Thanksgiving 2019

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-12-03 - Stories

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Celebrating the holiday in Montana with family.

I'm not much of a holiday person. Certainly not a fan of Halloween or Christmas. But Thanksgiving is one holiday I do truly love. It's a cooking and food celebration. Who doesn't love that? And instead of a confusing mishmash of themes like Halloween, or a celebration of materialism like Christmas, it's a time of thanks and gratitude. I love that we have one day to just be thankful for what we have, who we are, and all the good things.

And I'm also not one to leave the house, ever. So it was nice to fly back to Montana and spend a weekend with friends and family.

I really want to thank my sister and her husband for the bottomless hospitality they showed me. I know I can be quite the finicky handful to plan around. Putting together a guest bedroom for me meant a lot. That was special. As was putting up with my weird food challenge tradition. And driving all over so I could get some photos.

And it was nice to sit down at a family table and share delicious food. It is, after all, a food holiday.

The menu is here. The collected photos are here.

As my "too many dishes" Thankgivings go, this one was near perfect. Having Sharon help with the cooking made it so much better. Less stress, better food. We didn't get the stuffed mushrooms done, but the rest made it to the table. The Thanksgiving benedicts turned out very well. Probably not something I'll make again, but I certainly will take the concept of "stuffing French toast" and do more with that. The sous vide rouladen recipe needs to be dialed in better, but I like it over the traditional method. The tamales were the dish I was most excited about and they turned out just right.

My garlic ranch dip proved quite popular. I'll post that recipe tomorrow.

What am I thankful for?

I'm thankful for friends and family. I can be a very contrary, anti-social, pain in the ass for sure. It's very happy making to know I have people who enjoy my company just as I am. I often feel I can't relax in polite society, as I truly don't want to be as rude as I otherwise would be. This weekend was very relaxing. Montana will never feel like home to me, but I did feel "home for the holiday" this year.

I'm thankful for being able to live extravagantly now and then. I know many can't. We spent a ton of money on food for our Thanksgiving feast. It was extravagant. I donated a larger amount to a charity I like that feeds the homeless. I'm very thankful for the bounty I have. I hope that donation can make others thankful.

I'm thankful for World of Warcraft. I know that sounds silly. But I am.

I'm thankful for all the great photos I've gotten this year. So many special moments. The Oregon coast, Utah, California desert, here and there in San Diego, my own little hermit studio.

I'm thankful that at 56 I seem to be reaching the place I've wanted to be my whole life. Less stuck in my own narcissism. Able to see the virtue in not being endlessly selfish. Something other than broke all the time.

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