Thanksgiving at my parents’ house can get a little crazy. I’m Indian and come from a big extended family. Not that this necessitates the crazy, but it certainly helps explain some of it. We rarely have less than twenty people in attendance, most of which stay for the weekend. We have family, friends, friends of family, friends of friends of family, and the occasional “who’s that guy?”.
This was a festive event. Kids ran around screaming. Adults sat around chatting. We had speeches, we had stories (most of which we have heard before), we had pictures. We had lots of laughter and a few suppressed (good) tears.
In a gathering like this, we can’t all agree all the time. But what we can agree on is food. Well, agree that there should be a lot of it and that it should be eaten in great quantities. But with that many people, you can bet we have varied diets. Some are vegetarians, some are vegans, some are omnivorous omnivores, some of us are paleo pescatarians (ok, one of us). At my mother’s table, all are welcome. We have the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls and cranberry sauce. We have the variant cranberry chutney, sweet potato curry, and lemon pilaf. Then we have the desserts. This year, in addition to the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies, we had brownies made with walnut oil, persimmon pudding, blueberry cobbler parfaits, and a very messy Indian (ahem, Native American) pudding prepared by my cousin’s New England WASP husband. People were a little upset we forgot the ice cream. There was alcohol. “Cocktail hour” featured my father’s famous margaritas. We had wine (3 whites, 2 reds) with dinner and finished up with Mozart’s chocolate liquor and Drambuie. When it comes to food, we go big or go home.