Recently I've been thinking about holidays and traditions. Mostly thinking of how to make traditions for our own family, but I was caught last night reminiscing about a favorite tradition my cousin Sandi and I used to have every Thanksgiving.
Sandi and I come from mothers who love to cook and who are extremely talented at it, and our mothers come from a mother who as well is a champion cook. So, on Thanksgiving day every year when we all got together in Mesa, Arizona, at my grandmother's house, there were usually 15 pies and a giant turkey and all kinds of trimmings and side dishes. The kitchen was a whirlwind of activity and I remember trying to mostly stay out of it.
In the back of my grandma's house was an irrigation ditch alleyway, where Sandi and I would roam and play. You could see all the neighbor's yards through their chain link fences, and most of the neighbors had dogs in the yard. As we ran past their yards, the dogs would come up and either bark like crazy or beg for a scratch. I guess we felt bad that the owners never played with these dogs, and we felt like they were neglected.
So we hatched a plan.
Sandi and I sneaked into the kitchen after the turkey had been carved up and put onto a giant platter. Each of us grabbed a huge handful of meat and sneaked back out of the kitchen (too many bodies in there to notice us). We bolted out the back door into the irrigation alley and made those dogs the happiest dogs ever. We shoved turkey in their faces and they gobbled it up, and we felt like superheroes for dogs.
Obviously we knew that this dog-feeding would be frowned upon, because we were being sneaky. But only now as an adult do I realize how horrifying this would have been to my grandma, and even our moms... roasted turkey can be great leftovers for a house full of people and we probably took at least 6 portions! These women are frugal and wise with money and would not have been ok with this.
Which made it a dangerous, daredevil tradition to repeat for the next 3 years.
Images from Boise, Idaho.