November 29th, 2009

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Gobble gobble

Thanksgiving this year was the end of an era and the beginning of something new. For years now my family has celebrated the holiday at my grandmother's place. She and my mother had long past passed on the cooking duties for the meal to my sisters but everyone still gathered there each year. This year was different in that Connie hosted the event at her new home and it was a more mixed group as Jeff's family also came.

It was actually the first time I had seen Connie's new place though they had bought it almost half a year ago. That might seem sort of surprising but it's not like I travel around much when I can help it and I've never quite understood the thrill other people seem to get out of seeing real estate. Not to mention the endless remodeling and appliance talk going on at the time may as well have been a suburb of hell despite all the interest everyone else showed in the project.

That said, it was sorta interesting to see where my sister's family now lives. The house is a Tudor-styled place, as are most of the houses on the block. I felt like I was going through traveling down the road in some small European village or that Hansel and Gretel were going to come popping out of some of them. I know that might not be exactly fitting, but that's the sensation I got out of it. You don't see that sort of architecture in most parts of Jersey where we're mostly used to colonials, duplexes, or mcmansions.

As for thanksgiving itself, things went pretty well. I spent a good chunk of time watching first Die Hard and then the Princess Bride on tv. Intermixed with the movie watching was a lot of mingling and milling about as everyone helped with and/or waited for the food. As was usual, we ended up having two separate thanksgiving meals in one. On one side there was the traditional turkey with all the various dishes you would expect. On the other side, it was just as traditional, though not for the average thanksgiving. My family has been doing this for years now, with turkey and trimmings in one room and Chinese hotpot in the other. It's a bit of an unusual mix but it's become tradition too over the years. If you've never had hotpot before, you can think of it as a very elaborate fondue with all sorts of raw vegetables, seafood, and meats with a tub of boiling broth to cook it in. I've got some videos of the setup I might get around to uploading eventually.

Overall the meal went fine though it was a little personally disappointing. I ended up not liking a lot of the dishes, though the turkey was spiffy. I almost always pass on the hotpot since I find it to be too much of a bother and this year was no exception. Everyone else seemed to be happy with the outcome though and it's hard not to chalk it up as a success. I've certainly had worse thanksgiving's in my time.