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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, May 19

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Hal / November 20, 2006 8:16 AM

Write, research, write, research, write, write, write. Have a thousand things going on in the first week of December between work, school and hosting a big fundraiser for an aldermanic campaign. The >only
Sigh - not quite the punch of "two women at the same time," is it?

jennifer / November 20, 2006 8:43 AM

I was to return to chicago to run the turkey trot and make a yummy dish for a thanksgiving with friends. anxiety about writing three papers by the end of the week is making me rethink those fun plans. it looks like I'll be staying home with my roommate, throwing a turkey in the oven, and writing while it bakes.

grad school making me miss my favorite holiday = :(

Shasta MacNasty / November 20, 2006 8:44 AM

Thankfully, it will just be the parental units and me. I'll be cooking this year (1st time!) while dad watches football and mom scans the sales papers for her after-thanksgiving-shopping attack strategy.

I'm VERY much looking forward to cooking this meal. I have two turkey breasts, not sure if I should roast them in the over or on the grill. We shall see. :)

Pete / November 20, 2006 8:56 AM

What are all the good ideas for people that do not want to participate in a turkey based Thanksgiving?

Can someone share some good Thanksgiving recipes that are tofu or soy based?

van moxie / November 20, 2006 8:57 AM

Cooking again, just as I have for the last ten years or so. I enjoy it quite a bit, and the food always gets rave reviews, so it swells my head up a little. After that, it's straight back to schoolwork. I feel your pain, Jennifer, grad school is keeping me from slacking this week, too.

jen / November 20, 2006 9:17 AM

waking up at 6am wednesday and making the painfully boring/long trek back to the cleveland area. having lunch with a friend, hitting up Marc's and Gabe's (stores), and then home with the fam. haven't been home since late July, so it will actually be quite nice.

pete - i think the last one of those "delicious living" mags they have at whole foods had some very good recipies for vegetarian-alternative (or at least healthier) thanksgiving alternatives.
I also want to say i saw vegetarian dining options in the current Time Out Chicago (

adam / November 20, 2006 9:29 AM

Since we hate traveling for Thanksgiving and my closest sibling annoys me, we're having friends over on Friday for turducken (no, really; we finally went ahead and ordered one) and general merriment. I assume much wine consumption will occur, and many clever ripostes will be bandied about. No sports will be viewed.

All part of "the family you choose" and all of that, which is my motto these days to some extent.

ivy / November 20, 2006 9:45 AM

I'm making a veggie Thanksgiving dinner for two -- the main course is easy:

Roasted Veggies
- preheat oven to 450F
- cut up vegetables into hunks about two bites big, things like potatoes, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, big ass mushrooms, eggplant, etc.
- toss with olive oil to coat (about 2 Tbs.), and sprinkle liberally with dried herbs -- basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, pepper, salt, whatever you got
- roast for about 40 min, or until veggies are cooked and just a bit browned, stir once while cooking

Serve will all the typical fixin's -- stuffing, mashed potatoes, wine, green beans, mac 'n' cheese, wine, pumpkin pie, wine -- or any other favorites. Goes well with veggie gravy. Did I mention wine?

For lunch I'll be at the Christkindlmarket Market @ Daley Plaza.

amyc / November 20, 2006 10:04 AM

For T-Day itself, we're heading to Chicago Diner to stuff ourselves crazy. My mom-in-law always comes up for Friday-Sunday, and I usually make a big veggie feast Friday night -- a Neatloaf from Victory's Banner, plus mashed potatoes, cran relish, green beans, bread and some kind of fancy dessert (almost all from scratch). But my master's project is due in three weeks, and I just finished the whole DIY Trunk Show thing, and I'm just too tired to cook this year. I'll miss the leftovers, but screw it -- baby needs rest.

Marilyn / November 20, 2006 10:17 AM

If mom is released home by Thanksgiving, I'll cook at her house for immediate family--our last one together. If she's still inpatient, just a quiet dinner at home with my hubby.

Caffeine Free / November 20, 2006 10:19 AM

This is the first Thanksgiving I won't be spending with my family. I just moved to NYC in June with my boyfriend from Chicago, so I will be attempting to prepare a traditional dinner, for just the two of us.

I'm fairly worried about how the turkey is going to turn out. But I figure we can always fall back on mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie...

sky / November 20, 2006 10:30 AM

I'll head to the burbs on Wednesday for the annual "Black Wednesday" where everyone you ever met growing up packs into the local bars. Thursday my mom will probably be mad at me for being hungover....
This year is the first for a couple of things. We won't be having dinner at my family's house--we are going to my parent's best friend's house and we won't be heading down to Marshall Field's to sit under the tree on Friday. I have done that every year of my life. My mom took my sister and me and her mom took her. I'll be sad that we won't continue on with that even though I complained about it every year.
Oh, and I'll be sneaking around like I was 16 again trying to fit in a cigarette here and there since my mom thinks I quit and will kill me if she knows....

Brandy / November 20, 2006 10:43 AM

Down to Champaign-Urbana to feast with foodie friends. Then back here for the weekend to hopefully catch friends who'll be in town for the holiday. Low key. Just how I like it.

Back in MN my mom is teaching her stepdaughter how to cook a Thanksgiving meal. It's sweet. My mom is a great cook, and my sis and I learned our ways around a kitchen. It's awesome that my mom can teach our stepsis.

leah / November 20, 2006 10:54 AM

Dinner out w/ sis & friend & her family. No dishes, no stress. No mashed potato patrol for me.

Then hopefully I will get drunk at my Polish. Hollar.

NotAHoliday / November 20, 2006 11:00 AM

This isn't a holiday for the Native Americans slaughtered by the white settlers, now is it? I'm 1/32 native American and I find it very offensive that so many of you white people call this day a "holiday". We don't celebrate the holocaust, why celebrate this?

amyc / November 20, 2006 11:04 AM

"We don't celebrate the holocaust, why celebrate this?"

Because Holocaust food sucks?

turkey-free / November 20, 2006 11:20 AM

pete: here's a vegan main course: Sage and Pumpkin Seed-Encrusted Seitan With Roasted Garlic-Pumpkin Sauce. it's a little time-consuming, but tasty. and you can probably halve the amount of marinade and be fine.

and a vegetarian stuffing that is great: Slow Cooker Stuffing, just substitute vegetable broth.

Vise77 / November 20, 2006 11:32 AM

If you are a mere 1/32 Native American, what do the other 31 parts of you say?

eep / November 20, 2006 12:14 PM

Thursday I'll be meeting the boyfriend's family for the first time. So it's a drive up to Michigan, eating, catching a movie with them, more eating, and then driving home.

Friday is Thanksgiving with my family, and my sister, her husband, and two kids will be coming in that night. She's bringing in her new baby, whom I haven't met yet, so that should be awesome.

Saturday is the new baby's christening, and then the rest of the weekend will be spent with her and her family. For once, the holiday weekend will REALLY be about family. Yay!

p / November 20, 2006 12:19 PM

i'll be doing the turkey trot run/walk once again. family tradition and a fun way to kick off the day. i've been running the last four years but i secretly long for the days past when it was definitely a walk, in cordoroys and boots on little sleep and a fog over my brain- But gone are the days. And i can't wait to cook some pumpkin pies. The only pie i'll stand behind as a life-long cake advocate. Pie and Soup are usually banes of my wack-tose intolerant diet ..but the Pumpkin?? TooToo good.

Is Seitan pronounced Satan? That recipe looks good. Does it just take the taste of everything or does it have a distinct flavor?

esskaycee / November 20, 2006 12:45 PM

So, my family's on the east coast and I generally don't go home for the holidays, but have always had an "orphan's Thanksgiving" here in Chicago with assorted friends and potluck goodness. Except this year, I'm the only orphan. So I'm casting around for ideas -- I'd like to maybe volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen or help out somewhere. Does anyone know of anything?

It's sad, because this holiday is all about food and so am I, but rather than mope around with my dog all day getting progressively drunk, I damn might as well do some good.

carrie / November 20, 2006 12:53 PM

Eat, drink, laugh, repeat.

Oh wait, and groaning about how I ate too much food and shouldn't I know better by now?

Carrie / November 20, 2006 1:23 PM

I'm blowing off family this year to go to NYC and visit my closest friend from high school. He and his boyfriend just bought a condo in Brooklyn, and we'll be putting together a scrumptious T-day feast there. Also, my closest friend from college (also gay) is coming down from upstate to join us. That's right, I'll be the hag, big time...

fluffy / November 20, 2006 2:07 PM

Sleeping and drinking, painting, maybe watching movies. My sister is going to her in-laws and my friends are all doing the family thing.
Maybe I'll stare at the wall sometimes and think about life.

miss casual / November 20, 2006 2:27 PM

i am going to san fran to see my brother. a siblings only holiday... reckidnize.

all im bringin is my eating shoes.

Emmy Em / November 20, 2006 2:35 PM

Last year began a tradition of friends coming over on Saturday night to eat & drink too much, laugh until our bellies hurt & decorate this terrible little Christmas tree that I have. It's very fun & I'm looking forward to it.

Tobermory / November 20, 2006 3:20 PM

This is the first major holiday to come up since my mom died so I'm practicing complete avoidance and heading to Vegas with my husband and my dad. T-giving dinner will be at N9ne steakhouse.

JollyJess / November 20, 2006 3:54 PM


I thought we'd have to spend all day with my in-laws who are cool BUT they order from Boston Market for Thanksgiving. And it's barely enough food at that. Oh yea and a frozen pie. Dont get me wrong, I'm thankful for food but they don't even attempt to cook. Probably why my husband became a chef.
So we are going to my mom's and she is an amazing cook. And she made 4 pies!
Other than that I'll be lounging and watching foosball :) That makes me very happy.

NotAHoliday, I'm 1/8 Choctaw Native American and I'm not offended at all. It's not worth your time to get offended. Smile about your uniqueness and go about your day.

JB / November 20, 2006 4:14 PM

I'll be whiskeyed to the gills by 7 am and eating the Tofurkey out of my bf's belly button. It's my birthday; that was my wish. :)

bill / November 20, 2006 4:29 PM

Thursday morning its packin' onto the Metra out to the p's. As has become the tradition, I'm bringing my best friend along so i can get out of last minute cleaning/preparing for the 25+ extended family entourage that will show up, and also have someone to get wasted with. Then back on the Metra around 7 to be home asap.

I've found that the last couple of years, as a gay man hovering near 30, that I enjoy copious amounts of sleeping, reading and general alone time during the holidays.

J / November 20, 2006 4:53 PM

Uh, JollyJess, I believe NotAHoliday was using what is commonly known as sarcasm, and was using his/her humor to mock...oh, never mind.

Y A J / November 20, 2006 5:07 PM

"Dinner" at husband's family at noon. Does anyone else eat that early?!? Then my family dinner at 5:pm. Next day, we stumble around the house with our turkey and emotional hangovers from all that quality family time. Then hopefully on Friday night we'll play poker with our friends to recover.

jj / November 20, 2006 5:56 PM

I'm just doing the regular family thing in the suburbs but for the person asking about vegetarian alternatives -

If you don't want to do a lot of work or risk making something new that you might not like, just pick up a Tofurkey. I know that Whole Foods always has them and I'm sure Trader Joe's has something similar. I'm not a vegetarian, but I have made them for my sister in the past and it's pretty good. You just stick it in the oven for a while and that's about it. My favorite part is the "wishbone" which is really tofurkey-jerky. Most other traditional thanksgiving food is vegetarian anyway and my sister usually does most of the cooking in our family - potatoes, yams, green beans, stuffing (substitute vegetable stock for chicken, you'll never know the difference), cranberries, etc.

I am a horrible/ambivalent cook but even I was able to handle the tofurkey. There are also some really easy recipies on the Food Network website if you're more daring/motivated than I am.

PS - I am part Native American and will accept a nice two bedroom condo in Edgewater in exchange for letting you all continue to celebrate stealing my people's land. (Wait, would the other 75% of me would have to pay that quarter of me rent as reparations? Nevermind...)

Emerson Dameron / November 20, 2006 6:42 PM

Eating on Thursday. On Friday, I'm staying the fuck away from all places of business. On Saturday, I'm watching two tangental acquaintences getting married, which I hope will have run its course by the time Pere Ubu plays the Abbey.

Leelah / November 20, 2006 7:36 PM

It's going to be the smallest Thanksgiving ever... mom, dad, me. My sister just got engaged, so she's off...

Also, for the vegetarians out there, there's a quorn roll thingie that makes a nice turkey substitute...

big tymer / November 20, 2006 9:10 PM

every day is what you make it. i celebrate christmas because i love eating a big dinner with my family, not because i think the crusades were a good idea. you're a spook sockpuppet, aren't you?

vit / November 20, 2006 9:32 PM

Last year I went to New England to my Uncle's house and met up with the immediate and extended fam, this year it is their turn to come out here (it is a rotating thing). So I'll be hoping on the South Shore out to ever so glamorous NWI on Wednesday and the rest of the East Coast folks will be arriving early thursday morning. It will be 3 days of food and wine at various locals in Indiana (including the French resturant one of my relatives is the chef for ... yes Virgina, there are French resturants in Indiana) and ending up at my place in Ukranian Village on Sunday night in which I try to squeeze 10+ people in my apartment for wine and snacks. I'm quite looking forward to it.

kate / November 21, 2006 4:55 AM

Headed to my folks' house with my gay bestie, cooking all afternoon and getting drunk enough to not be annoyed by my neurotic extended family. Also, I plan on hooking myself up with leftovers.

The pet / November 21, 2006 5:06 AM

I'm going to have friends over on Wednesday night. If there are only a few people, we'll watch movies or something. If we have lots of people, there will be dancing in the kitchen.

Either way I'll probably be drunk.

The rest of the weekend will be uneventful.

MLS / November 21, 2006 8:25 AM

YAJ - my family has "dinner" at 2:00 pm. this used to be to accomodate my grandpa, except that he passed away about 7 years ago. i guess we all just got used to holiday dinners being more like one huge day-long eating festival. that being said, ill be going to my mom's house in the burbs to eat a plethora of food with 14 guests (only 4 of which i'm related to).

printdude / November 21, 2006 8:58 AM

I'll be making the traditional Beef Salad and driving from here to damn near Aurora for the first dinner, then driving back to da SouthSide for the second dinner.
This year, we're packing the Beaujoulais to take the dull outta my family. On the bad side, if we have too much, we're stuck for a while.
One glass it is, then!

Allan / November 21, 2006 9:53 AM

Did you know that Popeyes Chicken offers a whole deep fried turkey you have to order two weeks in advance. I did. I have to pick it up before 12 on Thanksgiving. I will probably have to take a cab home. That and a family size red beans and rice and I will be set. My guests are scheduled to never arrive. So I will set up my eats on the coffee along with a few bottles of Chardonay and go to town. Complete self-indulgence by myself. Unlike the years when I trek to some sorry family affair I am actually looking forward to this quite a bit. Hopefully I will make it through the day.

Bill V / November 21, 2006 10:05 AM

I'll go out to the suburbs to hunt wild turkey on Thursday morning. If I don't get anything, it'll be Spaghettios for Thanksgiving dinner...again.

Spook / November 21, 2006 10:37 AM


A Gaper Block "thinker" of the Hallmark card variety one said "Smile about your uniqueness and go about your day!"

Alison / November 21, 2006 10:48 AM

So Allan, when are you going to get that blog started up?

Spook / November 21, 2006 10:59 AM

If you wanna reconsider treking to some sorry family affair, I'll spring for the cab rides as long as you tell us all about it when its over!

Marilyn / November 21, 2006 11:20 AM

I'm going to add viewing a Robert Altman film to my plans. It was just reported he died last night.

paul / November 21, 2006 1:47 PM

Turkey. Pie. Football. Stout.
Not necessarily in that order. (although that Popeye's fried turkey sounds awesome.)

Can't help with the veggie thing, even my roasted brussel sprouts are done with bacon.

My Pumpkin Cheesecake has enough butter, eggs and cream cheese to support the wholesale animal expliotation of at least two large factory farms.

My sweet potatoes are made with a touch of arbol chili, and coconut milk , but unfortunately for vegans, half a stick of butter.

emyduck / November 21, 2006 2:18 PM

dinner for 10 at my new house. my mom, my brother, my dad's brother (aka my mom's ex-brother-in-law...), his wife and her daughter and three orphan friends.

and a 20-pound turkey.

Allan / November 21, 2006 3:09 PM

The blog is coming. I have been exceptionally lazy lately (as in the last ten years of my life) but I am going to try and cut back on my drinking and hopefully that will make me a little more coherent and a lot less lethargic. This of course will not take effect until sometime after the deep fried turkey project is over. You see in yet another bumbling attempt at self-improvement I have decided to start setting personal goals for myself. The first will be to eat an entire deep fried turkey in 24 hours or less. I know this will sounds impossible to some but I know deep in my heart I can do it. I think this tasty tidbit of self prescribed therapy my be just what the doctor ordered. On Friday the 25th I will rise from the meatless carcass a new man.

Marilyn / November 21, 2006 3:49 PM

If you rise at all, Allan. That's a hell of a lot of L-tryptophan.

sky / November 21, 2006 4:48 PM

Allan, I think I'm going to take you out on a date.

Tim / November 21, 2006 4:48 PM

Llama racing with Hobo jockeys in Theif River Falls, MN. Watch for it on ESPN8.

Tim / November 21, 2006 4:49 PM

Llama racing with Hobo jockeys in Theif River Falls, MN. Watch for it on ESPN8.

CC / November 21, 2006 6:46 PM

Why don't you get together with Fluffy to share the deep-fried chicken? No sarcasm intended. It just sounds like both of you guys are going to be alone. (Don't mean to put Fluffy on the spot or anything).

As for my plans, I am going to DC for an annual conference. Enjoyable, but will miss the traditional dinner.

printdude / November 22, 2006 8:01 AM

How many biscuits come with a whole turkey?
Do you have to eat those too? Are you require to use the honey on the biscuit or can you throw some on the turkey.

If they give you enough biscuits, you could make l'il turkey sammiches to eat through the night.

Betcha that goes real good with a DewSlurpee and Jack.

missmolly / November 22, 2006 9:06 AM

well, since my evil corporate america job has me working wednesday and friday, i am going to the great white north to visit my family on saturday. tomorrow, i am chillaxing with one of my girlfriends and we are just going to watch movies and chill, and probably drink :)

Allan / November 22, 2006 9:32 AM

You can get biscuits if you want but I opted for just the turkey and the red beans and rice. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The rules are kind of loose. but my self imposed stipulation would require me to only eat the turkey. I have no doubt that fluffy would be impeccable company but there are some things a man (or in leu of a man, myself) has to do on his own. Besides watching a fairly unattractive man consume an entire turkey is not for the faint of heart. I am going to weigh myself before and after.

p / November 22, 2006 9:46 AM

Rachael Ray made some "stuffin muffins" last night. Stuffing was neatly formed and baked in muffin compartments. Next Level Stuff. Also, she is perfect and tootoo fine. I can't wait for our life together to begin. I baked a cake to present her at her next book signing, with Marry Me? written on it except it's missing an r and the y is backwards. I'll try to smuggle her and the cake away in a marriage-sack if the answer is yes, no, huh?, or what the f. I'm only kidding about the sack, I never joke about stuffing nor muffins nor raych infatuation. Salud!

p / November 22, 2006 9:50 AM

also- please report back on if the turkey is breaded the same way as the chicken and if lousiana hot sauce was necessary. Big Popeye's Fan Here. It ranks just above Harold's for me. Was there a choice of spicy/mild?

sky / November 22, 2006 10:59 AM

I hope this talked about Turkey is coming from the Popeye's on 47th street that was just on the top 12 nastiest places to eat because there is fecal matter in the chicken.

Spook / November 22, 2006 11:01 AM

Hey P, news flash, crack kills! Are you insane! Popeyes over Harold's???? Come on. Today's Popeyes sucks, and yes I eat it maybe once every two months. Of course it is better in New Orleans. I use to make it a point( and will again) to have two pieces when I landed in NOLA

Allan / November 22, 2006 11:13 AM

P: The turkey is not breaded much to my disappointment but it is still supposed to be very crispy. It is supposed to be deep marinated in Cajun spices but I don't know how spicy that will make it.

Sky: My turkey is not from 47th Street and please don't rain on my parade. I am really looking forward to this.

I have never had Harold's what is it?

p / November 22, 2006 11:25 AM

oh nonono. how dare YOU, sir?? on the merits of the breading's texture and golden crispiness as well as the heat within the meat (without aid of hot sauce)- Popeye's reigns triumphant! Although the wings at Harolds are def. superior on size and taste. Rounding out for bronze is a tie between Pollo Campero and Kenyon's outside of chillicothe, IL. Now on to the popeye's cajun fries vs. harold's sauced up fries vs. checkers cajun fries vs. doug's duck-fat fries vs. white castle's crinkle cuts cage match .

missmolly / November 22, 2006 1:14 PM

they still have "cajun sparkle" at popeye's?

Mike / November 22, 2006 1:58 PM

These folks made everything a hell of a lot easier:,0,33578.venue?coll=mmx-home_bottom_hedsh2o

Allan / November 22, 2006 3:58 PM

I don't think so.

Allan / November 23, 2006 11:01 PM

If you are reading this then I am still alive but my current mental state causes me to question even this. The audacity of my mission has now become painfully clear to me as I teeter on the precipice. One wrong move and I may be lost in an ocean of vomit. I have failed. One turkey is more than one man can take on. Perhaps I should have skipped breakfast...perhaps but, it is to late to question that which cannot now be changed. My only hope now is for a miracle.

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