Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving - Nice

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break. As for myself, I did nothing but eat and eat and eat and then sleep for a long time.

I spent "Actual Thanksgiving" with my girlfriend and her family, which was a good time. It is interesting being at another family's Thanksgiving dinner. You quickly realize how different Thanksgiving traditions are from family to family.

Take stuffing for example: I've learned that there are as many different recipes for stuffing as there are Thanksgiving dinners. My family makes stuffing with apples and crumbled sausage, which completely disgusts her family. They make it with green peppers and onions, which disgusts my family too (both recipes are good). I've heard of oyster and cracker stuffing, which makes my stomach crawl slightly, and carrot-celery-onion stuffing, which is what my Grandma Barkell used to make for her family. While my sister was in France on foreign study, she combined our recipe with a friend's recipe and made stuffing with apples, sausage and cranberries. Apparently, it was delicious.

I spend a lot of time thinking about stuffing. My obsession is borderline unhealthy.

However, it kind of goes to show that Thanksgiving is a reflection of those people celebrating it. There's something comforting about that. It's a unique little holiday in that you're not really required to do anything (unlike Christmas or Easter or the Fourth of July, etc.) other than eat the food that you like and sleep.

Katie and her family went to Paris for a week so, on Friday, I drove home to Michigan to celebrate "Leftovers Thanksgiving" with my family while simultaneously getting out of Katie's way so that she could pack and get ready for the trip. (She left this past weekend and I miss her already).

"Leftovers Thanksgiving" is a Topping family tradition, celebrated the day after Thanksgiving, where we as a family 'give thanks' to my dad's turkey sandwich recipe. It's like taking Thanksgiving dinner and putting it between two pieces of Wonderbread. If you are interested, I can provide the recipe (provided my Dad gives his consent to reveal a secret family recipe). Once we finish partaking in the sandwiches, we then 'give thanks' for the feeling of "fullness" with a large nap. Once everyone is confirmed awake we celebrate the nap by 'giving thanks' with a large dinner and then promptly going back to sleep.

I love Chicago, but there's something about being back in Michigan that's very restful. I don't know if it's being away from all of the job stress or the city stress or if it's just the comfort of being home, but it was a good weekend for chilling out and getting some much needed sleep. I drove home last night with bags of leftovers, and now here I am.