Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Traditions

The holidays are upon us, y’all. The leaves are falling, squash is in season, and there’s no doubt about it: It’s Thanksgiving time. Or, if you prefer, ye old time to hang out with the FAMILY.

For us, this holiday is a time to get together with our family… not the ones we were born into, but the one we created when we moved to the East Coast 13 years ago (oh my, has it been that long?). About 9 years ago, there were a group of us that were all traveling home for Christmas and didn’t have any plans on Thanksgiving. The small group of us got together and created the first Thanksgivagay, and we haven’t returned home since. Now granted, some of us have to miss a year for true family commitments, but we always return to enjoy our favorite festivities of the year with our friends. Through the years, our group has grown, people come and go, but the memories – and pictures – will last a lifetime.

We’ve found that the single most important thing anyone can do to enjoy Thanksgiving is to try not to think about its true history (especially not the events that transpired between the European settlers and the Native Americans following the original Thanksgiving in 1621). While some contemporary family tables can feel like an emotional war-zone (especially when you’re the only gay one at the table), the original Thanksgiving ended up leading to an actual war-zone, and thinking about it tends to put a damper on the holiday. In fact, I have found it is best not to think about the true history of that time period at all. Don’t bring up in conversation the Puritan punishment for homosexuality, because it’s a drag!
If you catch yourself thinking about the origin of Thanksgiving, I suggest you do what I do. Immediately ask yourself: What if the Pilgrims were gay? Native American fashion would surely be more popular today. If the Pilgrims were gay, they probably would not have befriended the Indians and then deceived them in order to have control of the land. They would more likely have been the Indians’ best friends for a long time, especially on the weekends. Chances are they would have danced a lot with the Indians, listened to all their problems, and offered advice and suggestions that are both witty and fun. Sperm donating to lesbians would be a time-honored tradition. And much of our shared land would still be home to a thriving, spiritual and mostly peaceful native people.

Since our gathering this year is taking place on Friday after everyone drudges through the super-sales, we decided not to cook for ourselves but to go out for dinner. So, with Kensington dressed in her Allison Rose original, “Family Traditions” dress, it was off to the Pirone Family’s Country Estate we went.

The holiday feast was to die for! Our harvest table had festive salads and homemade relishes, country-style chowders, seafood salad, smoked fish, oysters and fried clams… and that was is just the beginning of the holiday feast!

We were soon served classic favorites like: Smoked Loin of Pork, Flounder Neptune - white filet filled with seafood stuffing, Fresh Herb Stuffed Breast of Chicken, Long-Island Roasted Duck and of course Roast Vermont Turkey. All of this was served with all the trimmings . . . candied sweet potatoes, sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables and home-style gravies. With a spread like this, I don’t think we’re ever going to cook our own dinner again! It was nice be catered to. We had Joe and Tonya, our servers that were refreshing our apple-cider sangria and clearing our plates at the wave of hand. Definitely something I can get used to. To top it all off, the desserts are as American as apple pie with ice cream - Kensington choose the butter-pecan ice cream. Chris opted for the Pumpkin Pie with lots of whipped cream and I had the White Chocolate Harvest Spice Cake with raspberry drizzle. Walking out, we entered a cool bliss of snow that had started to fall. Now, this truly feels like the holiday season.

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