It’s nice to finally have the last few weeks behind me, the sliced and bleeding, spray-paint tipped fingers from box-cutting and taping together our family Lego Halloween costumes, has me in stitches. Well, not really, just band-aids.
I finally got the pumpkin gloop out from underneath my fingernails and several showers got the colored hairspray off my scalp.
It was all worth it though, to watch the magic of my kids struggling to maneuver through the neighborhood (I didn’t consider logistics) wearing giant cardboard boxes with Solo cups poking out, politely saying ‘trick or treat’ and watching the smile on their faces as they added another treat to their bountiful haul.
After all the trick-or-treaters had gone home, we blew out the candles on our jack-o-lanterns and turned off the front light. My wife and I shared some witch and tombstone-shaped pieces of Ristorante as we watched our kids do what we did at that age – sort their candy on the floor like a bunch of rabid mad scientists.
I spent almost ten hours working on our costumes in the days leading up to Halloween.
I’m not bitching about it (sure I am, that’s what I do best) because I feel like that’s an important part of building and sharing a tradition.
There’s nothing more heart-warming than creating memories together as a family.
So with Halloween over and Daylight Savings Time throwing a wrench in my toddler’s sleeping habits (tapping on my forehead at 4:45am all week asking to go downstairs and play), I’m now staring down the barrel of the Thanksgiving gun.
Aside from Christmas, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.
I think it just had something to do with our entire family getting together, watching the Eagles play the Cowboys (hasn’t happened in awhile but it’s BACK!), seeing the Yuengling Lager stay cool on the back porch and taking in the aroma of some of our Pennsylvania Dutch favorites.
My families Thanksgiving menu hasn’t changed much over the years, however, recently my wife and I have created a blend of both of our families. While growing up, though, I could always count on certain things.
Aside from the turkey, we had green bean casserole, regular stuffing, oyster stuffing (yes, you heard correctly, it’s actually quite good), corn and chestnuts, liverwurst pate (this was my late grandfather’s favorite, I secretly enjoy it too, although you are probably gagging) corn pudding, soft rolls and cranberry sauce. And we always had pumpkin and apple crumb pie…
We would eat in the late afternoon and then hit the backyard to throw football, burn off the first course and make room for the second.
My wife and I will be hosting again this year and our kitchen the day before seems like a human pinball machine, with her and I bouncing off of one another as I finish the brine for the turkey and she preps her sweet potatoes. We spend the entire day prepping and cooking, along with keeping the kids occupied.
By the time everything is done and ready to go for the next morning, we’re exhausted and it’s dark outside… and haven’t really eaten more than a bite here or a morsel there all day.
In my opinion, this is a perfect opportunity to put the kids to bed, crash down on the couch and share a pizza. Simple, easy, delicious.
Plus, COMPLETELY differently cuisine than the following day. I actually always keep a Ristorante pizza in my freezer, because even when you’re not in the middle of pre-Thanksgiving prep chaos, there’s always some sort of chaos for which you need an easy, go-to dinner.
For years and years, families have gathered around to share pizza AND Thanksgiving dinner (not necessarily at the same time), to laugh and tell stories and just purely enjoy the company of those close to you.
There’s certainly a parallel involved in the way these two meals bring people together. There’s something about both of them that just ‘feels like home’.
The folks at Ristorante and Dad or Alive are wishing you the very best Thanksgiving and holiday season this year.
Give, share and be thankful for anyone you call ‘family’.
And to help with the celebration, we’re giving you the chance to hook up with a Pottery Barn ‘vineyard wine decanter with a wood base’, ‘slate wine labels’ and a Crate and Barrel ’12-inch Tondo serving platter’, PLUS 2 coupons for free Ristorante Pizza pies! Enter below to win!