Apparently winter storms are now worthy of names, which explains the existence of Winter Storm Cato (cue Ride of the Valkyries). Television weather personalities worked themselves into a frenzy over Cato’s threat to pre-Thanksgiving travel and sold the storm like their jobs depended on it. Since I did not inherent my mother’s weather-obsessed gene, I tend to have a very blasé attitude when it comes to monitoring the weather beyond 6-12 hours out. And even then, it is not usual for me to be caught in the rain (with pina coladas, nonetheless) or completely overdressed for an unseasonably warm day. But since we were planning to drive to the Philadelphia-area to spend the holiday with my sister and her family, I begrudgingly monitored the weather reports. And I even bought everything for a full Thanksgiving meal, just in case the storm unfolded into a snowmageddon-type situation.
Spoiler – we made it to my sister’s just fine. We left early Wednesday afternoon and drove through sleet and snow, doing our best to avoid I-95 when possible. The drive took a little over 4 hours, which isn’t bad for inclement weather and holiday travel. We’ve had far worse drives on I-95 South over holiday weekends so only having to drive four hours until we reached our destination felt downright luxurious.
My sister hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving, which included our brother-in-law’s family, who we always enjoy seeing. We fried a turkey this year and had Chesapeake Bay oysters for appetizers. All the food was delicious and I am happy to report that the cast-iron apple pie and pumpkin pie I made survived the winter-storm drive and were quite tasty. The men stayed behind with the kids on Friday morning while the women ventured out. And by Saturday morning, we were back on the road to northern Virginia. We were home in time for the Clemson/University of South Carolina kick-off and spent the rest of the afternoon cheering the Tigers to victory.
After church (our family lit the advent candle – Violet did not burn the place down) and our weekly pilgrimage to Wegmans, our Sunday consisted of making another Thanksgiving meal just so we could enjoy leftovers throughout the week. Confession – I can’t stand the standard green bean casserole. You know, the one made with canned beans, canned cream-of soup, and store-bought fried onions. I realize that I may be a snob when it comes to such concoctions, but the fresh green beans with a homemade cream butter sauce and pan-fried onions puts the former to shame. Cornbread stuffing, roasted turkey breast, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes rounded out the the meal.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving-related leftover? Mine is a cold turkey sandwich – lettuce, tomato, onion, stuffing, turkey, cheese, and cranberry sauce. Is it 12:30pm yet?