Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It's not because I love turkey so much (I like it well enough), or because I'm a big fan of the pilgrim story. No, it's because this is a holiday that's all about spending time with family and friends. Nearly every year for well over a decade now, we have spent Thanksgiving weekend with our friends Patty and Chris and their kids. For years, we rented a house big enough to hold the two families in Galena or some other town between our home and theirs. For the past couple of years, we've made our way to their home in St. Peter, Minnesota, where Patty has a gallery that of course has to be open on "Black Friday."
We are all very well aware of how rare and wonderful this kind of friendship is. Patty reminded me that when we first met, I was younger than her oldest daughter Becca is now. (I was 29; Becca is 30 and a family practice doctor.) We've seen each other through the sadness of the death of a loved one, the happiness of graduations and a wedding, and many marathons. And through it all, we've remained friends, and I'm happy to report that my kids look forward to spending Thanksgiving with the Conlin-Gurney clan as much as I do.
Our Thanksgiving always features the battle of the cranberry sauces. Tony always makes his traditional family recipe (found on the back of the cranberry bag). Chris opens a can of cranberries. Patty usually makes some sort of elaboration on Tony's sauce. I generally make a cooked cranberry sauce, although one year I was foolish enough to make Susan Stamberg's "Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish" (in addition to fresh cranberries, it involves an onion, sour cream, sugar, and horseradish). And each year, we vie to win the battle of the cranberry sauces. Here was this year's lineup, plus a few pictures of our sweet kids with their sweet cat: