This year Thanksgiving was unusual because Randy did not cook a turkey. He didn't cook 10 turkeys, either, which is what he normally does when we are in southern California. Because normally when we are in southern California, we are in Riverside, where Randy, Teresa and Aunt Jean spend several days cooking turkeys for Central Community Church's Thanksgiving event, which feeds complete turkey dinners to several thousand people. This year, however, we were in Vista, not Riverside. And while it's supposed to be a 90 minute drive to Riverside, there is no way to know how long the trip might really take, due to California traffic. Sometimes a trip that should take one hour takes three.
So this year we didn't take part in the church's dinner; instead we drove up to Riverside on Thanksgiving day, to share the holiday with the Burns and Booth families. Since it could have been a long trip, our contribution was Randy's peanut clusters, which need no refrigeration and will be excellent for several days. Teresa let us keep our dogs at her house; we could take them out for a potty break before leaving, since we weren't sure how long the drive home would be. One unusual thing about California is that you have to factor in potential traffic issues.
The dinner was a great time to catch up with family. Teresa's daughter Jackie was at her boyfriend's family dinner, and Jim's daughters were not there (recent marriages impacted the holiday schedules a bit) but Teresa and Jim both had at least one of their kids present, as were Mike's daughters. The nature of these dinners is that anyone can bring anyone, so there were as many friends as family, which is a great way to celebrate.
There is nobody who puts on a dinner like the Burns/Booth family. Instead of serving a main meat of turkey, they serve turkey, ham and prime rib. Side dishes include potatoes and gravy, creamed spinach, broccoli cheese casserole, salad, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, stuffing - I lost count. And then, after you can't eat any more, there is dessert. Aunt Jean makes most of the desserts, which means they are excellent. This year they included lemon cream pie, German chocolate cake, pecan pie, raspberry cheesecake, nut tart, apple pie, pumpkin rolls, and, of course, peanut clusters.
We couldn't give in to food coma because we had to drive home. We picked up our puppies and drove home, and although it was after dark, we didn't run into any real traffic problems. An enjoyable holiday!