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Thanksgiving. Leftovers. Thanksgiving. Pizza.

November 27, 2017

Can we share Thanksgiving stories? You know, now that it’s over. They say that annual gatherings like these are a great place to create memories. So what stood out as memorable?

I’m not entirely sure what normal people do on Thanksgiving weekend.

I think it’s travel on Wednesday. Get drunk with old friends on Wednesday night. Eat dinner early on Thursday. Watch sports. Fall asleep on the couch. Go out for a movie. Eat a leftover turkey sandwich. Wake up early on Friday and shop, shop, shop. Watch sports on Saturday. Take a train, plane, or automobile back home on Sunday. Is that close?

It can’t be. There is no normal anymore. There are plenty of people who try to squeeze multiple Thanksgiving meals into the same day. Many have given up on the Black Friday rites in lieu of Cyber Monday. I hear there are even people who are turning away from sports for political purposes.

Before you share your most memorable Thanksgiving moments, I wanted to tell you Thanksgiving 2017 played out for the Profussor.

We’re old. There is no drinking with friends on Wednesday night. Especially since we travel on Thursday. It’s just a day to try and finish up a week’s worth of work by midweek. It’s also a day to do the hunting and gathering of stuff to bring to our Thanksgiving hosts. So that sent me to Chester’s Smokehouse for a big bag of meaty treats, and Westmere Beverage for all kinds of tasty brews.

Some might say that I over bought at each stop. However, everything was consumed and enjoyed tremendously.

On Thanksgiving itself Raf and Awesome A. prepared a stunning feast for the two families. Stunning. Raf spatchcocked his bird, and made a ton of super buttery stuffing. Plus there were too many vegetable sides to count. The sheer volume and variety was astonishing. AA even made four desserts for four adults and four children. Her chocolate pecan pie was fantastic.

Friday I had a slice of that pie for first breakfast. Second breakfast as a bagel with smoked salmon. Lunch was leftover turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sandwiches on AA’s homemade rolls. Oh man, those rolls.

Then we said goodbye to New York and hello to Connecticut. We checked into the hotel, had a swim, and then met the family for a “light” sushi dinner. I wasn’t hungry when I arrived. So all I really wanted was to split an app of the hamachi collar. But part of my job as parent is to help the kids explore new menus and new cuisines, and that sometimes means eating what gets refused by the kids. So I enjoyed a few pieces of tempura, a tamago nigiri, and a few pieces of simple maki.

Perhaps the highlight of that meal was getting to share the hamachi collar with Little Miss Fussy and converting her from being fish ambivalent to fish positive.

Family Thanksgiving happens on Saturday. The kids had a hotel breakfast buffet, but I was still full from our Friendsgiving on Thursday. Mrs. Fussy went on an eleven mile run before the meal, and came back famished. So she grabbed a Chipotle burrito before our giant feast. When we rolled up to my Aunt N’s place a little after noon, My Cousin S (who told me he doesn’t like the nickname Scaaaaaat) prepared two cheese platters while I prepared the meat board.

This was perhaps the first year where we were not left with a crazy amount of cheese and charcuterie leftovers. The First Drop American Pale Ale from Upper Pass was a big hit, even with Aunt N who previously thought that she didn’t like hoppy beers.

I couldn’t stop myself at just one plate of creamed onions and stuffing. Yes, there was turkey too. And mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and brussels sprouts. But those other elements just play supporting roles to the stuffing and onions.

Little Miss Fussy helped to make the whipped cream. I’ve been banned from whipped cream production on Thanksgiving, but mine would have been better.

Sunday, I got to fulfil a dream I’ve had for the past several years, but just couldn’t quite nail the timing. It involves hitting the New Haven Long Wharf food trucks before picking up the family’s pizza order from Pepe’s. With my daughter and my Icelandic cousin, we left a little earlier than usual to arrive in the food truck village at 11am. That’s when Pepe’s opens, so we called in our order and were told it would take 35 minutes to cook.

So be it.

That meant we had 25 minutes to eat al fresco. We hit the cuban sandwich truck and one of the taco trucks for a pre-pizza snack. The sandwich was a bit of a let down, but I had to try. The cabeza and lengua tacos on the other hand were delicious. And at only $1.50 a pop per taco, it’s well worth a quick detour to explore this vibrant food truck scene.

We got to Pepe’s on time, but they were running a few minutes late, and that was perfect. Waiting for pizza and watching the ballet of pizza peels launching stretched dough into the oven, turning pies on the impossibly hot deck, and pulling blistered and charred pizzas out of the door is mesmerizing. Even the act of pulling dough, and the sure handedness of topping each round is inspiring.

The best part about picking up the pizzas is eating them hot and fresh out of the oven. Uncle M doesn’t mind getting the clam pie delivered to his home, or reheating it in the oven. I think it’s a minor tragedy, because those delicate clams get overcooked.

Mental note. Pepperoni at Pepe’s good. Sausage bad. Salami is okay, Bacon is still great. The simple straight up tomato pie is fantastic. And I didn’t even get to have a bite of white broccoli, which I love. The simple reason was because I filled up on tacos and that damn cuban sandwich.

The good news is that I was able to take home a bunch of white broccoli.
The bad news is that I weighed myself when I came home, and I’m back on the diet.

Although white broccoli is full of broccoli, so I can probably work through my stash a slice at a time. I will also treat myself to small portions of leftover stuffing which I brought back home. My Icelandic cousin even brought a bag of my favorite Icelandic candies, and those should totally be fine in a few weeks once I right the ship.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to do a little cardio and get my heart pumping with something else besides bacon topped pizza.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2017 12:17 pm

    We missed you this year, Daniel.

    • November 27, 2017 1:55 pm

      Oh good. Sorry about that. I wasn’t sure how welcome I would be after the you know what.

      Plus, my holiday schedule has shifted around a bit. And there has also been a shift in familiar responsibilities surrounding Thanksgiving treats.

      We’ll catch up soon. Cheers.

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