The first one away from family. In Chicago. I made my mom's cornbread dressing and took it to a big potluck hosted by some dudes living in a crazy house in Pilsen. The dressing was unevenly cooked--done around the edges, mushy in the middle. My boyfriend tooke a mincemeat pie from the grocery store. We all drank a lot, got loud, and had a blast.
The right after my stepdad had been moved from the hospital to the nursing home. I convinced my mom to come down to Austin for Thanksgiving. We, and two of my friends who weren't traveling home, went to a fancy Thanksgiving feast at The Driskill. It was really nice, but there was an undertone of sadness to the whole event. My stepdad died the following week.
The one right after I'd moved back to Austin with my fiance. We had another couple over, and between the four of us, we cooked up an amazing feast. While we were in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner, our Siberian Husky made off with the turkey carcass that was still on the dinner table and had a feast of his own. We'd smoked enough pot to think it was hilarious.
One at my grandmother's house when she'd purchased all the meals from the junior college's band booster club. They came in styrofoam containers--turkey, a scoop of dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes. My mother and aunts supplemented with pies and Parker House rolls. All the grown ups were pretty lit, so it wasn't a surprise when the rolls spilled out over the too-small pan in the oven and looked like slightly burnt scrotum sacks. Someone took pictures. Everyone thought it was hysterical.
The last one I had with my dad.
The one the first Thanksgiving the BH was living in Austin. Hosted my mom and four friends who were not traveling. The food was magnificent. I specifically remember having rhubarb pie for the first time, and loving it.
The one in Galveston. I was in college, and my mom, stepdad, and aunt, uncle, spouses and cousins all rented a place near the beach. We had shrimp instead of turkey.
The one with my dad where I found a wandering dog with a collar on on my way to his house. When I arrived, stray dog in tow, my very intoxicated father yelled at me for bringing the dog to his house. He was furious with me. I left with the dog, crying. Went back to my mom's house and eventually found the dog's owner and took the dog home to them. I left town that weekend without speaking to my dad again.
The one at my stepfather's mother's house in Athens, Texas. I ate a lot of coconut cream pie that had been sitting out a bit too long. The next day, I had my first case of food poisoning, and as I was in the feverish throes of vomiting and shitting myself silly, I tearfully begged my mom to let me die.She started to cry. I was eleven.
The one that we had at Mom's house when I was home from college. Mom, my stepdad, my grandmother, my Aunt and her husband. It was the first time I'd taken on some real cooking duties. I wanted everything to be so nice. I read up on how to properly set the table. I really focused on the presentation of my dishes. I think it was one of only about 10 times that dining room was used during the 20 years we lived in that house.
The one where I silently got up and left my dad's house after he'd said the word "nigger" more than I could handle while watching the Texas vs. A&M game.
Last year. Hosting BH's crotchety old dad and BH's two sons.Purchased a new gravy boat. I ordered the turkey, but cooked everything else. I finally got Mom's dressing right. A strong, windy cold front blew in while we were eating, dropping the temperature by at least 20 degrees.