Thanksgiving is coming up and I have been busy as hell these days, so you’ll forgive me that I haven’t updated as often as I’d like. Most of my writing lately is going up on Romper (the new sister site to Bustle) and Hello Giggles, though I’m working on publishing a few spec pieces elsewhere too. So is the life of the freelancer.
Anyway, I thought I would do something fun here and write up a quick piece on 7 thanksgiving day-related things that I’m thankful for because I have become something of a pro at listicles. So here goes!
- Alice’s Restaurant
If you’ve never heard this amazing song by Arlo Guthrie about how he inadvertently dodged the draft during the 1960s, do yourself a favor and listen now. It’s long (about 18 minutes, to be exact) but also entertaining as hell. A great tune to play while driving to or preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
- My Mama Adilia’s Potato Salad
When I was a child, we frequently gathered for Thanksgiving (and Christmas and New Years) at my aunt’s and grandmother’s house. My Mama Adilia (which is what my grandma liked being called) always whipped up this phenomenal potato salad, the likes of which I’ve never eaten anywhere else. Potatoes, mayo, celery, and green manzanilla olives are what give this salad its unique flavor. She passed away over a decade ago but left her recipe to my mom, who recreates this dish yearly around the holidays.
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
I’m a sucker for the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials, and this is one of my favorites. Miscommunication among friends and family, plus a not-so-traditional dinner consisting of buttered toast, jellybeans, pretzel sticks, and popcorn, and yet another scene with Lucy pulling the ball away from Charlie just as he’s about to kick it make this one fun and memorable.
- Adopt a Turkey
This used to be a yearly tradition but I haven’t been too consistent about it lately. I still love the idea of donating to Farm Sanctuary to adopt a rescued turkey. As a vegetarian, it’s pretty depressing to think of all the turkeys that get killed around this time especially. It helps to know I’ve helped out one of our bird friends in need who was able to avoid such a fate. I’d love to make this into a tradition with my son once he understands more.
- Pieces of April
Not everyone is a fan of Katie Holmes, but even if you aren’t, this is one film of hers you really shouldn’t miss out on. It’s a wonderful indie flick about a girl who invites her estranged family to come have dinner with her and her new boyfriend in her apartment in New York City. Her mother has cancer and the entire film is about the girl trying desperately to make this dinner work for her family, but terrible things keep happening (her oven breaks forcing her to take her meal from neighbour’s apartment to neighbour’s apartment to cook it in increments). Meanwhile, her mother spends the entire trip complaining about all the ways her daughter disappointed her, and her boyfriend spends the whole time trying to get himself a nice suit to wear to the dinner to impress her family. It’s a really beautiful film. Patricia Clarkson, Oliver Platt, and Derek Luke also star.
- Family Time
We don’t really have a set tradition for Thanksgiving lately. Some years it’s a small event, just immediate family. Other years, my folks are out of town so it’s just my and my brother’s family. Other years, we celebrate with my cousins and aunt and uncle as well. One year, we spent it with my family in Nicaragua. Last year, we celebrated with my husband’s extended family. Regardless, it’s nice to have an excuse to see people, especially when they’re likely to either a. be in a good mood or b. be so busy with meal prep and hosting/so full of good food that drama can simply take a back seat. I actually have no idea what Thanksgiving will bring this year, but I’m sure it’ll be nice regardless.
I absolutely love the versatility of stuffing. It’s one of those foods that can easily be vegan (or not), and can be as flavorful as you want it to be. I used to pride myself in making my own, but sometimes Peppridge Farm is good too. I am particularly fond of Whole Foods special rosemary and sage stuffing as well. Mmm mmm good.
What are your favorite things about the upcoming holiday? Any special tradit