829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Friday, November 26, 2010


I asked my brother to bring his guitar on Thanksgiving.
He brought his banjo instead.  That's cool.  I jokingly
requested the the classic (yawn) "smoke on the water".
My daughter immediately blurted, "I can do that!"
On a banjo?  Hans played the riff from "Lazy" instead. 

The kitchen is always the most crowded room, and yesterday
was no exception.  It's conversation central
and the hub of grub.  The big TV is just off to the right,
so it was easy to keep up on the football scores. 

Patti is non-stop before anyone arrives and still going
when we're all dragging ourselves to bed.  She really
is the consummate host.  How does she
remain looking so marvelous? 

Hors d'Oeuvres include a variety of artisanal cheeses
with assorted crackers, flatbreads and crisps.  There's
yellowfin tuna tartare with wasabi, chicken liver pate,
chunky salsa with scoopy chips, and two different
platters of crudite accompanied by hummus dip and a
ginger-miso dip as well.  Smoked whitefish spread is
available, as is pickled herring with beets, and a 
goat cheese log rolled in chopped nuts. 

Then came the clams casino.

The master of the house.  Mojo carves the first bird with surgical
precision while my father-in-law keeps said bird from slipping off
of the cutting board.  Mojo - he's already missing half a finger, so
be careful, wouldja?

The gravy simmers with giblets, necks, and the onions and herbs
that spent time inside of the turkeys while they roasted.  There is,
however, one secret that makes this gravy stand out from all others.

No rickety card tables here.  And seating assignments are delivered
by Price Waterhouse.  My cousin won't give up his method for
placement, but I can tell you the last time I sat next to my wife
was during the Reagan administration.

Hail, hail, the gang's all here, complete with the mad hurdle
over the coffee table to beat the timer.

From the upper left corner, clockwise:  Slow-cooked kale with
bacon, mashed rutabagas with thyme and clove essence,
 knob salad, cranberry relish, assorted chunks of dark meat (yum),
breast meat, stuffing, gravy, and yams with a pecan-coconut-
brown sugar crust. 

Mom's flaky-crust apple pie, Patti's cinnamon ice cream, and Aunt
Bev's chocolate pie.  Definitely not my plate, cause there's
no punkin pie on it!

Tim and Uncle Mojo on the man-porch.  I intentionally left out
the kids surrounding us who were bumming drags and sips.
We're all going to hell.

Evidence of a day well spent.  But most importantly, we spent it
with one another, like we do every last Thursday in November.
We have certain traditions that define us as a family, and we're
confident that the younger generations will carry those traditions
on. I can't imagine spending Thanksgiving any other way.
They are what keep me looking forward to Our Favorite Day.  


  1. How's about we set the clocks back a couple of days and do it all again? I think we need more practice.

  2. I'm not sure about that, Mojo. Looks to me you guys have it down, pat.

  3. What was Patti doing to the bird?

  4. We keep it simple with the birds: lots of fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme) and and a quartered onion inside the cavity; olive oil, salt and ground pepper on the outside. Yum!

  5. Awesome gathering and feast. Well done. Who is the quadruped?

  6. Looks like a great time was had by all.

    But, that may be explained by 20 cheerful feasters sharing 15 bottles of cheer. And that may also explain why the quadruped seems to be the most focused in the group shot.


  7. Look closely - Besides "Amber", the golden retriever, there's "Kali", the dark brown labradoodle being held by my niece!

  8. Hazel stayed home. She doesn't play nicely with her cousins.

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  10. Love you to bits, little cousin.