A Whole Different Kind of Thanksgiving

This year, for the first time ever, I won’t be at my family’s for Thanksgiving. It’s a little shocking to think that I’ve been eating the same turkey, the same stuffing, the same homemade cranberry sauce, the same apple & pumpkin pies, for nearly 40 years, but unless I’m having a brain fart and forgetting, I’ve just never done it anywhere else. My first husband was Israeli and all his family was over there, so we always went to my parents. I can’t recall ever going to a boyfriend’s for the holiday—having a boyfriend was such a rarity, and it usually didn’t coincide with any major festivities. Even in the time I’ve known S, he’s always been reluctant to face the traffic and the headache of traveling to see his family on the same day that everyone else in the country is traveling—especially when we go down there fairly frequently anyway—so we’ve gone to my parents cuz they’re local. But this year, oh, this year, we’ll be going to Tim and Victor’s. They’re friends of the family on S’s mom’s side, and we’ve been hearing about their spectacular Thanksgivings for years. This, S announced, would be worth a shlep.

I can hardly wait. No offense, Mom, but after all these years I’m kinda curious to see how someone else does it. 28 people! And if you click through to the TJrecipes.com link on Tim’s blog, you’ll get a sense of how well these guys know their food. This is a Thanksgiving that’s worth fighting god-knows-how-many hours of traffic to reach.

Now, a little help, people. I’ve asked Tim what I can bring. Of course he said they didn’t need anything, but he immediately acknowledged that was an absurd thing to tell me. They always love additional appetizers or desserts, he said. So, here are my choices. Please vote for your favorites:

Butternut Squash Salad with Soft Lettuces & Parmesan
Cheese Straws
Hot Artichoke Dip
Mushroom Turnovers
Fennel Salad with Toasted Walnuts

Individual Apple Pie Triangles
The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Entire World
Chocolate Polenta Cake
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Those are just a few ideas—if none of them thrill you, feel free to suggest something else altogether! Just bear in mind that there will be some traveling involved (by car, about 3 hours)…

And Tim & Victor, if you happen to see this, your votes count double!