Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bloody Mary Mornings

Let’s face it, when it comes to the celebration of food, Thanksgiving is the greatest of holidays. As much as I love the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and family gatherings, Thanksgiving will always elicit memories of something quite different – a tall spicy Bloody Mary, a close group of friends and a time of rebellion and growth. The first annual “Bloody Mary Morning” was the outcome of natural undergraduate youth, angst, friendship and a love of food. Each of us in this close knit collection of friends came from very conservative families. To each of us, Thanksgiving represented the love-hate dichotomy of great food and dysfunctional family drama; the comfort of home, and the deep desire to leave it. And, to top it off, to our young, rebellious minds it seemed unthinkable that we would each sit down in our respective homes to a great feast served without a drop of wine. It was simply too much to bear. The solution was both immature and genius – we resolved get together early on Thanksgiving morning and get drunk so that we could cope with our families (and their lack of alcohol) all day long. There in that moment of collaborative youthful rebellion came the beginnings of something great – the beginnings of what would be an annual tradition that evolved from youth to maturity, from a drink to an all out celebration of food and friends.

Each Thanksgiving this small collection of friends met in my apartment to share a drink and to share in each others company. While this core group always remained in tact, each year the circle of friends widened and the menu evolved into an elaborate culinary gathering. Perhaps it was this growth that caused the gatherings ultimate demise. The loss of intimacy and purpose, not to mention the all night cooking/baking episodes, moved this event far beyond the bounds of intent and practicality. While the “Bloody Mary Mornings” are now years in the past, it is through those events that many of the most important elements in my life have evolved. Through this group of friends and the “Bloody Mary Mornings” I have gained the absolute closest friends of my life; I met the woman who would become my best friend, wife and mother of my two children; and my interest in and understanding of great food was kindled and ignited. Although it seems counter intuitive – through this youthful notion of getting together to have a drink – I grew, I matured, I evolved into the person I am today. And so, even though most of us are miles away from each other on this Thanksgiving, I raise a glass and say “Cheers” and “thank you” to Jeff, Tom J, Tiffany, Tom B and of course Kristi.

1 comment:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jssutt/ said...

Cheers! And i raise my glass of irish cream, and irish whiskey in you honor! Jeff