Thanksgiving is alway special for Tronster and his family. This is the time, like an annual family reunion, that most of us can get together. We all live in different parts of the South East USA, and Thanks giving is when we come together. It’s like any other family gathering, you take the time to welcome each other, and catch up on the family gossip.
My aunt always hosts the meal now. She is centrally located for many of the families. Christmas time we are normally all spread out. But Thanksgiving. Oh my Thanksgiving we come together to share fellowship and food.
There are 5 stages to a successful Thanksgiving gathering tradition for Tronster. I wanted to share them with you for entertainment, and maybe some assistance on your next family tradition.
For any successful gathering, there needs to be coordination. Otherwise, you will have 5 turkeys and a can of green beans for Thanksgiving dinner. My family utilizes a facebook group to keep in touch and coordinate such events. This year, my cousin took the lead. We are all invited, and then we post what is needed and what we are going to bring. Someone will bring the Collard Greens, Red Velvet Cake, Deviled Eggs, casseroles, (Both broccoli and green bean), sweet potatoes and so on. Once we have the list of volunteer stuff, we then assign the mandatory stuff. (Ice, forks, plates, etc)
You have volunteered to bring a dish. No matter where you are in the country, the grocery stores are packed. The people in these stores are thinking the same thing you are, Thanksgiving. A week, or maybe even ten days, seems to be the magic timeframe to hit the local stores around my part of the country. Our dish this year, required a carefully crafted trip to Harris teeter. When dealing with fresh vegetables, you have to gather the food quickly. I think because of the options in the densely populated area, we have never had issues getting our food for thanksgiving.
Preparations include more than just the food. Tronster will be traveling on Thanksgiving morning. This brings up decisions. Which car to take? Is there gas in the car? How long to get to the destination? Have we been there before? What is the weather like there?
This year, we are gathering in a different location. So I had to research how long it takes to drive, make sure the car had gas, and determine if i will need to stop. Being prepared for a quick 1 day road trip is important to a successful, stress reduced, family gathering.
The car is full of gas. The food is prepared. The morning is approaching. Sunshine and I get up early to arrive around 10:30. A four and half hour drive lays ahead. We will be leaving Casa De Tronster around 5:30 AM. We have snacks, water, coffee and the GPS is set. The good thing about leaving early in the morning is traffic is normally light. Unless you have to navigate I95 any where around the capitol. Turn on the radio for the traffic report, and something has happen on 95 to cause a 3 mile back up. Lucky for us, we are using I81 this morning.
During the drive, you look for good gas prices and a place to grab some breakfast. Now remember, you are on your way to the biggest meal of the year. So eat your breakfast at a time it will not effect your appetite for a late lunch.
Our family gathering consist of a few basic things. We catch up from the last time we spoke to to the relatives. See how things are going. We are a family of country folks, so we discuss such things as the last hunting trip, the new rifle, or even a fishing adventure or two. Since we are out in the country, at some point, we will show off our shooting skills.
The last minute food preps are underway. The turkey and ham are finishing up. The table is set. The blessing is given. Then let the plate stacking, lip smacking, casserole slinging, fried cornbread and gravy smothered dinner begin. We have found that quality paper plates are the best. Multiple trips to the serving table is encouraged. The first round, a little of everything. No need to hurt family feelings. Second round, your favorites, loaded up. Third round, the new stuff you did even know you liked.
Break-time, a little coffee and more conversation
Fourth round, desert. Boy oh boy its desert time. Get you some desert from the desert table. Everyone has a specialty. Pound cake, Red velvet cake, fudge and even some pie. Help your self. Has it gotten a little cold? Need it heated a touch? This is a no judgement feast. You can throw the pie in the microwave for a few seconds, just to warm up the filling.
The family is full. We have all flopped into our seating position. Some will be spending the night. Others, such as myself, will be doing home. We continue to chat. We go for a walk and photo tour. We all gather on the steps and take a family picture. Then its time to start the clean up. We get up and revenge the remains fo the turkey circus, clean the ham bone, and judiciously separate the remainder of the food amongst the family. We are going to turkey, ham, collards and sweet potatoes for a few days.
Tronster and sunshine load up, and make the drive home. The mouth watering left overs are stored in the Frigidaire, and we head off to bed.
This is a thanksgiving story and tradition. I hope you have all enjoyed it, and if you care to share one fo your traditions, let me know in the comments.