When Brad and I got married, we were told by our pre-marriage counselor that you don't just marry a person...you marry their entire family. For better or for worse, I have found those words to be very true.
I have also learned that you marry their holiday traditions as well. Hence the "for worse."
Brad and I have very different ideas about what "makes" Thanksgiving. For example: The first Thanksgiving of our marriage, we were with my family. My mother asked Brad if there was anything he especially wanted with Thanksgiving dinner. My husband replied, "olives." I know, it's random. And very easy. So we were happy to oblige.
In my family, we eat later in the afternoon, so there are always appetizers out early in the day for snacking. My mother put out a bowl of mixed olives with appetizers. By the time dinner rolled they, along with all of the munchies, were gone. When we sat down at the table, Brad looked around and asked where the olives were. Apparently in his family, olives are a part of the meal...lesson learned.
Another difference between us revolves around vegetables. Brad likes his Thanksgiving veggies creamed into some sort of casserole with a crunchy topping and virtually unrecognizable as vegetables. Now I realize that much of the country is with my husband on this one, but for me personally, green bean casserole makes me want to hurl. And that nasty sweet potato stuff with marshmallows...bleh!
So this year, it is Brad's mother's turn to spend Thanksgiving with us and our original plan was to travel to Nashville. And then I imagined what it would be like traveling with three small children during the busiest traveling weekend of the year. By car or air, the vision was terrifying!
So I suggested that his mom and stepdad come to us instead. I told Brad that way we still get to spend Thanksgiving with them, but we don't have to travel. Plus the added benefit of getting to make Thanksgiving dinner myself. To this point in my argument, my husband responded, "What do you care about making Thanksgiving dinner? You never eat anything but turkey anyways."
Um, yeah dude...that's the point! This year I am making a meal that I will actually eat because I like it, not because I am being polite. This is what I am making this year: (all recipes from Martha Stewart)
Simple Stuffing (which I will not be stuffing in the turkey!)
Basic Cranberry Sauce (sooo much better than that gross stuff from a can!)
So what are those dishes that "make" Thanksgiving at your house?