What do you get when you combine stuffed birds, fruit-flavored gelatin, food-induced naps, and uncomfortable family moments? My favorite holiday, that’s what! I’ve been waiting all year for Thanksgiving and now that we’re only a few weeks away, the anticipation is killing me. My whole life, our family has maintained a tradition of coming together for the weekend to stuff our faces, play board games, go on groups jogs, go to the movies, you name it. It’s 4 solid days (Thursday - Sunday) of uninterrupted family time and I LOVE IT.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are of thanksgivings spent in Palm Springs or Mission Viejo, playing 5 card stud with my great aunt Ida (Still the matriarch, and oldest surviving member of my dad’s side of the family). To this day, everything useful I ever learned at a card table, I learned playing with her. Long before my parents’ divorce or the passing of the older generations, these little interludes helped teach me who I was and where I came from. In a lot of ways, I’m still that snotty little kid trying to sneak sees candy while the grown-ups aren’t looking.
As I’ve gotten older, and begin to contemplate more and more the family I’m building, this tradition has taken on new dimensions of importance. My wife is beloved by my family. Well before we were married, she won everyone over and functionally sealed the deal by chopping a mountain of celery on Thanksgiving day alongside my aunts. This singular act left such an impression on my uncle Bryan that he brought it up while giving a speech at our wedding. Thanksgiving is how we officially welcome new members into our tribe.
This year, Geena and I will be introducing a new member of our family to the Lober clan... A 5-month-old German Shorthair named POPPY. She’ll certainly benefit from the socialization differently than I did. If ever we decide to take the next step tho and throw a mini human in the mix, I know these people, and this tradition will be there. What a great holiday.
So with that in mind, let’s get to what everyone really came here for. Some advice on how to impress your new (or soon to be) in-laws, with your wine pairing prowess.