Happy Thanksgiving and Open Thread

I hope your holiday is filled with great food and spirits, warmth and pleasant company.

I think that there actually are a few things we can be thankful for this year -- but we are not yet out of the woods: The good news is the narcissist who posed the biggest threat to our democracy in the last century (at least) has slipped to the back-burner and faces legal hurdles at every turn, from his removal of documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his or his legal team's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, especially in Georgia, troubles over his and his corporation's taxes, a pending civil lawsuit for sexual assault, and probably more.

More good news is that vaccines and new COVID treatments have lessened the likelihood of severe illness and death the past several months. [More...]


On the flip side, Trump is making another run for the oval office. Whether out of desperation to preserve some imaginary form of immunity from prosecution, or just his delusional sense of grandeur, we have to remember he still has his under-informed, marginalized supporters who will vote for him just because they hate Democrats.

I've been saying for years, and I'll say it again, the song that most resonates with me when forced to think about Donald Trump is "Sweet Virginia" by the Rolling Stones, "it's time to scrape that sh*t right off your (our) shoes".

Nor are we yet clear of the dangers of the variants of COVID-19. I was literally the only person in my local grocery store wearing a mask today. No one in my apartment building has worn one for months. Yet Thanksgiving is a very dangerous time, because so many people get together indoors and this is an airborne virus and its mutations we are dealing with . A good piece of advice I read is to plan your event according to the risk posed to the most vulnerable persons attending your gathering. The next best piece of advice is for everyone attending an indoor gathering to do a home test in the morning, particularly if an elderly person or person at greater risk of severe illness from COVID is attending.

here is the latest from Dr. Anthony Faucci, an American treasure we'll be losing next month as White House chief medical advisor and, for the past 40 years, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:

With Thanksgiving approaching, Fauci said it “makes sense that you might want to get a test that day before” coming in contact with friends and relatives. Updated boosters against the BA.4/5 variant provide a “14 times lower risk of dying” and “at least a 3 times lower risk of testing positive compared to the unvaccinated individuals,” he added.

Dr. Faucci's final press briefing is here.

It's still hit and miss, and no one knows in advance who will get long-covid, so please be cautious and insistent if you fear your personal circumstances put you at greater risk from COVID-19 than the risk others face.

One last thing: On the Club Q shooting: We all need to protect the rights of those who are transgender or identify as non-binary. I was astonished today to read so many ignorant comments on a Fox news article in which people who identified as over 60 claimed to have never heard the word non-binary before and had to look it up. One said they thought the word was "non-dairy". Others just mocked the idea and said they'd never accept it.

Aldrich is 22 years old, extremely physically unattractive, obese and projects an unpleasant demeanor. They were obviously medicated from the beating injuries (including being pistol-whipped by the good-Samaritan who jumped them and grabbed a handgun from them.) It seemed like even their public defenders hadn't bonded with them yet. Whatever crisis, media make-over or jury selection expert is ultimately hired by the defense team is going to have their hands full humanizing them.

Yet Aldrich seems like a great opportunity to remind everyone that our constitutional rights are not there merely to protect the innocent. They are to ensure that everyone, even those we perceive to be lowest among us, receive a fair trial. If we don't protect the rights of people like Aldrich, and those we believe to be the most heinous among us, those rights may no longer be there when we or our loved ones need them.

Shorter version: You don't have to like him. As Oprah once said about why people should vote for Hillary even if they don't like her, "You don't have to like her. It's not like she's coming over to your house for dinner. You just have to vote for her." The same thing is true about Aldridge: You can think he's gross or evil or whatever other word you want. But as far as his legal proceedings, you have to urge and explain to people less informed than you that his rights must be protected, just like the rights of those who strike you as innocent and wrongfully accused. If they aren't, those rights may no longer be there when you or your loved ones need them.

Please let us know in comments how your Thanksgiving day went, and if you cooked, please share the menu. We like that kind of stuff here. I'll start: I'm cooking lasagna (3rd year in arow) with key lime pie and chocolate cake, topped with gelato for dessert.

But it's an open thread, feel free to choose the topic.

< Monday Open Thread: Heading to the Fediverse and Mastodon
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    OK, then, I'm going to (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by leap2 on Thu Nov 24, 2022 at 03:25:41 PM EST
    friends' house this afternoon and I'm bringing a pumpkin pie I made with a bottom "crust" of crushed pecans, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and eggwhite. (One friend is an actual sufferer of celiac disease.) The pumpkin part is loaded with fresh-grated ginger and nutmeg. Oh man does it smell wonderful!

    And I made a blueberry cobbler with a top crust of butter, whole wheat pastry flour, sesame seeds, salt, a bit of sugar for the non-gluten-free. The blueberries were from my garden crop this year. I have bags and bags, gallons of frozen blueberries and raspberries in my freezer. Also, too, frozen peaches and nectarines from my two little trees. The apricot tree lost almost all of its blossoms from back-to-back snow storms April 13 and 14. I had two cots this summer. :( They were quite large. though. No competition! Cots are the earliest blooming fruits trees around here. We must be at the northern limits of their range.

    Happy T-Day! Don't over-eat.... You'll have more leftovers.

    Happy T-Day... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 24, 2022 at 03:27:18 PM EST
    Here's my contribution...

    Chimayo Cocktail

       1 1/2 oz gold tequila
       1 oz apple cider (preferably unfiltered)
       1/4 oz lemon juice
       1/4 oz creme de cassis

       In a cinnamon-sugar rimmed glass with ice, add all ingredients and stir until glass frosts over.  Garnish with fresh apple slices and enjoy.

       by Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant

    I spent Thursday watching TV marathons (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 09:39:28 AM EST
    drinking smoking and cooking.  Three of my four favorite things along with eating.

    All my usual local thanksgiving mates were away visiting relatives or whatever else.  Both my siblings had their separate eat fests.  With grand children and great grandchildren and various hangers on a united party would probably be a hundred people.  So turkeys have been shared separately for the last several years.

    I was invited to both.  Either would have welcomed me.

    But I just couldn't do it.  Couldn't.  I stopped by to visit my brother and sister separately on Wed.  

    But all the libtard hating Trump loving yokels would have been there.  In both places.

    And I just couldn't do it.

    It was not sad or lonely.  It was actually kind of nice.  Recent years have led to days of dred leading up to the holidays.  

    I don't really care about holidays.  I do care about my mental health.

    I had Sticky Shiitake Mushrooms

    With veggie stir fry and quinoa.

    Then home made peach cobbler

    I was fine.

    Captain, (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 11:47:25 AM EST
    you  no doubt have much to be thankful for, particularly your ability to entertain ideas and yourself.   We have a detente of sorts---conversational topics limited to the weather, food, sports...although there was a brief breach.  The "terrible " schools crept into a discussion, including the "filth" being taught these days ala Pompeo, DeSantis/ Fox.

    Oh, like what?  Was asked. Well, they use the word p*nis. Really!  In what context and at what level, pre-school, kindergarten,  middle school. college?   In health classes, biology classes?  Answer: not sure, but no need to expose children, or something.  Ended with jokes about maybe pee pee would be acceptable, and the conversation moved along. But, still.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 12:04:49 PM EST
    At Thanksgiving 2016 (none / 0) (#9)
    by RickyJim on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    Arriving guests were told, "no politics."  The rule is still in effect.  

    FWIW (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 04:36:57 PM EST
    discussing politics has been banned from these gatherings for a long time.  Farther back that 2016.  Precisely because my family is and has always been very political.  Multiple family actually involved in politics.  And we like to argue.

    So all banning discussion really did is create an undercurrent of subtext that's like a cross between quicksand and rip tide.

    Unavoidable and inescapable.  I'm not good at subtext.


    Small family (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 11:32:51 AM EST
    got even smaller with members out of town for Thanksgiving. Since it was just my daughter, her husband and I, we had a wine tasting at a nice restaurant and ate there. Wine was good, food was excellent and we even had leftovers to bring home.

    Even smaller here. My daughter and I enjoyed (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 05:33:46 PM EST
    a wonderful dinner at Bistro du Marche in La Jolla. Many others had the same inspiration.

    I love La Jolla (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 07:19:58 PM EST
    One summer, a colleague from California let me and the TL kid and a friend stay in his home there for a month while he and and wife went to Hawaii. Another summer, a friend of mine rented a condo there for the summer and I spent a month there (in separate trips, not a month all together.) The Valencia hotel has the best paella and Del Mar (a town or two away) has such a fun racetrack with really good hotdogs. The sunsets in La Jolla are the best.

    I enjoy it too. But way too expensive to live (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 07:37:14 PM EST
    there.  20 min. drive from each is close enough.

    For only the third time in about 35 years (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 24, 2022 at 09:11:44 PM EST
    we did not host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for a large number of family members. We have three grown daughters, each of whom is (happily) married, and so far have three grandchildren. Only one of those couples lives within 1/2 hour of us; one is 2-1/2 hrs away, and the third is 2000 miles distant. Each of our kids' spouses has two living parents (all in long-term marriages). That means we are now competing (so to speak) with three other households of our generation who want at least some of our grown kids and grands to be with them just as much as we do. Plus, we were all together about six weeks ago for our youngest's wedding. Today, kind of crazily, we wound up have a big T-giving dinner at the home of the sister and brother-in-law (very nice, talented young people, but whom we hardly know) of our youngest daughter's wife. This was supposed to be a rendezvous with the new d-in-l's parents, but then they couldn't even come, because they came down with Covid! But the parents of our d-in-l's bro-in-law were there, and they turned out to be really nice, smart, lovely folks. The hosts cooked a gigantic feast (two roast chickens were the main dish, for some reason), served like turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce. Plus a vast number of exotic sides including celery root, rutabaga, kale salad, and string beans with mushrooms. Our daughter brought mashed sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top (which my mother used to make). Three different wines. Dessert included pumpkin bread that we brought, made from our Halloween pumpkin, a pecan and ginger pie (wonderful), a pumpkin pie (not great), and two kinds of homemade ice cream. Good thing we all took a long walk between dinner and dessert. I was kind of dreading having dinner with people we (mostly) did not know, with a menu that was not our own. But it actually worked out very well. Hoping the oldest daughter, her husband and our 3-yr-old grandson will make it for a day or two this weekend, having spent Thanksgiving at his parents, who live 90 miles north of us. We have all the fixins for our own traditional Thanksgiving dinner ready to go for Saturday, if they do make it.

    Pleased to (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 09:03:30 AM EST
    learn that your Thanksgiving Day worked out so well, save for the pumpkin pie.  Hope you have a deja vu this weekend.

    So we went ahead and made another (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 07:33:42 PM EST
    Thanksgiving dinner today, with most of the elements of our family traditions. Because we had already done the shopping in the expectation of a larger crowd, we made enough dinner for ten adults and three kids, including roasting a 14-pound turkey, even though in the end we only had four adults and one kid at the table (eldest daughter, her husband, and our grandson). So now we have endless leftovers. We thought we had cranberry sauce in the pantry, but then couldn't find any; so we used ginger-peach chutney instead. Excellent. Actually, everything was really good. The pumpkin pie, following the recipe in my wife's Kentucky aunt's 1935 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, was the best ever.

    Trader Joe's sells (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 07:54:31 PM EST
    A mango, ginger chutney that I use quite a lot. It goes well with most meats but I tend to use it with pork most often. Even use it on my ham sandwiches.

    We had a jar of that TJ's mango chutney (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 08:17:23 PM EST
    in the pantry also, but opted for the peach-ginger instead. The mango came in second when we discussed what to substitute.

    I can see where the peach-ginger (none / 0) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 09:55:16 PM EST
    would go well with turkey. I haven't seen that flavor. I'm always looking for new chutneys...what brand is it?

    Several years back, TJ had a cranberry chutney that I loved but they don't sell it anymore.


    Ha ha (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 02:33:26 PM EST

    The source familiar with the dinner conversation said the dinner grew heated after Ye -- who announced another run for president in 2024 on Thursday -- asked Trump to be his running mate. Trump then began insulting Ye's ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, according to the source and a video that Ye posted to Twitter on Thanksgiving Day recounting the dinner.

    "Don't know (none / 0) (#15)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 03:43:58 PM EST
    why these anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, misogynists keep coming to have dinner with me at my Club."   TFG.

    I would pay (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 04:28:33 PM EST
    To see and hear what happened after Ye asked Trump to be his running mate.