A few years ago when I getting ready to have my first holiday away from home, my dad introduced me to the idea of the family you choose. He said at some point we all create new families, different from the ones you are born to. It doesn’t just mean when you marry and start a family of your own. He used the example of the best friends he’d made in school and how they became a sort  of family. They’re the kind of friends I’ve called uncle. 

I wasn’t sure what this meant at first for me. Who was my new family?To what group would I belong?  It has since become very clear. I was very lucky when I came to Austin to fall pretty quickly into a group of friends that over time has established itself as a sort of family. There are no mothers, fathers, brothers or sisters, but there are arguments and laughter, eye-rolling and teasing. There are family dinners around the table. 

It is impossible in such a large family for everyone to be present at the holidays, but I was lucky enough to be with many of them yesterday. And for friends and feasts and love, I am thankful. 



Just kidding. This post isn’t about being thankful. I am thankful though. Aren’t you? I’m thankful for family, friends, my job, my man and all the wonderful things we all love about life. I’m thankful my roommate is out of town and I can spend all weekend in my undies on the couch. I’m thankful my boyfriend bought Pringles original to snack on while I bake Thanksgiving treats. I’m thankful for my five days of vacation off of work!

But I am not thankful that I am missing my most favorite part of Thanksgiving in the world. Unfortunately my most favorite part is not family or friends (although let’s be honest it’s pretty high up there). It’s turkey. Not just any turkey- a Greenburg turkey. This turkey is like heaven in your mouth. It’s smoked and injected with pepper. The moment you bring that turkey into your house, every room fills with this delicious smoked turkey smell. Once my sister and I threatened to boycott Thanksgiving cause my dad wanted to do something different. What’s the point then? Geez.

Someone somewhere is slicing into one of these bad boys and I am jealous of them. I hope they savor every last bite.

I Am Martha Stewart

Okay, not really. I have no felony convictions at this time and most of my arts and crafts come out a little messed up but I do try!

This year’s Thanksgiving potluck was an absolute success. The tables looked pretty and everyone left feeling uncomfortably full. I’ve never seen so much food outside a K&W cafeteria! And this was much much better. We’re talking turkey, two different kinds of stuffing, goat cheese mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, a picnic basket full of rolls, two loaves of homemade bread, spinach madeline, pumpkin pie, two apple pies and 5 different kinds of cookies. And I know I’m leaving some things out here. Overwhelming!!

Yes, my table settings are gorgeous. Thank you for noticing.

Why yes, this does taste better than it looks. That’s Mama Connie’s Sweet Potato Casserole Crunch and Aunt Merle’s spinach madeline. Delish.

Friends love it when you take pictures of them when they’re eating.

Best Thursday of the Year

As far as holidays go, I’m pretty easy to please. I love all holidays regardless of what they are or what they stand for. I love occasions, opportunities to sit and chat with family and friends, eat great food, be merry, etc. But there is no holiday like Thanksgiving. Its origins are of course, a little messed up. But its traditions are pretty fun. I love food. I love sitting around the table, laughing and eating, drinking and fussing over the kids. In fact, last year, I enjoyed sitting around the table so much I was eating at the pace of an old woman without teeth. I got left at the table. My whole family moved on, munchkins and mother and all, and I was forced to finish my Thanksgiving dinner alone. Sad, but it’d been like an hour. I can’t blame them.

This year is my second Thanksgiving without my family. The first was in Australia when my Canadian friend and I hosted a Thanksgiving in Perth. This involved first making sangria, commencing drinking around 2, personally reenacting the true story of Thanksgiving, and then sharing a feast with some Australian friends after their work day.  It’s probably my most memorable Thanksgiving yet. On this biggest Thursday of the year, I will also not be able to make it all the way home to the ol’ North State so my roommates and I are having a Thanksgiving Potluck. I’m hoping to start the day with a bike ride, decorating the house and drinking early. This will hopefully not get me in trouble. Nothing like not being able to make it to turkey time. And because we don’t have a TV, no one can watch football after dinner! (This may seem cruel but it’s pretty awesome.)

Although Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I don’t really mind not being home for it. It’s the kind of holiday that you can enjoy anywhere as long as you have good company and good food. It’s a day when we can say thanks for the good things in our life: good company, someone to love, a support system, employment, a home. This year, I’ll be saying thanks for my new home of Austin, TX, the people who have become my good friends here, a steady job, and a beau.