Sunday Sessions

For Now, We Feast

Thanksgiving is this week, and while my body has been busy with presenting at first one conference and then another, my mind is already in Martinsville, running the hand mixer through a bowl of boiled potatoes and milk to achieve the creamiest mashed potatoes possible.

The complicated history of the first Thanksgiving is not lost on me, but when I think about what it can mean today (a place to bridge the divides, to focus on gratitude) I am convinced there is a need for this holiday more than ever before. Who can be hateful to their fellow man over a shared table of food?

Of course the Christmas season follows in short order, and here in New York, lights are being strung, store windows are covered in anticipation of their grand reveal, and ice skating rinks are already open. For many years, David and I would come to New York in the winter to wonder at the marvelous displays, and every year we would expand our footprint (and thus our comfort zone) a little further beyond mid-town. One year, we even spent Christmas here and were surprised to find that on Christmas morning we could walk through the middle of Times Square and not encounter another human for blocks. Now that I live here, I worry that some of the novelty of our adventure will be displaced because these sights are part of my everyday routine now. It has pushed me to look for new, unexplored territories, and to seek out new traditions.

But for now—until Friday at least—it is Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving alone. Gather your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors around the table. Thanksgiving doesn’t really have a playlist, so I begrudgingly invite you to put on the holiday jazz while you cook. Bring a deck of cards, and maybe a good bottle of wine.

And leave the rest of it—the lights, the tree, the gifts, the carols—for later. For now, we feast.

To Read

You are welcome at our table.

The toast story. The visiting countries story. The “putting on my citizen hat” story. A conversation with Michelle Obama.

Yellowstone National Park is in danger.

A restaurant critic wonders if he is responsible for killing the thing he loved.

There is a sex recession among the young.

The remarkable history of Joy of Cooking.

The young people will save us all.

Beware: this story is creepy AF.

Go to hell, Edith.

Thursday night when David’s train arrives.

As someone who has been to the hospital, erm, a few times for dehydration, I’m so happy to see hydro-haters are a real phenomenon.

Click for photos #14 and #22, stay the lesson about our relationship with technology.

By my count, I’ve read about 30 books this year (and abandoned at least 3). I’m hoping to finish out the year with Heartland and Florida, both of which have been shortlisted for the National Book Awards.

To Listen

As a 34 year old woman, I have no business being on the John Green train, and yet, here I am.  Listen to this interview with Anna Sale of Death, Sex, and Money, and then check out the absolutely perfect Anthropocene Reviewed.

To Eat

Is this the most beautiful pie editorial I’ve ever seen? Yes, yes, it is.

Okay, you’re cutting it a little close here, but if you haven’t begun to plan your Thanksgiving dinner yet, here’s a good place to start.