This year I celebrated Thanksgiving with most of my family up in Hamburg, NY (right outside of Buffalo). It was particularly exciting because my cute as a pumpkin 4-month-old niece was experiencing the greatest American tradition for the first time... albeit without eating any turkey or apple pie, but we all have to start somewhere.
Arriving in Buffalo from New York definitely helped bring on the authentic Thanksgiving spirit. The holiday in New York revolves around the Parade and Macy's and fancy wine and the right table setting. But in Buffalo, the pretension gets stripped away (from most things) and you really return to the Thanksgiving that's about football, fowl and family.
Oh! And Wegmans. Anyone who's lived in or visited western New York should understand the cultural significance of this family-owned grocery store chain. It's actually won a few prominent "best grocery store" awards, probably because it has tons of free samples and specialty counters for everything. So on Wednesday, my sisters and I made our mega Wegman's stop for groceries to supplement the local CSA share. We grabbed coffees and egg sandwiches at the breakfast counter (told you; counters for everything) and made our game plan.
Thanksgiving day began with our running of the YMCA's 117th Annual Turkey Trot, immediately followed by much-deserved bagels and Labatt Blues. It was 9AMish. See? Isn't Buffalo great?
Once we got home, it was either nap time or cooking time, depending whether you were under or over the age of two. I happily got to cook a lot more than anticipated, which I saw as "helping," my little sister saw as "Hillary being bossy," and my mom saw as "my hands are free... wine, anyone?" It's always awesome to be with those people who simultaneously call you out on your bad habits and bring out the best in you.
The meal was awesome, as always. Everyone contributed resulting in turkey (me), sausage stuffing (mom's specialty), gravy (mom), zesty cranberry sauce (Candice), salad (me), pea dip with crudites (Leigh), acorn squash (a few contributors), shrimp cocktail (Leigh), mashed potatoes/carrots/turnips (Leigh), pumpkin muffins (Tom), apple pie (Karen and Kristen), pumpkin pie (Kristen), pumpkin cheesecake swirl brownies (me), and whipped cream (Colin, the two-year-old, with help from mom).
Hope everyone else's holiday was just as wonderful!