Giving Thanks and Other Thanksgiving Trash

Happy Thanksgiving denizens of the Wheelhouse. This is, by my groggy count, our tenth together as the Emptywheel Blog. The first five were at Firedoglake, and the last five here as a standalone. All of the contributors here – Marcy, bmaz, Rayne, Jim White, Ed “Masaccio” Walker, and our special assignment Roving Reporter Rosalind – have been around each other for even longer than that, in one status or another, going back to The Next Hurrah. It has been a long and wonderful, if not sometimes strange, trip. And it continues to be so daily. For that, we give thanks to you. Some of you have been around with us since The Next Hurrah, many are newer. You are all valued, and thank you for reading, joining us and sharing your thoughts.

Usually there is a big food post on Thanksgiving, but for extraneous travel reasons, I am not sure there will be this year. In that vein here is some food talk to make sure there is space here in this post to discuss at length what we are all gorging on. Mrs. bmaz HATES cooking traditional Thanksgiving dinners with all the fixins etc. She is Italian by descent, and insists on making giant pots of homemade spaghetti with meatballs and sausage. It is very good, but I very much miss the traditional meal. Daughter of bmaz is cooking a blueberry pie though, so we still have that going for us. What are you all up to as to food and cooking today?

Then there is football. Thanksgiving NFL is a tradition dating back to the mid 1930’s, although the TV tradition of it all really grew in the 1960’s. And grow it has done. There are three full games on the tube today, and, for once, all teams participating have winning records and are in playoff contention. Now THAT is a change for the better!

First up on the docket is Minnesota versus Detroit. Detroit always plays on Thanksgiving, and for so many years that is why Thanksgiving Day games sucked. But Detroit is good this year. Both the Lions and the Vikes are 6-4 and, given how bad the Packers have been this year, this game is for sole possession of first place in the NFC Norske. The Vikings have a clearly better defense, but the Lions are far more prolific on offense, and have been playing as a team much better than Minnesota of late (horrible offensive line play is killing Sam Bradford). I’ll take the Kittehs at home.

Next up is Washington at Dallas. Kirk Cousins is on a roll again, and the Skins are really playing decent football. But the Cowboys at 9-1 have the best record in the NFL and are clicking on all cylinders. Dak Prescott is even opening up downfield a little, which was not the case early in the year. Ezekial Elliott is playing like the second coming of Emmitt Smith and all the receivers, not just Dez Bryant, are getting in on the action. But as decent as they have been, the Dallas defense is neither great nor particularly deep. The question is whether Cousins and the Skins O can outscore the Boys. I don’t think so in Dallas.

Last game is Pittsburgh at Indianapolis. The QB matchup you’ve been waiting for: Big Ben Roethlisberger versus Scott Tolzein. Yeah, Andrew Luck is out with a concussion. That spells disaster to a Colts team that would already be a home underdog even with Luck. Both teams are 5-5, but one of them won’t be after today!

So, there you have it folks. Good times and good eats today. Dessert today is some Savoy Truffle from the Lads from Liverpool.

29 replies
  1. Rosalind says:

    Ah, thanks for the shout-out Bmaz. I have been remiss in my roving reporter duties. Did enjoy sitting in the San Jose Airport Bar Sunday night watching the Patriot & Niner fans stream in post-game. No fisticuffs. When I arrived a few days earlier a man at the rental car counter with a thick Boston brogue asked where Great American Parkway was. Said he was in town for the game. Everyone turned and said “You’re gonna win”. Fans are a bit resigned.

    I am thankful for my EW family, who I will need more than ever as I fight the urge to hide from the world for while. But I am most thankful that my dear friend in Stanford ICU has finally turned a corner, and there is a ray of light. Keep going, buddy!!

    And Go Ray-duhs!!

      • Rosalind says:

        Apparently I shall be consuming Vitamin C & Benadryl for my Thanksgiving, thanks to the cold I brought home (though I believe there are Yukon Potato Puree & Szechwan Green Beans in my future…if I can stay awake).

        • Rayne says:

          Oof. Feel better soon, Rosalind.

          Szechuan Green Beans sound great! Extra hot, to increase blood flow. I might rethink the garlicky haricot verts and fix those skinny green beans a la Szechuan just because you mentioned it. Bon appetit!

  2. emptywheel says:

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and thanks to bmaz for getting this post up.

    I’ve been in Philly since Saturday helping my mom move out of her apartment. My aunt and everyone else now sleep late which made getting the turkey in the oven overlap unfortunately with the scrapple prep, but my bro, who is also a good turkey cooker, was around to take over the stuffing process.

    As a reminder: bacon on your turkey is the secret to a great Thanksgiving.

    • lefty665 says:

      Sliced thin, fried crispy and served with maple syrup, scrapple is good stuff, as long as you don’t look at the ingredients. It reminds me of my Pennsylvania relatives the other side of Dutch country from Philly long ago. Thank you EW, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

      • emptywheel says:

        Had it w/my aunt’s homemade chili sauce which is really like “ketchup with onion and a few spices.”

  3. lefty665 says:

    Jumbo lump Chesapeake Bay crab for us. Simple, easy and gooood.

    Expect you’re right about the ‘Boys and ‘Skins. Seems like Goodell and the geniuses at the NFL engineered a loss for the ‘Skins by scheduling them for an 8:30pm Sunday night away game followed by a 4:30 away game on Thursday. Thanks Roger the A**hole.

    Neither defense is very good so it could be a high scoring game with the outcome decided by who has the ball last. Or so go the hopes of ‘Skins fans.  Even if you don’t particularly like either team, it looks like a game worth watching.

    Cousins is getting better, he had a 145 passer rating last week and has the most 300 yard games in team history. The OC seems to have re-discovered Garcon and Jackson, and Cousins is (finally) reading down through his progressions. They’ve got a talented bunch of receivers, like 5 0r 6 of ’em, and they seem to have figured out how to score from the red zone.

    Will Cousins and running back Fat Rob be a match for the amazing rookies Dak and Zeke?  We’ll find out at 4:30 EST. The line is Dallas by 7.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    I just praise the Lord that my wife is such a good cook (and our daughters are learning from her).  All the children home for Thanksgiving, friends online here, great food a-coming (including stuffed artichokes), who could ask for more?  We will give thanks for sure.  The end of the world is Not at hand.  Peace and Love to all.

  5. Rayne says:

    Turkey breast roasting right now, and I forgot the damned secret bacon! We’re having a mixed grill here today, filet mignon and turkey, candied sweet potatoes, garlicky haricot verts, tossed greens, Parker House rolls, and pumpkin pie. Lots of prosecco and a Belgian ale.

    Wishing you all a safe, peaceful holiday. Rest up for the resistance ahead!

    And if you wish to flip a table in recognition of the holiday’s real history wrongs done to Native Americans, consider donating to help the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes protesting the DAPL.

    Support the Standing Rock Sioux with financial donations here at the tribe’s site as they provide infrastructure and services.
    Most of the water protectors are living at the Oceti Sakowin Camp — link to the camp for donations.
    Health care for the protesters provided by the medic and healer council is supported by donations via this link routed through a nonprofit organization in Florida.
    Supplies needed in the field appear in this wishlist.
    Education for the youngest water protectors is provided by the Mní Wičhóni Nakíčižiŋ Owáyawa which accepts donations here.
    Donations for Sophia Wilansky, a water protector whose arm was shattered by a police grenade, can be made here.

  6. jo6pac says:

    Thanks to all who write here and have a Safe Holiday.

    Dinner is meat loaf, was going to have roasted duck but couldn’t talk myself into fixing it.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    In case anyone today can’t shake the post-election blues, remember:  There are hundreds of years of astonishingly uplifting human endeavor that has outlasted every political time.  Put on the old Victrola and listen to Prokofiev’s ‘Lieutenant Kijé’ (now a Christmas favorite); Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’; the Choral finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; or the third movement of Debussy’s ‘Claire de Lune’.  Or watch Sidney Lumet’s version of ‘Twelve Angry Men’, or Jose Ferrer as Cyrano de Bergerac.  Or read Cervante’s ‘Don Quixote’.  Or for something simple and contemporary, but still wonderful even a short fifty years later, Lennon/McCartney’s ‘And I Love Her’, or the Rolling Stones’ ‘Wild Horses’.  No need to be pulled down by bad people; there always have been, and always will be, people who make this world forever a better place.  The human spirit is indomitable.

  8. Peterr says:

    We went to my folks’ house, where I did the traditional smoked turkey on the BBQ grill, Mrs Dr Peterr handled the pie-making duties (one each of pecan, apple, and pumpkin), and mom did all the sides – scalloped potatoes, two kinds of dressing (one with oysters; one w/o), roasted carrots, and more, with cranberry mimosas while cooking to keep us all happy. While we were missing the ultra-conservative branch of the family at the feast, it did make the post-election conversation much easier to have.

    Dessert has been postponed by acclamation until such time as the tryptophan has worn off.

    But that bottle of scotch is looking mighty nice . . .

  9. Peterr says:

    Meanwhile, in Minor League Football news . . .

    Two women who reported being gang raped by multiple football players in 2012 reached a financial settlement on Tuesday with Baylor University, and details of the alleged sexual assaults hadn’t previously been reported in the media.


    The terms of the settlement with the university were undisclosed and the women never filed a lawsuit. No details about the nature of the assaults, the players involved or the women who reported the rapes were released.

    One of the two women also reported being physically assaulted by a football player in 2013.

    In a joint statement issued by the women’s attorneys and the university, Baylor interim president David E. Garland confirmed that the football players implicated in these reported sexual assaults and the athletic department personnel identified as having received the report of physical assault in 2013 are no longer a part of the university.

    “It breaks my heart that even one student would be sexually assaulted while a part of this university. I offer my sincere apologies, both personally and on behalf of the university, that we did not do more to prevent, respond to or support the care of these young women,” Garland said.

    “Since the time of the reported assaults, Baylor has established a full-time Title IX office, created a specific Title IX policy and instituted a prevention and education program for all students, faculty and staff,” the statement read.

    Glad to hear that Baylor now has a Title IX office and is taking steps to implement the law of the land.

    But before we go too far giving thanks, let the record indicate that Title IX was enacted in the Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Two.

    Shorter Baylor: “Let’s not rush into these things . . .”

    • bmaz says:

      Baylor is truly a moral and ethical shithole. It has been thus, for any who were really watching this situation over the last two years. Unfortunately, much of that was played out in circles of Title 7+9 lawyers and sports lawyers. There has been much sterling reportage in that time, but far too much in places like Deadspin.

      The reasons that SMU got the death penalty for pale in comparison to the institutional infestation that keeps evidencing itself at Baylor in ever more deplorable and detestable ways. Baylor deserves the NCAA death penalty. Put some teeth into the rules.


  10. bmaz says:

    Welp, it came down to about what I thought. Could the Skins keep up with the Dallas balanced offense?

    Nope. The Boys’ rushing attack was really the difference in a way. Both defenses were reasonable, but the difference was indeed the offenses, and Dallas was just a little better and more balanced.

    That is not horrible news for Washington, they are awfully close and the game was played in the Big D. Skins may have lost, but no reason to hang their heads.

    • lefty665 says:

      [email protected]#$%^& Skins are back to their dunno how to score touchdowns from the red zone, but with a new twist. Two missed moderate length field goals and two failed two point extra points. Hit the field goals and kick the extra points and they win 34-31 even if they can’t score touchdowns. But can they do that, no. WTF?  Arizona may be a winner next week when the ‘Skins come to town.

  11. pdaly says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, All.

    10 years already, bmaz? (autocorrect wants ‘blaze’ for bmaz)

    I’m on my 3rd computer since The Last Hurrah days, so I guess I should be expecting to need a new one shortly.

  12. Jim White says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. We won’t celebrate here at our house until Sunday, as the kids were on the road. Younger one was at her boyfriend’s family in New Jersey and older one was visiting her former roommate in Charleston. Friends down the street had us over out of pity yesterday, and it was a very pleasant afternoon.

    On the sports front, my Gators are off to a very good roundball start. Now at 5 and 0, they are playing their early games on neutral courts as the O’Dome remodeling is being completed. Tonight they take on the Zags in what promises to be a very good game. Gator football plays that school in Tallahassee tomorrow night and that should be entertaining as well.

    I’ll put a bird or part of a bird on the grill for Sunday and will do my best to remember Marcy’s bacon advice. Lisa’s family recipe of rum with a few sweet potatoes will be featured, with sweet potatoes from our CSA. We always have to do the green bean casserole thing, with a cultural line of demarcation splitting the toppings of canned onion rings (yay!) and crumbled potato chips (boo!), but since the green beans are also from the CSA, I’m thinking that this year I just can’t do the canned COM soup thing and will whip up my own white sauce with mushrooms. There’s still a little pecan pie from yesterday, but I guess we need to produce a couple of pumpkin pies, too.

    In these dark times, hug those closest to you and cling to those few remaining folks of good character.

  13. freshwater dan says:

    “…Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ ”

    I saw the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform that this past October. I had 1st row seating in the terrace (the chorus seating above and behind the orchestra), directly above the tuba.

    Ravel’s music had a ‘pop’ sensibility that is astounding for its time. I think that his percussion arrangements had a large part in this.

    • posaune says:

      For sure.  Ravel.   Remember when Philip Glass recorded all those repetitive rhythm pieces in the 80’s?   People thought it was so new . . . .    and all the while there was Bolero (and even as fab for imbibing).

Comments are closed.