Eat: Thanksgiving Dinner

So last week was Thanksgiving. I wasn't feeling it at all in the lead up to the event, and now that it's over, I feel like it never happened. Thanksgiving came at a highly inconvenient time this year. I was busy, and when I wasn't actually busy  busy I was very busy being grateful that I didn't have to do anything more taxing than getting myself onto a plane and to North Carolina. As you can tell - total chaos around these parts. It was mad.

Not really having time for Thanksgiving means not getting to enjoy the anticipation that goes along with it. As I've mentioned before, I love Thanksgiving. It is a truly excellent holiday, based solely around hanging out with friends, or family, or friends who may as well be family, and eating till you feel sick, then adding a bit extra for good measure, and acknowledging all the while how lucky and thankful you are. It is the perfect American holiday, combining food* with football and a decent helping of schmaltz.

The funny thing about Thanksgiving is that I'm not really all that fond of Thanksgiving food. Offer me turkey any other day and I'll probably go for something else. I like it, but it's a bit meh really, isn't it**? I do like the sides, but sweet potatoes are a staple part of my diet, appearing on my dinner table at least twice a week, vegetables are vegetables, and stuffing - well, stuffing is a miraculous thing, which I'm very grateful is not available to me more during the year.

But when it comes to Thanksgiving, I'm not really there for the dinner, even the stuffing-based part of it***. It's all about the event for me. Thankfully (ha) we don't have to choose, having, as we do, good friends who can cook a mean meal and host a great party. We have spent the last three Thanksgivings with this couple, half of whom I have known since the grand old age of five, in various locales around the USA*****, and they have done all manner of great things, including cooking us awesome meals when we are in their home, helping us cook awesome meals when they are in ours, keeping wineglasses full, and driving us to and from airports******.

This particular Thanksgiving was no exception. We joined them in their new home of North Carolina the day previous, and proceeded to eat pretty solidly for the next four days. On the day itself, the male half of the couple rose at early o'clock to throw a turkey in the crockpot, then again when we stirred mid-morning to serve us up a US breakfast feast of bacon, sausage, eggs, and biscuits, as a precursor to the main event.

After a lovely day spent lounging around in front of a table of bubbly and cheese, we sat down to a delicious meal that we definitely played a part in (I peeled some sweet potatoes). This was, as I understand it, a pretty typical Thanksgiving feast: turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans,  carrots, corn, more carbs in the form of stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and yet more carbs in the form of rolls (I am beginning to work out exactly why this holiday is so appealing).

It was delicious.

I moved away from this table as little as I could manage.

Turkey and sweet potatoes. Cooking turkey in the crockpot frees up dishes, and also pretty much guarantees moistness (ew, that word!)

Crescent rolls, a more bread-y type of croissant phenomenon.

After all of this, you'd think I'd be done for the day, but I, ladies and gentlemen, am no amateur, and just because I'm not actually an American doesn't mean I can't keep up with them. We gave ourselves a short break, before moving onto an amazing pumpkin cheesecake, which I had previously goaded the baking-shy female half into making through the medium of Facebook (that is, I goaded her through Facebook, she didn't make it through Facebook - it is not yet capable of that).

She needn’t have worried – it tasted like pumpkin heaven.

And so that was Thanksgiving. We ate a lot more over the break, and not just leftovers, either, but the main point - as it always has been and always should be - was coming together with friends and giving our thanks over a good meal. And that we did, well and truly.

And now, in the traditional American follow-up, I am off to the gym.

*Let's face it, Americans are top notch when it comes to celebrating via food.

**No more so than chicken though, which I do often go for. Maybe it's because I haven't grown up with turkey, and so don't appreciate how exciting it can be.

***I'm there for the dessert****.

****Kidding. Mostly.

*****They keep moving. We are gunning for Hawaii as their next living destination.

******No small deal for New Yorkers. When they come to us we're all like, "oh, no biggie, you can catch a cab." When we go to them they're all like, "oh, no biggie, we will drive for four hours to gather your stranded selves from the airport."