SIGH, last time I posted I said that I would be posting more often.  Hasn’t happened and not without good reason.  This has been an insane period in my life as I have been working on an ambitious Amish-related project.  I’ve learned a ton over the past month or so, but, wow, has it been tough.  The project has consumed most of my time, leaving very little left for extraneous writing.

So here we are on the eve of Thanksgiving.  People are hitting the highway for the long journey to grandma’s and filling the grocery store aisles in search for canned cranberries. I always make every attempt to steer clear of grocery stores today and most years I fail in that quest, although this year I think I’ll succeed.  The Butterball aisle is insanity and scuffles are the norm around the cans of pumpkin pie.  Our family’s Thanksgivings are pretty traditional with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and pie.  Such culinary traditions anchor us firmly in the happiness and carefree of yesterday while soothing the soul with a comforting balm as we face an unknown future.  These traditions are important because as crazy as our world has become there’s something comforting in knowing at least the stuffing will be the same, the mashed potatoes will be whipped and fluffy, and the turkey dry.   There’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football, all traditions which provide a soothing stop during a hectic year.

And of course my Amish friends sometimes snicker at all of the harried rush we all launch ourselves into in the days before Thanksgiving often observing that “every day” should be Thanksgiving.  And they’re right, but at least the third Thursday of  each November we’re forced to stop and give thanks and for that I’m thankful.

So, do any of you have any culinary traditions that might seem a bit offbeat on the Thanksgiving table to others but are a tradition on yours?   Does anyone forgo turkey and have something else like ham or even pizza?  Do any of you go out to dinner instead?