Archive for November, 2012

I’m spending Thanksgiving with my parents, aunt and uncle.  It’s a pretty awesome gig for me because everyone comes to my house and my mom does most of the work. She makes the pies and cooks the turkey (including cooked-in turkey stuffing).  I come in strong with roasted squash, brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots and exceptional skin-on smashies but I’ve yet to take over any of the heavy lifting (literally – is it even possible to buy a turkey that’s less than 15 pounds?).

Hosting has lots of perks. Besides getting credit for my mom’s hard work and getting house gifts from grateful guests, like a bottle of wine or ceramic turkey salt and pepper shakers, I get to know my family in a different way. My house fills with the smell of roasting turkey and the warmth of family. Hustle and bustle and cook’s conversation flow through the kitchen and even though I’m still the kid here, I’m grateful to be able to give care as I receive it.

We’re a game playing family so we ward off food coma with a marathon of Bid Whist.  Bid Whist, a card game for those not in the know, is in my DNA. I started playing with my cousins over summer visits and holidays while our parents played at the big table. I confess winning is way more fun than not, but I love sitting at the table with my parents and my uncle (my official and forever partner) no matter how the game ends.

My friends are lacking the BW chromosome (Bid Whist) but as I have friends I think of as sisters and brothers or at the very least, cousins, they fall within my definition of family.

With all life’s uncertainty, I know my friends will be with me when we’re all a little frail and we’ve traded stools in a bar for rocking chairs on a porch.  We’ll be together and we’ll still be drinking margaritas.

So the other night, when I should have been home doing Thanksgiving prep, I met up with a few of my fellow future chair rockers for a pre-Thanksgiving drink. We lingered in the bar, and lingered on the sidewalk because with family this entertaining, it’s hard to walk away. And though we’re not spending the holiday together and a pre-holiday catch up might be just another night out among many, it’s all of these small moments (more than the big ones) that mold friends into family.

El Toro Blanco (267 6th Ave, NYC) understands the spirit of family and their family of spirits. At El Toro Blanco, the margarita has cousins. (As soon as I get over a glitch, there will be a picture here – and you’ll be very impressed.) I had Mrs. Margarita Sames, a margarita made of herradura blanco, Cointreau and fresh lime. It was excellent – smooth, exciting and comforting all at once. For the more adventurous, give the Jicama and Fig or the Chile Rubbed Mango Marg a try.  And make sure you get the quac – they serve it with warm chips.

El Toro Blanco opened its doors for the first time ever just four days before Sandy hit.  So they are literally starting over again – and they, like all the other businesses in the effected areas, appreciate our support! (And if Eater’s Heatmap is any indication, El Toro Blanco is bouncing back nicely!)

So, to my family, those near and far and those I’ve yet to meet, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re having as much fun as I am and let me know if you’re ever up for a game of Whist!

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