Monday, November 30, 2009


What are the holidays for if not shaking the dust off the favorite family traditions? In our family, for instance, a favorite tradition of ours is that someone (Katie*) will always get mad while we’re playing card games and storm off crying. See? Now that’s what family is all about.

This year for Thanksgiving we had some new family traditions brought into the mix, as well as revisiting some old ones. For the first time ever, we didn’t celebrate the holidays at home; my parents and brother actually flew to NC for a below-the-mason-dixon line Thanksgiving. Much to my father’s chagrin, there were no coon skin hats or sawed off shotguns involved.

But despite the new locale, many traditions were kept in place. For instance, Michael turned everyone out and played video games for 12 hours straight and Katie sat on the couch and read. No one said family togetherness had to involve interacting with each other, did they?

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My Fam: Social Butterflies.

On Thursday, the family had their “traditional” turkey meal down at Katie’s house in Charlotte while Matt and I spent Thanksgiving with his family in High Point. On Friday, my family descended upon our house for extravagant meal #2. (#3 for Matt + I, if you were counting. My skinny jeans certainly were.) Dad and I went and picked out a tenderloin together, which he and Matt did on the grill. I made a yummy warm spinach salad from Ellie Krieger’s cookbook and stovetop green beans with glazed pecans. Not sure whether those count as Yankee beans or not… stovetop = Yankee, but the involvement of butter + pecans = southern. Could it be that I finally found the green beans that please everyone? We’ll just have to call them Yankee Belle beans. After a near miss when we thought Teeter had run out of canned pumpkins, Dad made his traditional pumpkin pie which coincidentally I am having for breakfast today. Highly nutritious.

11 27 09 Thanksgiving 2009 117I will desperately try to refrain from posting pictures of everything I ate all weekend. I’m prone to do that, you know.

11 27 09 Thanksgiving 2009 119You’ll have spinach and you’ll like it, gosh darn it.

Saturday my mom and I got our hands messy making our family’s traditional cut out Christmas cookies. This is my Grandma Claffey’s recipe that my mom has been making ever since I can remember. However, this year I implemented a new change: I made Mom switch from margarine to butter. I think she was a little nervous, since she’s probably been making them exactly as Grandma’s recipe calls for, oh, 31 years and hey, it would kinda suck to mess up 4 dozen cookies just because I’m a little bit afraid of trans fat. (Ok, a lot bit afraid.) Fortunately, for me and everyone else’s arteries, they were delicious with butter.

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I mean, it’s butter. You can’t go wrong, right?

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My mom would probably like me to point out that after cutting out the first two dozen, I went and took a nap on the couch while she finished up the last two and then frosted all of them.

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Moms are champs, aren’t they?

My brother, Mom and I went to see Precious on Saturday night. (Katie had taken Dad back down to Charlotte for a flight to Florida for a golf trip and Matt was on call.) Precious was INCREDIBLE. I don’t think I can do it justice to describe it, so I’ll just leave at this: go see it. Don’t expect to feel warm n’ fuzzy after leaving it, but expect to be powerfully moved. Maybe the best film I’ve seen in 2009. Don’t tell Edward and Bella.

On Sunday I took the remainder of the fam back down to Charlotte, and Mom, Katie and I went shopping at Trader Joe’s. Not having a Trader Joe’s is one of two faults I consider Winston-Salem to have. (The other is Willard’s cabs.) I loaded up on Prosecco (duh), dried every-kinda-fruit-imaginable, tons of fish, tubs of hummus and the best roasted balsamic butter veggies in. the. world. Not kidding. (PS, I like food. Did you notice?) The rest of Sunday I spent sitting in traffic on I-85 and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

It was SUCH a great weekend having time to spend with both of our families. My favorite parts of the weekend were having Matt’s family over before we went to the big lunch and just having some quieter time with them, waking up every morning to have coffee with my momma and dragging my sister out to the field behind our house to do a photo shoot so I could practice using different camera settings. (She won’t let me post the pictures, but I might anyways. I’ll wait a day or two to see if she reads this.) The weekend went by so fast, but I have a feeling December is going to slip right on past us and we’ll be packing for Rochester before I know it! The holidays seem to do that to ya – take forever to get here, then just whoosh right on by. What’s with that?

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The Holidays: Party Naps Recommended.

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