the fourth thursday in november.

Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. Maybe you already knew that, but it is. I actually question if you all DID know that, because the fourth Thursday in November was late AF this year and I saw a lot of people being super confused about it. Just like, stumbling down the street, not knowing which day the fourth Thursday of November is. Don’t be ashamed, it’s okay. Actually no, be ashamed. You’re a dumb dumb.

It’s the fourth Thursday in November. Not the third.

This is the turkey.

Sometimes I think of this blog as simply an extension of my Instagram and that’s how I’m going to treat it today. An expanded canvas for sharing some shit that happens on my Thanksgiving every year. Or happened specifically this year, on this fourth Thursday in November.

preamble.

I love Thanksgiving because it is simply and blatantly and unabashedly and only about food. You can say that it’s about like “giving thanks” or “being with family” but you are doing both or either of those things because the food brought you there. It called to you and convinced you to leave your home or invite people to your home. You came for the food. And that’s okay! Just let it happen. Just enjoy the food. You’re celebrating the harvest, after all.

The harvest that we have available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because we live in a first world country. But a harvest, nonetheless.

This year’s crew!

My niece and nephew, aka my brother’s family, come to my parent’s house every other year and this was a off year so we had a bit less stress and running around the morning of because I guess my mom doesn’t really give a crap about much if they’re not here. Which like…cool.

Good crowd.

Because we had time to go on a walk by the river in the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and get some fresh air and exercise. I think that’s really important to do before you eat everything in front of your face within a 10 foot radius for 5 hours straight.

pregame.

Once home, it was time for coffee and Bailey’s and then to get dressed and prettied up and then do a whole list of other shit.

The first thing I need to get done this year was a chicken photo shoot. You knew that was coming. It was chilly and windy outside but the chickie gals seemed amenable to photos. Kind of.

A golden comet, layer of Foolproof Sugar Cookie eggs.
Harry lays the blue eggs ❤
They lay eggs!

Following the chicken photo shoot, I did my yearly preparation of the cheesy bread. As I’ve said before I haven’t always been much of a cook and I’m still not but I’m more open to learning now. My previously established role of “cheesy bread maker” involves my mom preparing the bread dough (however that happens) and then providing me with the dough, cheese, and muffin tins to put the cheesy bread into to get it ready to cook. Which she then does.

This requires minimal effort from me, and I made a timelapse.

You may see me exit during the cheesy bread making, and it’s because my dad called from the living room, “OMG SHAN GET OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!” And I ran out and he was watching the Easton/PBurg football game on live TV and this seemed like a big deal. This high school football game has been happening on the fourth Thursday of November since 1933 and it is insane. It is a LEGENDARY rivalry (apparently it ended in a straight up FRACAS this year?!) I do hate sports but there’s something about rivalries that encompass ENTIRE TOWNS in TWO DIFFERENT STATES that just feels impressive to me. I encourage you to read more about both of those places because they’re a TRIP. Actually hold that thought, I’ll write more about them and you can read about it here. Not today though.

Not NOT interested in high school sports rivalries.

After the cheesy bread was prepared I had to set the table. I have no idea how to set a table like “the right way” and I pretty much just wing it so who knows if this is correct.

Perhaps I could have googled it before I did it but I didn’t. I googled it just now but I didn’t read this. But if you read it you’ll know how to set a table better than me and you can hold that over my head forever, I’ll allow it.

No idea.

Once the table was set it was TIME. FOR. MIMOSAS. Because mimosas are everything, when drinking in the day. My mom gets these little tiny baby orange juices from her school because she’s a lunch lady and half of one is perfect for a mimosa-sized OJ dose. Personally I used a quarter of one, if you’re counting.

My sister and her boyfriend arrived and then my grandma and my uncle, and it was time for cheese and crackers. Which frankly may be one of my most favorite times. We drank our mimosas and waters and black cherry sodas and green apple cider (but like beer cider) and red wines and ate cheese and crackers and talked about shit.

My mom with my Grammie and Uncle Tom.

dinner.

And then it was time for “dinner” but it was like 2 in the afternoon but either way it was time.

I chose pineapple stuffing my sister made, au gratin potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cheesy bread (THE FRUIT OF MY LABOR!), and white meat turkey. I don’t like dark meat turkey because it is slimy and slippery and awful. I’m entitled to that opinion.

SELECTIONS.

Also, I had a difficult time with turkey today because the Audubon Society’s Instagram was full of awesome wild turkey facts this week and they made me feel really weird about eating turkey today. So I just had a nibble. And I’m sorry turkeys of the world, and of the wild. Did you know turkeys are like OG AMERICANS? I knew that but not everyone at work did when I told them the other day so just making sure you know. You’re welcome.

Following the dinner foods I had some pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream. My mom got 3 pies but I’m not huge on pie so I just ate the pumpkin. I brought cookies from the Milkbar flagship too! And the cookies were enjoyed. IMMENSELY. BY ALL.

Desserts!

planksgiving.

After the ceremonial stuffing of faces I challenged my sister and her boyfriend to a “Planksgiving” activity that I was inspired to do by Taylor at JaneDO in Jersey City.

AND I WON. I AM THE STRONGEST.

This is a very long video but that means I did a very long plank so be impressed.

Recently my boyfriend didn’t help me lift someone drunk up out of his hot tub because he was too busy looking on and saying “Shannon is strong, she can do it…watch!” And I am, in fact, strong. And they did, in fact, watch.

Shan = VERY STRONG.

And they all went home to their families on this fourth Thursday of November and told their families about it, I just know it. And then I won Planksgiving forever.

After the meal and the fun and the planking, we gathered all of the dirty dishes into a laundry basket so my mom could forget about them until tomorrow. It’s a real tradition here and it’s nice for my mom. Or dad because he usually washes them. But always tomorrow because who needs to deal with that shit today.

As my leftover meal I made these sliders with cheesy bread, pepper jack cheese, white meat turkey, and strawberry/jalapeño jelly. They were fantastic.

How was your Thanksgiving? Happy Thanksgiving, by the way! I hope it was grand. Did you also do Planksgiving? What is your fav food to eat? Did you eat until you felt sick? I’m really glad I didn’t do that. I’ll say it again for the cheap seats. Any time I don’t eat until I feel sick when that much food is available is a real victory. But I AM tired. Bye.

chickie ladies.

I LOVE CHICKENS.

I always liked chickens, I always wanted chickens. Overall I’m obsessed with birds and birds you can hang out with that also provide a valuable service are a pretty good deal.

The Internet says that they have incredible eyesight and I can see with my own eyes that they are most definitely the descendants of dragons.

Dragon.

Last Xmas we got my mom a chicken coop and told her in the spring we would be getting her chickens! She was pumped AF.

When spring came, we went to the local Tractor Supply and they had buckets and buckets of baby chicks and we picked some out of the mix and they were so cute and peep-y and we were glad to meet them.

Babies!

When you buy backyard chickens at Tractor Supply they are “sexed” which means they are pretty sure that they are lady chickens aka hens. But they could still be roosters they don’t know for sure. IT COULD GO EITHER WAY YOU GUYS.

We got 3 Buff Orpingtons (they grow up to be very plump and fluffy and lay light brown eggs), 4 Golden Comets (they are reddish brown and lay brown eggs) and a very pretty/special/last one left Ameraucana chicken (they lay blue eggs and have a funny beard). And actually they’re not THAT special but this one WAS the last one left and the only brown chick and we thought she was so cute and we had to have her.

Everyone cuddled together.

The maximum capacity of the coop is 8 adult chickens and we got 8 expecting that at least one would die.

That’s morbid I guess but when you get the chicks they seem so small and frail! And you have to take very good care of them and keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t get cold or die from doing something ridiculous and sad like drowning in their water bowl (this happens!). So it’s tough to keep everyone alive.

THEY COULD HAVE DIED.

But they all lived! We did it! We are the greatest chicken caregivers in the land! My mom kept them inside the house in a little chicken cage inside of a plastic kiddie swimming pool until they were big enough to be outside and warm without a heat lamp.

First day outside!

Toward the end of their time inside the house they started to feel very crowded and you could tell they wanted to get the heck out of there. They would always jump out of their cage and protest when you opened the door. The chickens were rude teenagers.

Rude and unruly.

Soon enough they got to live outside and they were really excited about it. They love to run around and peck at stuff and eat grass and bugs and anything else they want to eat because they will eat a lot of things. They are omnivores and they have really great eye sight. I feel like I have mentioned this somewhere before and I probably have. I’m very proud of them and the way they live their lives.

Double Trouble

Their favorite food hands down is mealworms. They also enjoy cheese and frozen corn. If you put half of a watermelon in there they will demolish it right down to a thin green rind. If you feed them cooked spaghetti they will at first be really excited because they think it’s worms and they will run around and fight over it. Then they calm down a little but still devour it.

MEALWORMZZZZ!!!

They love live worms dug right out of the ground and any kind of insect usually, although they don’t seem very interested in THE INVADERS. Once I heard a very loud screeching buzzing noise coming from their coop and I ran over and one was killing a cicada! IT WAS SO LOUD. This must have been a highly prized meal in the chicken community because once it was dead they all chased after the killer and another gal stole it away and ate it herself.

It’s a cutthroat community in my parents’ backyard.

If another type of non-insect animal enters their area it may also die. They once ganged up on a mole and killed it, and chase away terrified sparrows if they try to eat their snacks.

They also lay eggs! Since they started laying in the middle of this past summer, they each lay one egg a day so that’s 8 eggs a day! It’s supposed to slow down soon when it gets colder out and there is less sunlight but as of now they’re still going strong.

As you may or may not know, the eggs they lay aren’t fertilized because we don’t have a rooster. The eggs are their ovulation. And they do it every 28 hours instead of every 28 days. PRETTY BADASS. They make a lot of funny noise when they’re laying eggs and it’s pretty silly, but once they lay the eggs they seem okay with us taking them away. I like to think they’re proud. We do thank them often.

Harry lays blue eggs!

They’re very friendly because we always hold them and pick them up and pet them. They’re also brats and will try to sneak into their food trunk to steal treats or dart out of their gated area to find more fresh plants to eat or peck at your toes because they don’t like your pedicure. BUT THEY ARE SO CUTE.

WE DEMAND THAT YOU FREE US.

They’re my favorite friends and I love to go home to my parents’ to see them. This past weekend my mom used half of our Halloween jack o’lantern pumpkin as a bowl and put cheese, chicken feed, and mealworms layered into it and they LOST IT. I got this timelapse below.

If you watch closely there are a few times they come up close and stare at the camera for a while and it’s hilarious.

They were also kind of scared of my tripod because they get scared of everything. I guess they have to be cautious in case anything actually IS dangerous to them so they’re wise to be suspicious.

Suspicious.

Also, their names are: Harry (the brown one), Polly, Pepper, Precious (the yellow ones), Sunrise, Sunset, Butterscotch, and Barbara (the red ones).

Chickens rock! Do you like chickens? Do you have chickens? Would you like to have chickens? Do you want to ask me any questions about chickens? Do you want to correct anything I’ve said about chickens? I always want to learn more about chickens.