So it is time for First Friday Flashback!! Oh, wait, it is the second Friday in May. Dang it, well, I have been doing the headless chicken run around with some contract work, swim practice with Dashing Son, sick Dashing Son, and Mother’s Day.
This post will not be about Mother’s Day. Why, well, it has passed and nobody really wants to read about Mother’s Day anymore. But, I will say that the Dashing Wife is an awesome mom, and my mom is an awesome mom. There.
What this is about is an annual tradition that we have started since we moved into our current house. It is something we call Thanksgiving in May. Why do we call it that? Because we have a Thanksgiving potluck in May – duh.
We do this because Thanksgiving Day is usually cold (it is during the last week of November), and Thanksgiving is usually spent with family. Now, depending on your family situation, this may be a great thing, but for others it a dreaded event that you are forced to go to. Also, you may be spending your day shuttling the kids to all the various Thanksgiving meals at various family factions. You always end up sitting next to your uncle who is a 2-pack a day smoker that showers once a week, whether he needs or not. People get drunk and you get the bitter arguments about how somebody did something 20 years ago.
Also, depending on who is cooking, you have to eat dry turkey, lumpy mashed potatoes (okay, I like lumpy potatoes), flavorless stuffing, or other foods that you don’t what the ingredients actually are.
So we decided that we should have a Thanksgiving meal with friends and people we want to hang out with, not necessarily have to. And in Northern California, May is a great month to have it because the weather is usually really nice, not too hot and not cold and rarely does it rain. We have a decent sized backyard, so we get a bounce house for the kids. The Dashing Wife and I cook a turkey (recipe here) and have some beverages. We ask that people bring their favorite side dish, and as long as we have mashed potatoes, we are good.
I can’t take credit for this idea. We had some friends in Florida that had Thanksgiving in February, but in California, the weather in February isn’t all great. It is still cold and wet. May is much nicer, plus it is also 6 months from November. Also, now that most of our friends have children, having them outside running around (with a bounce house) is preferable to having them inside and going crazy.
There are some problems with having Thanksgiving in May: Have you ever tried to find a full sized frozen turkey in May? It actually is harder than it sounds. Some grocery stores have a bunch of turkeys, but a store across town won’t have any. After three years of doing this event, I now know of at least two stores that have turkeys nearly year round. It is also really hard to find fresh or frozen cranberries. Even the canned cranberries are in short supply.
Still, this is a great party, and there is never the drama that happens at family events, and since it is a pot luck event, I am not scrambling to get everything cooked in time.
This year, we had to have the party the day before Mother’s Day because of Dashing Son’s swim meet the following weekend. This reduced the number of folks we had over, but we got a water slide bounce house to keep the kids entertained. They spent the whole afternoon bouncing and sliding, despite a high temp of 74F (it was forecast to be upper 80s when we ordered it). We had several friends over and our neighbors and it ended up being a great time.
What annual party do you have?