Traditions, adjusted

It’s Sunday afternoon, Thanksgiving weekend. I haven’t knit a stitch in five days. But I’ve played hostess to a house full of family, and it’s been fun. CollegeGuy was home from Orlando for the weekend, and it was great to have him around. Now he and all the guests have gone back home, so I’m taking a moment to catch up.

I haven’t hosted Thanksgiving in nearly 20 years. We used to round robin New York, St. Louis, Chapel Hill with DH’s family, but when we moved back to Portland from New York in 1995, Thanksgiving landed semi-permanently at my in-laws’ home in St. Louis. This year, I asked to have Thanksgiving here, so that the freshman CollegeGuy could come home for the holiday. I think he appreciated the chance to be home and see his friends, most of whom stayed on this coast for school. Our niece is in London for a semester abroad, so she joined us via skype on Thanksgiving afternoon.


I made the traditional meals on the traditional days. If it’s Wednesday dinner, it must be brisket. If it’s Saturday lunch, it must be minestrone. Saturday night is always turkey, redux. I didn’t want to rock the boat too much since I had absconded with Thanksgiving, but I snuck in a few changes. We had sausage/potato/kale soup on Thursday instead of sandwiches, bourbon caramel sauce with our apple pie, and I tried a new bourbon cranberry sauce (see end of post for recipe).

Friday was sunny and lovely, so we headed out to wine country for open house weekend. We went to Brick House Vineyards for a tasting. Lovely wines in a lovely setting. And I set up this picture (the family picture is another Thanksgiving weekend tradition).

brick house group

On Saturday, I took MIL and SIL shopping on trendy/funky Mississippi Avenue. I found this knitted frog dissection at Paxton Gate. High school biology would have been even more fun this way.


I’m so happy we were able to host this traitional autumn celebration here at home. Same same, but different! What are your Thanksgiving traditions?


Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

1 pound fresh cranberries
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup bourbon

Mix cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in bowl. Transfer to 9×13 baking dish.
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Stir, bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to bowl and stir in bourbon immediately. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

11 responses to “Traditions, adjusted

  1. I love the picture with all the maple leaves!!!!

    (Another thing I miss about living up north — leaves, leaves, LEAVES!)

    Glad you had time to visit with your college boy and the rest of your family.

  2. We always do Thanksgiving at home. My husband loves it just being us and having his leftover sandwiches for the rest of the weekend. Looks like you had a great time!

  3. Our boys both have November birthdays,with my MIL’s in the middle, so in the past we would have a birthday party. the MIL is gone, and the boys are grown. Now to accommodate everyone’s schedule, we celebrate whenever we can all be here. This year, the oldest son wanted to stay home on his birthday and prepare a duck for the 3 of them. The younger son had to work, so we all had dinner together on Saturday. We no longer have any extended family, so it is just the five adults and our 18 mo granddaughter

  4. love the family in the wine glass! and LOVE the dissected frog!!

  5. Lovely post…that picture of your family in the wine glass is amazing! I’m very impressed. I also was extremely amused by the frog dissection. I sent a coworker and good friend a link to your blog so she could see it. She’s our Science teacher and LOVES dissecting! (I hope she doesn’t ask me to knit her one.)

  6. My tradition is to have it in October! 🙂 And to try not to feel neglected that we’re doing that instead of celebrating my birthday. As discussed on my blog, Mimosa Day helps with that. Aside from that, we don’t really have any major traditions associated with it, except for the turkey & suitable accompaniments to same.

    Also, that family photo is fantastic.

  7. Love that wine glass photo!

  8. Let me jump on the bandwagon, too. Love the wine glass photo. Great idea and great execution. I’ll have to add Brick House Vineyards to our 2012 to-do list. And thanks for the comment on my blog. On to the next holiday!

  9. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family and tradition. I love cranberries and always on a look out for a new recipe. Shopping today and ready to give this a yummy try 😀 Ours tradition has always been spent with the in-laws in the valley. But, I stayed home this year recovering from illness…took your advice though and caught up with some heavy reading…and some knitting 😀 All good. The Vineyard is on my list for some springtime R&R.

  10. We go down to my family in Corvallis for dinner on Thanksgiving day because we always spend Christmas day with his family. We alternate going up to the Seattle area to visit my sister’s family. Family juggling is always interesting!

  11. How wonderful! Love that frog!