Thanksgiving with someone else's family is always interesting, but for me it is a real struggle. Growing up an atheist, we didn't have a lot of religious traditions associated with holidays, but what we did have was food. My family is big on certain foods for certain occasions. These traditions can be augmented, but never replaced. And since Thanksgiving has basically turned into a holiday of gluttony with very little thought to the gift of the food, it's really the only thing I associate with Thanksgiving.
That means that spending this holiday without my food staples is very difficult; it feels like I'm celebrating Thanksgiving in a dimension where there is no good food (not that other people's food isn't good, just that I'm attached to my traditions!). Last Thanksgiving, I actually wanted to make food to contribute to the Orams feast, but my offers were summarily rebuffed. Perhaps since I was "just" the girlfriend, my food was not deemed worthy enough to contribute. But this year, as the wife (how much changes in a year!), my offering was accepted and I got to make my cornbread dressing. Success! A few pictures of the process:
Everything has to be sauteed for forever, but it's worth it! There's me with my apron in my mother-in-law's enviable kitchen, and sporting an awesome snood made by Cammie! I wish I had a picture of the finished product, but alas, it disappeared shortly after it was finished! It includes: cornbread, cranberry, sausage, leeks, pecans and walnuts, and chicken broth! Love that stuff. If you're interested in the recipe, which I have also used at Christmas time, please see Epicurious!
I hope everyone enjoyed their own traditions, and didn't face the TSA line that we did on our way home. I'll post about Advent soon, but I am definitely indebted to Cammie for posting the following video which gets me in the Spirit every time I watch it!