Stuffing Yourself Silly: A Minnesota Tradition.

There’s no doubt about it: Minnesotans like to eat. My family is no exception to this. Being primarily of German and Australian descent, my mother’s family is very meat-and-potatoes when it comes to food. Hearty comfort food rules the day. I chiefly look forward to the holidays because of the traditional recipes that come out.

But this year, we changed the tradition a bit. Due to scheduling conflicts, we celebrated the day after Thanksgiving. However, despite this change, just about everything else was the same.

My uncle hosted, putting on a modest spread by the usual standards: turkey, mashed potatoes, bisquits, and stuffing. My grandmother made some hardly-identifiable Jell-O mold, which we all take a small serving of out of obligation more than appetite. My aunt made her usual lemon bread, but spared us the green bean casserole (which, oddly, my family never calls a “hot dish” like every other casserole is called in Minnesota). Even though I’m thirty-one years old, my family still pours me a glass of milk, while they drink pop. There’s still a bit of a taboo at family gatherings with alcohol. I offered to bring wine this year, but my mother pooh-poohed the idea.

I didn’t remember to grab a camera and snap a shot of the spread to accompany my post. You’ll have to just imagine a Norman Rockwellian scene of a giant bird and dishes of food.

This was a slender selection compared to Thanksgiving’s past. I recall one year when we had a turkey, a ham, two kinds of potatoes, three kinds of vegetables, two kinds of bread, a rice dish, three desserts and ice cream. And we had the same amount of people we do now: nine. It was ridiculous. My whole family in one fashion or another has contended with weight problems. It’s no wonder why when you consider how much food is a part of our family interactions.

All in all it was a decent Thanksgiving. Very little family drama, good food and catching up a bit with the family. There was even a nice dusting of snow to make it feel a little more like the holidays.

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