This year we are spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws in Pennsylvania. The first few times I spent Thanksgiving (or any major holiday, really) away from my family I struggled. It is really difficult to be out of your holiday comfort zone, even if that zone is (slightly) dysfunctional and crazy.* I love spending time with my family, especially now that there are "grands" as my mom calls them. Watching the cousins play together is so much fun.
I didn't know how particular I had become until I spent a holiday with another family. If I remember correctly, my inner thoughts went something like this: Crap. They actually used mushroom soup in the green bean casserole. I guess nobody else really uses cream of celery because they think mushrooms are gross. I don't want to look like a pig. I will just take one scoop of everything and one ladle of gravy. I won't drown everything in gravy like I want to. Wow, this gravy is good. Um, where are the sweet potatoes? THEY DON'T EAT SWEET POTATOES???** See what I mean? I had gotten super particular! Probably not an attractive trait.
But as I came to the realization that every holiday would not be spent at my parent's house, I started to appreciate spending holidays with other families sometimes, especially now with my in-laws. I decided to embrace these times. Here is what I found: I enjoy trying the different foods that they prepare for the holidays. I'll just bring the sweet potatoes if it is not their thing. My MIL is a good cook and an even better baker. There will be no lack of delicious eats this Thursday. Another perk is that they eat dinner early on holidays. I know this is typical of many households, but the complete opposite of how my family operates. I rather enjoy the early holiday dinner. It allows more nighttime snacking opportunity. Read: turkey sammies! And lastly, I really enjoy spending the time with them. This Thanksgiving my SIL will be there with her significant other and that makes it extra special. As with so many other families, we are always doing the holiday dance...who is going where on what day and at what time. Often we miss each other or only spend limited time with each other. I'm glad we will all be together this holiday!
This year I am bringing an appy, I think the cheesy sausage balls, sweet potatoes and maybe an apple pie. mmmm...I better get busy making that crust tomorrow!
*I am in no way saying that my family is dysfunctional or crazy. At least no more so than the typical family. No hurt feelings intended...
**These thoughts are in no way meant to hurt anyone's feelings. I have always been the recipient of good food and gracious hosts. And my first few holidays away from my family were with a long-ago forgotten ex, not my lovely in-laws!