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Simply Picked: Thanksgiving

Updated: Apr 30

November 20, 2023

Spokane, WA

Pumpkins and fall blooms

Gatherings with friends and family, a slowed pace for nearly a week, and kids that are excited for the holidays are some of my favorites! Then, there's Thanksgiving Eve... A time for food prep, appetizers, a glass of wine, and a little calm before the storm.

In all honesty, we haven't hosted Thanksgiving for the last few years. I will shamelessly admit that Christmas decorations have been put up a touch prematurely some of you may say.

This year, we host 27 people. There are quite a few little ones in the mix so we have done the math on both who is coming AND who is eating. Twenty-seven...3 sisters, a brother, their families, and Mom & Dad. Don't believe I've mentioned to you all that I'm one of 7, and a close 7. This means that a family group text of 15 goes off regularly. For some of you, that may be your worst nightmare. My husband likes to loudly state, "Your family again". Which is funny because I'm pretty sure if things were ever to go south in the Valliant household, we'd have a remake of the Luke and Lorelei breakup on Gilmore Girls and be handing out pink AND blue ribbons denoting who was team Molly and who was team Brian. He's fairly stuck, and I do believe he loves it.

We do not have specific traditions with this holiday. Some years, we are out of town on vacation and some years we are in Spokane. The main tradition we have is to be with family. The food doesn't change a whole lot. The most exciting food situation we have is that we scrapped having both yams AND mashed potatoes and we mix them up together. That's right--"livin' la vida loca" over here. This combination creates a pretty light-orange dish and satisfies my kids need for mashed potatoes and gravy and my desire to have yams or sweet potatoes that aren't super sweet.

Thanksgiving in Belize 2022 with my husband's side of the family.

Now, I feel what really sets the tone for what kind of family you are on Thanksgiving is this...are you a turkey trot fam, or no? While home, we join in on this crazy tradition as my sisters tend to think this is a great adventure--well 2/3 of the sisters think this is a great idea. If you know my fam, you know which sister is strongly opposed. We don't do a formal trot typically...just a trot around the countryside by our home. Forced family fun is what we call this. I do love getting out and moving prior to all the family festivities, but I grumble about this way more than my kids. Then, I come home to a little prosecco and get cooking! Hey! I earned it!

Forced Family Fun--aka Turkey Trot 2021

As the day goes on, family starts trickling in and the cousins act like they haven't seen each other in years--yet pick up like they see each other every day, My brother hugs all of the adults just a little too long and you're better to embrace this than not. Then, we feast.

What are some of your family traditions? Food? Trotters? Love hearing about other families, so please share!

`Dav Pilkey, 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you all,


For any questions or comments, please feel free to add those below!


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