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Thanksgiving – The Great American Food Holiday!

November 26th, 2009

Thanksgiving, the most American of holidays. It’s one of the first bits of history that they teach us in elementary school. It teaches us about sharing, compassion, and of course, the deliciousness of a feast shared.

Later in life, it becomes the official holiday of families. The reason that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, is because so many of us are piling up in cars, trains and airplanes to head home and reunite with our families.

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays. As a proto-foodie, the only thing better than my favorite foods, was a great variety of my favorite foods. And my parents shared the same philosophy.

It’s not uncommon for us to have a two or three course meal over a given week. One of the wonderful things about Thanksgiving is that it’s not uncommon to have a six, ten, or even twelve course meal!

Like a Las Vegas buffet, the trick to maximizing your Thanksgiving experience is in careful planning. Β It’s very easy to see something yummy, and fall prey to the insidious “I love that dish! Gimme!” strategy, where you overload on one item.

Self-control is your friend.

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the ability to go back for seconds and thirds. And remember, just because Auntie Mathilda’s ambrosia looks good, doesn’t mean that it actually tastes good.

Think of Thanksgiving like American Tapas. Have a bunch of tiny servings first. Then once you know what’s particularly appetizing, double up when its time for seconds!

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Now anyone who has read my “Cookies are my Kryptonite” posting, knows that when it comes to cookies, I have absolutely no self-control. I’m only slightly better at resisting pie.

This is where your planning and self-control finally pays off. You see, unlike other occasions, a Thanksgiving meal may end with pumpkin, apple and pecan pie! Life is too short to only have one pie for dessert!

After my parents passed, I was “adopted” by two families. The Hacker’s in San Diego and the Hammer’s in San Mateo. They’ve made me family, and I’ve never been at a loss for where to spend my holidays. If anything, I have to carefully balance my time so that I can spend it with all the people I love.

The best thing about my situation (In addition to being well-loved!) is that both families put out amazing holiday feasts.

Which brings me to the last and most important part of this posting.

Leftovers!

No other holiday creates such an over abundance of food, that you’re almost always guaranteed leftovers.

And this is a good thing. A very good thing! πŸ™‚

Even people who don’t like leftovers will put aside their biases for a chance to take home a plate of savory turkey, or honey roasted ham. Mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, dinners rolls, and of course, pie, are all just as tasty the next day.

In my posting about good service, I talked about how good company always makes a meal better. And on no other occasion is it truer than Thanksgiving. Being around those you love, surrounded by a variety of heavenly food, one can’t help but enjoy a moment of bliss.

So as I come to an end of this post, let me take a moment to talk about what I’m thankful for. I am blessed with amazing friends and family. I live a “Laptop Bedouin” lifestyle that I really love. And I’m delighted to have an outlet like this blog to share my thoughts.

Thank you everyone for making my life the wonderful thing it is. My life doesn’t suck. Not even a little bit.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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