The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

Thanksgiving Revisited: Forming Traditions for the Holildays

on December 4, 2013

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday!

Mine went well, starting with the Turkey Trot in which my husband and I both rocked our times!  A 5K in below freezing temperatures didn’t seem like it would be much fun, especially since the crowd numbers in the multiple thousands.  But we signed up and paid for it, so we went.

Silly me, I forgot to pick up our packet ahead of time so day of we drove out there 1.5 hours before the race began!  There was no line so we got our bibs and ran back to the car to sit in the heat for a little over an hour.  We could have come back home, but we had an awesome parking spot so we decided just to relax in the car and watch all the people dressed up in silly costumes as they came in for the race.

We started probably in the middle of the pack, so several thousand people were in front of us (and behind us).  It kept us nice and warm, but it also really created a slow start and a heck of a lot of people to pass as we finally got to start running 3 minutes after the gun fired!

People were jogging, running and walking this 5K and the streets were packed, so my husband and I ended up running in people’s yards just to get by.  We weren’t concerned about our time, we just wanted to run because it was freezing!!  About a mile into the race our hands (both glove covered) we’re completely numb!

I wasted a lot of energy weaving in and out of people who were going slower than I would like.  The husband seemed to thrive at dodging people, like he was in a game, but it wore me out!  But I kept going and finished strong and actually a little warm and sweaty!

The crazy thing is, we both shaved a minute and a half off our times.  We are wondering if maybe the course was just a little too short — because he finished at 22 and I finished at 25 minutes.  Or maybe it was the intense need to get warm that caused us to speed up, or just the fact that you always picked up your speed to pass someone who was going just a smidge slower than you’d like.  Either way, we had a great race and a good bout of exercise on Thanksgiving.  We have decided to make it a tradition, cold or not.

We then had Thanksgiving at the in-laws, which was filled with their family traditions.  I guess my family has a bit of tradition too, although when the husband and I talk about it, we never really think of it as tradition.  We think of it as routine, when really it is tradition.  Routine sounds so mundane and unimportant.  But tradition sounds fun and significant.  So we need to change our mindset on that.

One thing I want to make a tradition, besides the Turkey Trot, is our pre-Thanksgiving dinner just the two of us the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  We had the tv on football, and even went outside to toss the football around ourselves, and then we made our first ever whole bird.  We opted for chicken to get just a little variety and not have a ton of leftovers.  So we roasted our first ever chicken using this recipe, and the bird was fully cooked – the white meat a bit dry and the dark meat nice and juicy, which is fairly typical.  The sauce was yummy though!  We learned a few lessons along the way, but that’s part of the fun.  (Note to self: put rub under skin too to help those breasts have nice flavor!)

chicken dinner

It was served alongside roasted asparagus and potatoes.  (You can see my husband’s OCD tendencies in the plating!) The dinner was tasty, but dessert was incredible.  I made Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Crostata and yum, yum, yum, yum!!  We finished it in 24 hours flat.  It was that good!

apple crostata

So all in all, I think we are starting to make our own little family traditions while blending in with our extended family traditions.  It really does make the holidays feel a little extra special.  I’m looking forward to forming some Christmas holiday traditions as well!


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