Each year my brother’s family hosts Thanksgiving dinner. I am fortunate to have a large family, and this year we had 24 guests! I was personally responsible for the dinner rolls, so the previous night I made a huge batch of dough and left it on the counter to rise overnight. In the morning the dough was prime for shaping into rolls, so the first thing I did was shape 48 dinner rolls and left them to proof on the baking sheets. Then I went into my studio because working as an artist full time means that I work pretty much every day, even on holidays. I was working on a painting of a Mustang and listening to NPR, which was focusing on consumerism discussions and commenting on Black Friday starting on Thursday this year. I kind of laughed as my painting of a vintage muscle car reminded me of American consumerism.
I had to stop a few hours in as my wife needed to roast a duck as a supplementary bird (for the deconstructed turducken), which meant that I had to bake my buns first. This took an hour as I had four sheets of rolls to bake. Then back in the studio to finish the Mustang painting.
Then I rolled out the yoga mat and prepared to run 5 miles, just enough to build an appetite. Then we loaded up the old pickup and rolled to my brother’s house. The food was awesome and I sampled some amazing beers. We not only had duck, but also ham, and prime rib, as well as turkey! What a feed! Then for the entertainment! Every year my family has a Thanksgiving ping pong doubles tournament and the winners’ names get engraved on a special plaque that my brother hangs in his rumpus room. Maria and I had been practicing all week at home on our little end tables, which I had modified to be the height of competition pong tables. This really helped with improving our accuracy. Since it is a doubles tournament, I partnered with my niece and Maria partnered with my nephew. Although my brother and sister won the tournament, I think my practicing really helped my game. Maria and I donned our official 2014 Sochi Olympics polo shirts, just to get in the competitive spirit. Our niece and nephew are in Russian immersion grade school and really thought that was cool. It was truly a fantastic Thanksgiving!