Thanksgiving is one of our all-time favorite holidays here at CCA. Who could not love a holiday that’s focused around tradition, food, wine, friends and family? Read on to learn about CCA staffers’ family traditions, favorite dishes, and plans for this year’s delicious holiday.
Kimberly’s family was nomadic growing up. Her father was a career naval officer and as such, holiday traditions were a bit of a tapestry of where they lived at the time. Hawaii, Charleston, Connecticut, Europe – theytended to pull a little tradition from everywhere they lived. Given that the maternal side of the family often has the strongest pull with traditions, her mother’s time in Boston, MA in her teens and college years influenced her Thanksgiving table. It doesn’t get much more classic than a New England Thanksgiving. When she was 13, she moved to Southeastern Connecticut, where she spent the next four years of her young adulthood. Given their proximity to Boston, they made frequent trips to Boston to see the Swan Boats, eat sundaes at Brigham’s Ice Cream Parlor, and go to the science museum on the Charles River. One of their classic family treats was going to Durgin Park for prime rib and the piece de la resistance, Indian pudding, a classic New England wintry dessert fashioned from simple ingredients: corn meal, molasses, milk, butter, sugar, eggs – called Indian pudding after the pilgrims’ name for the ground corn meal they encountered made by the Native Americans. Their family version is prepared in the double boiler, but this recipe of Durgin Park’s Indian Pudding by food authority, David Rosengarten, is made in stone crocks. It is a delicious, homey, nourishing simple dessert that always delights.
Jen’s family is full of great cooks, and so it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is basically their favorite excuse to pull out all the stops and make the most fabulous meal possible. Jen’s favorite part is snacking on fresh shucked oysters and her dad’s stuffed mushrooms with herbs and gruyere. She always opens a special bottle of Champagne to share with her family and friends while they enjoy appetizers, put the finishing touches on the meal and watch football. This year, she’s opening a bottle of vintage Paul Dethune, and toasting with her friends and family whom she is thankful for everyday.
Kira plans on spending Thanksgiving the same way she has her entire life – at her parents’ house in Marin County with close and extended family. They do things potluck-style, where each party brings a dish or two and a bottle of wine to share. Her mom always prepares the turkey, while her grandma makes all the pies and desserts, and everyone else contributes in between. Not only does this guarantee less individual cooking and an abundance of delicious food and wine, but also tons of tasty leftovers! Kira likes to switch up her dish year by year, but this year, she plans on making garlic chive mashed potatoes. She looks forward to catching up with extended relatives and meeting a few new ones, as well!
Shashi’s family is doing something different this year – they are traveling all the way to Missouri for Thanksgiving. Usually everyone gathers in her hometown in Colorado, but this year, her aunt in Missouri decided to hold the Thanksgiving festivities at her house. Everyone helps out when it comes to food, but every year Shashi makes her famous mashed potatoes with a secret ingredient that her family tries to get out of her every year. Being gluten-free is hard on Thanksgiving, but she is excited to try out some new recipes that she found on Pinterest! Before sitting down to enjoy the delicious food, her family partakes in a flag football tournament, which gets pretty competitive every year. This year will be extremely special, as she is spending the holiday with some relatives that she hasn’t seen in years.
Jordan and her family will gather at her Aunt’s house in the South Bay. Everyone is responsible for bringing something for the meal, whether a dish of some sort or beverages. This year, she will be making an appetizer – her Pinterest favorite – baked Brie topped with brown sugar and cranberries, wrapped in pastry dough. But the dish she is most looking forward to her grandparents’ specialty, crab salad – her family has had this dish at holidays for at long as she can remember and it is her absolute favorite! She is so thankful to spend this day with her family with delicious food, amazing wine, and lots of laughter. Thanksgiving is a special time that acts as the start of many celebrations to come before the New Year with both friends and family. After the big Thanksgiving meal, she will spend the night at her parents house, play games and get started on preparing the house for Christmas!
We are grateful year round for our clients, friends, and colleagues, 2014 promises to be a year of great portent. From our families to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!