New Traditions

As I mentally prepare my agenda for tonight’s and tomorrow’s cooking, I sit reminiscing. This will be my 33rd Thanksgiving: the 3rd one that I have prepared in my home, and the 1st one that will have vegan dishes.

Growing up, many Thanksgivings were celebrated at my Aunt Marcia’s house. She prepared the traditional Thanksgiving meal: turkey, stuffing, gravy, at least a half a dozen veggie sides, and no less then five pies and desserts. Thanksgiving meant driving ninety minutes from Merrimack, New Hampshire to North Easton, Massachusetts. It meant spending the day with my loved ones: Grammy, Aunt Marcia, Uncle Stephen, Mom, and Dad sitting around the table, with the yellow china, sterling silverware, and perfectly folded napkins, enjoying a crisp moist bird. One year my dad asked, “Why do we have to have turkey on Thanksgiving? Who made that rule? Why not lobster?” As long as we are all together, does it really matter what we eat?

The following year we made that same ninety minute drive from Merrimack, New Hampshire to North Easton, Massachusetts. We sat around the same table, with the same yellow china, same sterling silverware, and the same perfectly folded napkins. This year was different; we all were adorned with large plastic white bibs with a cartoon lobster (or ‘lobsta’ for all us New Englanders).

When we walked in Aunt Marcia’s home, we didn’t see her taking a large crisp bird out of the oven. We walked in to see a large boiling pot of water on the stove bubbling, corn on the cob, steamed mussels, and fried clams (with the bellies, of course). Though it was the only year she did this, the diversion from the “rule” was wonderful.

As I sit down to my third Thanksgiving meal in my home, I will be surrounded by family and friends. Next to my fourteen pound turkey will be my Hippie Loaf, Vegan Gravy, and at least a half a dozen veggie dishes.

Maybe my family and friends will try some of the vegan dishes but there will be a turkey, just in case.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, family, and readers.

I’ll leave you with a photo of my Aunt Marcia with the 1993 Thanksgiving turkey.

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