Although it's Wednesday, I'm going to do a Five today, of my own, Thanksgiving-themed design, since I'll be hosting the fam all weekend and not blogging one bit:

1. What is your family's traditional Thanksgiving menu? We start with appetizers that run from the sublime to the mundane: stuffed mushrooms, shrimp, spinach dip in a bread bowl, and a tray of deviled eggs that are immediately devoured by my uncle and my dad. At dinner, we go straight for the classics: roast turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans, sometimes pearl onions, two kinds of cranberry dressing, old school "stuffing" that's really more like a spoonbread made with Saltine crumbs, flaky rolls with chives. And for dessert, the Parade of Pies: pumpkin, pumpkin-pecan, rhubarb, possibly apple, and I think this year we're having a pumpkin cheesecake too. *dessert guilt*

2. Any classic anecdotes from Turkey Day? Oh ho ho, where do I start? When my sister Becca was about three, she ate a hot pepper from the "pickle plate" thinking it was a cherry, and she screamed "My mouth's on fire!" for the rest of the day. One year my aunt was opening the kitchen window before dinner and the frame slipped and caught her fingers, and she had nerve damage for months afterward, though no broken bones or even a bruise. And of course, a few years ago my dad and uncle eschewed the leftovers in the fridge in favor of grilling up some Omaha Steaks, in the dark, in the rain, in the backyard...much to my mom's consternation.

3. What else does your family like to do, besides feast, on Thanksgiving? For the last several years, we've been going to the Macy's Parade in New York, which is a lot of fun if you're not a little kid and you can stand the cold, crowds, and hours of waiting before the floats come by...which makes it all worth it. And we usually play games and/or go to a movie after dinner...okay, a chick flick.

4. What do you do with your turkey leftovers the next day? My dad makes his signature turkey salad ("secret" ingredient = seasoned salt), and my mom makes turkey soup.

5. What are you most thankful for this year? So many things! The generosity of my mom and dad, the friendship and closeness of my siblings, all the good times with old and new friends, the four new little people who came into the world and our tribe, and for lessons learned when love jumps out the window and walks in the door.

In the words of Adam Sandler, "Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!"

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