishes and tofu (in addition to turkey, etc.) puts me in the negative zone. For both my childhood and adult thanksgivings.

    We are having turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (vegan and non-vegan), gravy, fried tofu for my vegan DD, cranberry sauce (not in a can), candied yams that my MIL always makes and my kids love, yams with cranberries (and heavy cream – delicious), green beans, salad (not jello – greens with avocado, berries and blue cheese), rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, maple-nutmeg pie, ice cream, and whipped cream. Plus appetizers. Which as I type it seems like a lot of food for 7 people but one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is not having to cook for several days afterwards.

  46. At my university, all of the dorms closed except for one where they put the international students.The university also ran buses down to NJ and NYC since so many students came from those areas. I knew one girl from Hawaii (the daughter of the Honolulu mayor) but she went to stay with friends in NYC over the break.

    I just looked up my university’s policy, and given that all the dining halls are closed, I am guessing the dorms are closed too

  47. “given that all the dining halls are closed, I am guessing the dorms are closed too”

    That’s a commonly cited problems for low SES kids who get into HSS with lots of need-based aid, but not enough to travel home for breaks like this.

  48. DS will be home tonight. Most of his friends are headed home, but the dorms stay open and the dining halls are on a reduced schedule. Apparently many upperclass students stay on campus.

  49. “That’s a commonly cited problems for low SES kids who get into HSS with lots of need-based aid, but not enough to travel home for breaks like this.”

    Yep, although we are a heavilly commuter school – only a small part of our students are in the dorms, and they tend to be the more well off students. Our high need students tend to be still living with their families and are not travelling anywhere.
    During a previous administrative regime, our university decided to bring in more out of state students and build dorms. But my understanding is that now they are refocusing on local students.

  50. i recently visited a low SES college and they finish their term before thanksgiving and stay out of school until january. Their students could definitely not afford to travel back and forth during expensive holiday times and this also gives them the opportunity to do mini-internships or work in seasonal jobs to earn money for tuition and living expenses.

  51. I assume that school is on the quarter system. That is not an uncommon setup. There are some real disadvantages though

  52. I’m both happy and sad we’re not cooking this year. It’s a bit freeing not making three or four pies today and prepping for tomorrow. DH stayed at law school one year for Thanksgiving due to workload and I think he made cornish game hens instead of a turkey.

    Lark – I loved the first two seasons of Jane the Virgin if you want something light, funny and somewhat ridiculous.

    And thanks to everyone who recommended A Man Called Ove – what a delightful book.

  53. +1 to HM et alii. We often went to my immigrant elderly aunt’s house and my special once a year treat was kishke – cow innards stuffed with seasoned grease, salt and flour – real poor people food, just not from the Southern US. I have never eaten, to my knowledge, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, but I make a great sweet potato casserole with warm spices and honey orange glaze and lots of butter. Just not this year because there are only 2 of us.

    Childhood at our house = 9 – green bean casserole. Mom days = 7 Jellied cranberry sauce with ridges aka cranberry pancakes – kid fave Tomorrow = 1 we are making the epicurious green beans.

    Mom and I, if we were home alone for a feast day, made cornish hens. DH is traveling tomorrow, so DD1 and I are going to pay homage and make them to eat between the first two dandy football games (Andrew Luck is in concussion protocol, so the nightcap will be a bit tame). The WF butcher had to go to the back to find the cornish hens (Bell and Evans). DD is making homemade stuffing with chestnuts and apples as well as the green beans. I am making whole berry sauce with a little liquor and cinnamon (so I gave it a zero). And my specialty – traditional pecan pie, with homemade barely sweetened whipped cream, which I think is easy to make and then you have leftovers for viennese coffee, or irish coffee if you prefer.

    Best to all.

  54. DD came home last night. Yay!!!

    She is happy to be home, we are delighted to have her. She hugged her 13 year old brother at the airport and he hugged back.

    Some friends did not come home for thanksgiving. The dorms are open, dining is available on a limited basis. Next year we plan to go there, rent a house for the week and host her and any of her friends who want to come. My older sibling has done this for the past few years and it seems like a nice tradition.

  55. I have tried to cook sweet potatoes in a traditional thanksgiving style many times over the years, but never successfully. Every version was just way too sweet. My mom tried to serve sweet potatoes with marshmallows once and everyone just kind of looked at the dish with horror.

  56. I’ve never associated sweet potatoes with T-day. But given that our family has pretty much stopped including pumpkin pie as part of our T-day meals (none of us particularly like it; it was FIL who really liked it and always brought one, and no one picked that up since he passed), perhaps we should consider combining the two and make sweet potato pie a new family T-day tradition.

    Something like this:

  57. I think there’s a thin layer of haupia between the sweet potato and the whipped cream.

    Cordelia, around here the sweet potatoes I see most commonly are the purple ones. I believe most locally grown sweet potatoes are purple.

  58. Agree with the comment that these quizzes show how different we are vs how similar (I mean us here, we’re pretty similar, but probably so different from non-totebag types). And it was attributed to NPR which just seems to me a way of saying “unless you’re a lower single digit type, you’re not our target audience.”

    Happy Turkey Day all! See you Friday. I’m not working then. Any of you? (expect Ada will be unless she’s working tomorrow)

  59. Sometimes I worry that our holiday forecast will be wrong and instead of showers followed by rain, we’ll have rain followed by showers.

  60. “Next year we plan to go there, rent a house for the week and host her and any of her friends who want to come. My older sibling has done this for the past few years and it seems like a nice tradition.”

    That is a very nice tradition indeed.
    But will you have to put all of your good cooking tools in a big box and cart them with you?

  61. Cordelia, what about your younger kids? Do they have the entire week off from school?

    That sounds like a good idea, but not practical for us in part because the kids’ school has classes thru Wednesday.

    OTOH, perhaps we can do something similar during spring break.

  62. We are probably actually into negative numbers with DH’s intense foodie approach (there are three different flavors of homemade ice cream in the freezer), and in many other respects are squarely within the NPR demographic, except for religious and political views.

  63. Finn, the little kids have the week off from school.

    Scarlett, I will take what I can improvise the rest. DH is justly proud of both his cooking skills and ability to macguyver the tools he can. And, to have everyone together is worth suboptimal food.

  64. Happy Turkey Day all! See you Friday. I’m not working then. Any of you? (expect Ada will be unless she’s working tomorrow)

    I’m working a half day Friday. Then I’m taking DS and his friend to the Air Force game.

  65. This Txgiving quiz orginated as a tongue in cheek comment embedded a very long thread about the do you live in a bubble quiz that we discussed many months ago (one answer required knowing the difference between Jimmie Johnson and Jimmy Johnson, IIRC, to be considered non elitist). NPR is guilty of many things, but not of propagating this particular quiz.

  66. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and special thoughts for those who recently lost a loved one or are having other difficulties. Meme, you continue to be a role model for enjoying life as it continues with its twists and turns.

    This morning I’m on my second attempt to lay out my store bought pie crust so that it doesn’t crack in multiple places like it did yesterday. I didn’t let it warm up enough, so now I know!

  67. I agree that this quiz has a pretty narrow regional focus (among other things). My childhood Thanksgivings scored as high as 23 points on this scale: original green bean casserole, turkey earned with store receipts, canned jelly cranberry (as Rhett said, the only acceptable kind) plus basic homemade cranberry, canned sweet potatoes or fresh sweet potatoes with marshmallows, Cool Whip.

    Today will probably be closer to an 8–frozen Butterball, canned jelly cranberry, whipped cream from can, no GBC or sweet potatoes with marshmallow. I’m not cooking so it’s all a win in my book.

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  68. Anne of Green Gable fans should DVR tonight’s broadcast of a new movie version. Got a great review in the WSJ.

  69. Happy Thanksgiving Totebag!

    Cordelia – I think your idea for next year sounds lovely!

    I was only 3 hours from home for Thanksgiving in college. But after college when I moved East, I did not have the $$ or vacation time to travel home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I chose Christmas. Someone would usually take pity on me & invite me to their celebration which was much appreciated. The year I lived in the South was the only time that I had deep fried turkey and macaroni & cheese as part of the meal. It was very good. One year, I went snowboarding in Vermont with a group of coworkers and that was fun too.

  70. WCE, that’s what I’m talking about with DW’s family and their feelings that things “need to stay in the family” except that DW wants all this stuff. But at least it’s not crap, even thought I’d still rather not have it. We recently acquired DW’s grandmother’s sewing machine/table.

  71. WCE, I read that article. I recall one person who didn’t want her stuff but wanted her daughter to want it. DH would like to have heirloom stuff, in part because he and his mother are estranged and she will not let him have anything from his late father. I don’t want anything from my side, but he thinks our kids should be able to have some family things. It is challenging.

  72. OK, I want my 2 points for the sweet potatoes. One of the BILs, nostalgic for his mother, actually brought it this year. First time ever. They were fresh, though, not canned. They had apricot jam on the top and then the marshmallows. I overheard another BIL mutter “Maybe I’ll have some for dessert”

  73. I have very fond memories of my Thanksgivings at various generous American families’ houses when I was in boarding school and then college. My parents lived in South America and it was too far for such a short holiday. I saw so many different beautiful towns, homes and traditions.

  74. We had a sweet potato souffle with marshmallows on top. It was actually pretty good as blasphemous as it feels to say.

  75. It’s been a spendy fall season for me ! I was proud of my spending diet in the summer but now I have to reign it in. No more boots and coats for sure and no more “essentials” like pajamas.

  76. We didn’t make any plans for a December or February vacation, and we are looking at Florida. I was checking lots of places from Miami to West Palm, and I was thinking about PTM. I hope everything is ok.

  77. We considered a Christmas break trip to southern Florida, to meet up with some relatives, but when I looked at the temps, I realized it would likely be too cold to swim. Given that Christmas break prices in southern FL are steep, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

  78. Well today we had the displeasure of attending a viewing for a 22yo who died of an overdose on Tuesday. He graduated from my kids’ HS between my two oldest. Didn’t know him well and we are not close with the family, but just a tragedy. His dad told my middle “tell your friends to stay off the opiates; have a few drinks, sure, but no opiates.” I have no other information.

  79. Fred, how sad. Good friends in DC just had this same experience with the best friend of their DS about the same age. His roommate found him dead in the morning, shortly after returning from college reunion, and word got out to his circle of friends worldwide before the police had even notified his parents. Our friend’s DS ended up having to tell the mom when she called him wanting to know why other parents were contacting her with condolences. Horrible horrible all around. Total Totebag kid, soccer star and recent graduate from HSS. Family requested his friends to stick to the narrative of death by natural causes, but most who didn’t know probably figured it out. Young men think they are invincible and it is so hard to convince them otherwise.

  80. Fred, I’m so sorry for that family. Locally we’ve had similar tragedies, one opioid and two alcohol-related deaths just from my oldest kid’s hs class. So alcohol overuse also has had serious consequences. So tragic.

  81. Kids school had a talk by law enforcement and a documentary on the opiate crisis was screened. It is something that is impacting families but in ordinary communities it is hard to gauge the depth of the problem.

    College kids were home this weekend. It was fun to see the young people in stores, many shopping with their parents.
    Some of the college stickers on cars – UNC, Clemson, Wake Forest, University of Mississippi.

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