The Tofurkey Rides Again

I’ve been seriously neglecting my blog, and although I’m probably the only one suffering, it’s time to give it some serious TLC. Especially with the biggest foodie holiday in the US just around the corner: Turkey Day!

Of course, my Turkey Day will be turkey-free, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be excluded from the festivities. After plans got changed on where I’d be spending Thanksgiving, I’ve begun to consider the seriously different traditions different families have around this holiday. Whether it’s where you spend the day, what you cook or even how you cook it, looking at the difference between my Thanksgiving celebration and my boyfriend’s kind of blew me away.

Personally, I prefer mine.

But I’m sure he prefers his, too. After all, it is tradition, right?

The first order of business is stuffing. (Dressing as my grandma calls it.) This year I have finally coerced my grandma’s famous dressing recipe out of her, and no, I won’t be sharing it with anyone. It’s not exactly a difficult recipe, but it is the best damn stuffing I’ve ever eaten.

Seriously.

I don’t even like eating other people’s stuffing.

And when I do eat anyone else’s stuffing, it’s just so complicated. There’s mushroom gravy here or some crazy spice there, and it’s all too much for me. Grandma’s stuffing is uncomplicated and absolutely perfect. She dries out several loaves of bread and tears them into bite-sized chunks, unlike some of the store-bought stuffing that’s shredded to bits.

I could make a meal of it. And I usually do, since I don’t eat the main course.

I guess simplicity really sums up our entire meal at Thanksgiving. We have several dishes: simple, homestyle favorites like corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, real cranberries, rolls, salad, turkey, pumpkin pie . . . and that amazing stuffing.

Sometimes we have apple pie, too.

But that’s it.

No mac and cheese, like at my boyfriend’s. No green bean casserole, like my best friend’s mom makes. A few simple dishes that everyone likes, and it’s more than enough.

It’s also all home-cooked. By two people. My grandma and my oldest cousin. They wake up before the sun comes and cook all day so we can have dinner Thanksgiving around 2pm. It’s so old fashioned. I love it.

But some families have more of a communal dinner where everyone brings something to share. The host family does the turkey, and everyone else brings the sides. Or other families who order food to pick up. Or even . . . dine out. I can’t imagine spending Thanksgiving Day at a restaurant, even if it was with my family.

I guess it’s different for everyone, though. This year I get to spend Thanksgiving at home, with my family, and the best stuffing I’ve ever tasted. Maybe if I’m lucky, my other cousin will have convinced them to make me some tofurkey.

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