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Random Queries > Americans, tell me about your Thanksgiving traditions

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I didn't include Canadians since their Thanksgiving is different from ours, though Barb is welcome to join in.
I didn't include the rest of the world since they don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

For the Americans:
Do you eat early or late?
What's your favorite part of the meal?
Do you make dinner or go to a restaurant (I didn't know some people do the latter)?
Do you watch football? Multi-part action epics?
Do you stay home or go somewhere?
Do you drive to that somewhere or fly?


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my mom's side of the family - maybe 50+ people

1) we eat at noon
2) the men always get served first (a tradition that had something to do with the men working in the fields or something which infuriates the daughters in law and they are always pissed)
3) dressing
4) carry in. this year i am frying a turkey. (please watch for YouTube video of the flames/explosions afterward. it may give a new meaning to black friday)
5) we do not watch anything. my family is a bunch of very loud gypsies. sounds like an auction
6) we used to go to my mom's but now we rent a community center bldg with a gym for the kids to play in. (downside, no one stays to help clean and we are stuck with it)
7) it is in my town so no drive for me.


message 3: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments My ONLY tradition for Thanksgiving is betting on the LSU/Razorbacks game on the day after Thanksgiving/Black Friday. We always bet on it. Last year she lost so she owes me her bran rolls recipe (still). The year before that, the Tigers lost, so I owed her $5. I paid in pennies, nickels and dimes (even though I had a $5 bill in my wallet).

If I can get away with it, I like to be alone during the Thanksgiving holiday. Otherwise, I'm here, there... and sometimes a bit of both.


message 4: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
Sarah is using her own category! I'm as proud as the day I made the first "RA wants to know" folder and he used it on his own!


::beams with pride::


message 5: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I try to get my kids to watch Elf with me. We also get a Christmas tree Thanksgiving morning, usually.


message 6: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments 2) the men always get served first (a tradition that had something to do with the men working in the fields or something which infuriates the daughters in law and they are always pissed)

This is really interesting. I'd be tempted, as a guy, to say things like "Man, I'm really tired from working in those fields all morning." Something tells me if we had a TC Thanksgiving dinner this tradition might be, ahem, abandoned.


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "4) carry in. this year i am frying a turkey. (please watch for YouTube video of the flames/explosions afterward. it may give a new meaning to black friday)
..."


I watched an Alton Brown episode this week where he fried a turkey. It was quite funny, since he had a pulley system for lowering the turkey into the fryer.


message 8: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24362 comments Mod
I have done it every which way. Sometimes I stay at home, sometimes I fly somewhere. Sometimes I fly somewhere and then drive 200 miles, or 300 miles, to another city. Sometimes we eat at 3 p.m., sometimes at 5, sometimes at 6. I have had Thanksgiving dinner at restaurants. I've been to potluck Thanksgivings, and ones where I brought nothing, and ones where I cooked half the food. I've had Thanksgiving at people's houses who had no pots and pans, so we went to Target the day before and bought pots and pans. I've had Thanksgivings that were all family, and others that were all friends. I've participated in football-watching Thanksgivings, and non.


message 9: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments RandomAnthony wrote: "Something tells me if we had a TC Thanksgiving dinner this tradition might be, ahem, abandoned. "

I'd want to be doing some of the cooking. I don't eat a lot, though, so I'd want to leave the table early to see some football on TV.


message 10: by Jan (new)

Jan | 241 comments My Thanksgiving cooking days are over, thank goodness. Now I show up with a dish at the house of whomever invites me. No football because it wouldn't be New England Patriots who are playing. Throughout the day, friends and family stop by for sandwiches and dessert. The stuffing is the highlight of the meal. It is my mother-in-law's recipe and is oh so good.


message 11: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments I've got family all over the goddamn country so it's never the same from one year to the next. But my favorite Thanksgivings are ones like this year, where I spend it at my best friend's family's house. I prefer other peoples families to my own, for the most part. For me the tradition is in the food. Don't try out some fancy ginger stuffing or anything interesting. You must have Turkey (even though I don't like turkey), stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy. After that I can be flexible. When we visit my husband's family in the south we also get squash casserole. My family is German so we always add Red Cabbage.


message 12: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments I prefer to have people to cook for...If i don't then I go out to eat. after my 1st divorce I belonged to a singles club and I asked a lot of those who were going to be alone for thanksgiving over to my house for dinner...we usually try to get as many of our relatives over as possible to feed their faces full of homecooked goodness and then send them home with leftovers. sometimes I've been the invitee. We eat usually about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. and after clean up we all take a nap.or go to a movie.


message 13: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments yeah, the men eat first tradition apparently dates back to the 1800's prior to the men in our family all working in factories and having a long 4 day weekend on thanksgiving holiday. only like three of the older sisters enforce this tradition. the guys say NOTHING and just go along with it. that way we get to eat first without being chauvinistic pigs. the DIL's have/had all the little children to contend with and they stand together and glare at the men. we second generation guys really lay low about this tradition :)


message 14: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "yeah, the men eat first tradition apparently dates back to the 1800's prior to the men in our family all working in factories and having a long 4 day weekend on thanksgiving holiday. only like thre..."

the protocol for men eating before women was so if there was not enough food the men ate and women had whatever was left in any. don't get me started on this particular protocol because countless women starved to death so their lords and masters could live because of course, at the time, women were possessions, not people.


message 15: by Jan (new)

Jan | 241 comments Good Thanksgiving news. The Patriots ARE playing, so I know what I'll be doing after dinner. The others can socialize while I'm rooting my team on.


message 16: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments Jan wrote: "Good Thanksgiving news. The Patriots ARE playing, so I know what I'll be doing after dinner. The others can socialize while I'm rooting my team on."

what time. we live in NH and the "pats" are our favorite team! I'll plan dinner around the game.


message 17: by Jan (new)

Jan | 241 comments >>what time.<<

According to the Patriots website, they are playing the Detroit Lions. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments michele - don't want to get you started but i don't think our family was trying to be lord or masters of anyone. simple country folk who prob did do farm work on thanksgiving day at some point in history while the women cooked. now, they smoke and hang out checking out the animals on mom's mini farm until they're called for dinner. more lazy than maliced


message 19: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24362 comments Mod
Kevin, given that this tradition seems so....strange, why doesn't someone just change it? Maybe you could serve from oldest to youngest. Or vice versa. Or in the order of birth month. Or reverse order of birth month. Or decreasing order of net worth.


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments We usually have the youngest eat first, then whomever gets in line.


message 21: by Kate (new)

Kate (kateharper) | 206 comments We usually eat around 5. Usually all five of my adult kids come over. Now that my sons both have long time girlfriends, one of them trades off each year between her house and ours; the other son comes over and his girlfriend goes to her family's house which is close. She'll come here after dinner and then the two of them go to her family's for a little while. The three grandkids come here and we ususally have a couple of "orphans" the someone brings along. We end up being between 16 and 20 most years.

I haven't been doing the cooking for the past few years as my oldest daughter likes to do it but this year she has hurt her back so it looks like I'm back to being the cook. The good part of that is that the cook doesn't have to help with the dishes!

We don't have an eat first policy as we all sit at the same table and pass things. We do have one end of the table for the vegitarians so they can keep their special foods all together.

We have a tradition of going around the table and each person saying what they are thankful for. There's no TV but usually lots of loud arguing about politics and then discussion of the year's movies.


message 22: by Aynge (last edited Nov 22, 2010 11:04PM) (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments I think we're pretty much the same as everybody else. We start feasting around 3-4 pm, which goes on through the night btwn naps and games and watching TV.

We eat:
turkey
stuffing
mashed potatoes w/gravy
rolls
rice
green bean casserole
all kinds of pie (usually bought but everything else is homemade)
many tubs of Cool Whip & Redi Whip
assorted soft drinks, apple ciders

My family does not partake in alcohol though, and we eschew yams.


message 23: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments I always invite anyone over if I know they have nowhere to go for thanksgiving...I hate the thought of anyone spending that day alone.


message 24: by Dr. Detroit (last edited Nov 22, 2010 07:31AM) (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments Jan wrote: ">>what time.<<

According to the Patriots website, they are playing the Detroit Lions. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day."


Gee, Jan... Who do you think will win?




message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Since I started the thread, I'll get around to commenting now.
When my nuclear family lived in New York, everyone gathered at our house. We always had a dinner-time sit down dinner, and afterward, because it was an NYC apartment, people slept everywhere, from the couches to the cozy spot under the dining room table.

When we moved to Toronto, we had to switch Thanksgiving dinner to Friday night for the convenience of schedules (no Thursday off to cook). So now it's a combined Shabbat/Thanksgiving dinner at my mother's house. It's also entirely vegetarian. I go most years, but not this year.

When I was dating someone whose family lived in the Southern Tier in New York, we used to go to her family on Thursday, and then drive up to Toronto for my family's Friday. That was a long weekend of driving. Her family had a very different kind of dinner than ours, with the women all cooking, and the food coming out buffet style, and then all the men hanging out watching football or Indiana Jones or whatever was on, and the women talking and cleaning.

This year Zu and I are going to my aunt's on the other side of Baltimore, along with a couple of cousins. I'll miss my mom's, but not driving ten hours on Thanksgiving. My aunt's dinners for any occasion are always fantastic, but I think we'll all go for the whole day and help with the cooking, which I consider to be a whole lot of fun.


message 26: by Kate (new)

Kate (kateharper) | 206 comments Aynge wrote: "My family does not partake in alcohol though, and we eschew yams."


We usually just bake our yams.


message 27: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Cashewed yams?


message 28: by Kate (new)

Kate (kateharper) | 206 comments Good one, Larry.


message 29: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I think we're taking the kids to the Field Museum in Chicago on Thanksgiving.

You know, after reading Pi's post, I agree, spending all of your holiday in a car blows. I avoid that.


message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Larry wrote: "Cashewed yams?"

Gesundheit.


message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments And I love the Field Museum. Nice choice.


message 32: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Danke.


message 33: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i'm gonna try to video some of my "clampett thanksgiving" fest and put it on youtube


message 34: by Kailey (new)

Kailey (lukutuokka) Being far away from home and family, My husband and I usually host what we call Orphan Thanksgiving. All friends and acquaintances who are near us and not their family are welcome to come eat food and lay about on the couch. It usually works out well.


message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Kailey wrote: "Being far away from home and family, My husband and I usually host what we call Orphan Thanksgiving. All friends and acquaintances who are near us and not their family are welcome to come eat food ..."

That sounds like fun!
That's kind of what my aunt is doing this year. She gets two nieces, a nephew, and a significant other.


message 36: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i video'd some of my turkey frying deal....


message 37: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) can't wait.


message 38: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments working on youtube tonight


message 39: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) cool


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Can't wait to see the youtube. Fryed turkey? Is there anything you Americans don't fry??


message 41: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Nothing, Gail, nothing.


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

That's what I suspected.


message 43: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments We did the Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and yes, went to the Field Museum today. Pictures to follow...hope everyone's Thanksgivings are going well.


message 44: by Kate (new)

Kate (kateharper) | 206 comments Given the weather here and the fact that none of us can drive in the snow, we've postponed Thanksgiving to Sunday!


message 45: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2Ba2O...

there ya go. made this video just for you all to see me deep fry a turkey


message 46: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments I like the tag still on the cooker, and the TWSS reference.

Please, take the electric knife away from that guy!


message 47: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Beautifully produced, Kevin--the video and the turkey too.

When you first dropped that bird into the hot oil I winced, thinking "gloves!" The splatter must of been something ferocious.


message 48: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Great video, Kevin. At first I thought you were out in the middle of a cow pasture or something.

Yeah looks like the shotgun approach to serving turkey.


message 49: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24362 comments Mod
That had so many Norman Rockwell moments.


message 50: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Indeed.




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