Every family has their own traditions and rituals around the holidays, and one of mine is that I always make the 6.5 hour drive from Tallahassee to West Palm Beach to visit my family for Thanksgiving. This year however, we broke tradition and my parents came up to Tallahassee. This new turn of events was exciting in that I wouldn’t need to make the long haul myself, but stressful in that I had never cooked a Thanksgiving turkey and would need to clean my house from top to bottom.
Thanksgiving morning I woke up around 7 am and immediately started cooking. I made a turkey breast, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and crescent rolls. My Mom brought cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie. I decided to make a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey to avoid cleaning giblets and so forth. Although I received a lot of heckling, I decided to cook my turkey in the crock pot and it turned out absolutely amazing. It was moist, flavorful, and so tender it fell apart at the touch. After Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to go see a movie and ended up at Love and Other Drugs (Mom’s movie choice). I rated the movie at 2.5/5. Anne Hathaway and the ridiculously gorgeous Jake Gyllenhaal are naked for at least half the movie. While this would normally be welcomed and even encouraged, when watching with your parents it’s just awkward and uncomfortable.
The next morning I had my heart set on venturing out into the masses of frenzied shoppers to take advantage of Black Friday sales. I wish I could say that I snatched up some amazing steals, but I actually only bought one item: House Season 5 for $12.99 on sale from $44.99. Although I usually relish in Black Friday shopping, I’m just a little short on cash flow this year and not in the market to ring up any more credit card debt. Friday evening I took my parents to 101 Restaurant & Lounge for some of their amazing spinach and artichoke dip, followed by traipsing around the Downtown Getdown. We quickly ran out of things to do and the weather was turning nasty, so I offered to take my parents to the top floor of the Capitol to check out the observatory by night. Reaching 22 floors, the Florida Capitol is the tallest building for 200 miles, so you have very good visibility of the surrounding areas.
Saturday morning we began the day by stopping by my favorite globally-conscious coffee haunt, Red Eye, for hot chocolate and chai lattes, and then drove over to the Mission San Luis (previously referenced here). Later, while the UF/FSU rival football game raged in Tallahassee (GO NOLES!), we drove up to Thomasville, GA for dinner at Jonah’s Fish and Grits. Jonah’s is undeniably one of the best restaurants in the region. The night was completed by driving through Dorothy B. Oven Park for our first look at Christmas lights this season.
Sunday my parents packed up and departed early for their long drive home. After they left, I randomly decided it would be a great time to rearrange my living room furniture. So, for a few hours I lugged around couches, tables and bookshelves to create a new, aesthetically –pleasing atmosphere in my apartment. All of the heavy lifting and sweating really helped take my mind off of the anxiety and life stress I’ve been dealing with lately.
Overall, Thanksgiving was a success and I now feel confident in my ability to prepare a turkey dinner. Maybe next year I’ll even use a whole bird.
– An American Twenty-Something