Thanksgiving is always partly about the remembrance of things past. Food memories all tie together. One problem with “friendsgiving” is if you’re not eating with your family you have no shared memories. Your Mom may have burned the pan of dressing every year, but that was her dressing and the whole family knew it. Your coworker might burn the dressing as well: but it’s not Mom’s. Even if you eat food every year with the same group of friends, it’s not going to balance out the memories created in the first 18-25 years of your life.
I’ve lived in so many places that my food vocabulary is blessedly large. I can have a Proustian moment with so very many things. (Mostly) Local Foods I miss from from nearly every place I’ve lived. Some are family foods, however:
Ft Gaines, GA: My late Grandmother’s Butterscotch pudding.
Warner Robbins, GA: Shakey’s Pizza
Hainesville, GA: Miss Ida’s Coca-Cola Ice Cream
Wurtsboro, NY: The Schnitzel and Spumoni at the Olde Valley, Grandma’s spaghetti dinner and crazy cake.
Acworth, GA: Mr Black’s Sausage Biscuits, and Jeanette’s Strawberry Cobbler, also DQ
New York City: Proper pizza – especially a nice Sicilian slice from St Mark’s, proper bagels (must be made with Catskill water…), pastry from Caffe Napoli, Mamoun’s.
Hoboken, NJ: anything from the Hideaway, and Arthur’s.
Astoria, NY: Uncle George’s Athens burger and lemon roasted potatoes.
San Francisco, CA: Ok, I live here, but when I’m not here, I miss our amazing Pan-Asian Menu, and proper burritos.
Asheville, NC: Cheerwine, proper BBQ, Slaw Burgers and Slaw dogs, Juleps in the Summer Heat and Matushka Huneycutt’s Stroganoff, and also her Mashed potatoes. Yes, I miss Duke’s as well.
Buffalo, NY: Friday Fish Fries, Jake’s marinated tofu.
Canon City, CO, not a lot of foods to rave about here, to be honest, but I developed a love for Sonic drive-in. Also the altitude turned my normal pancakes in to light, fluffy clouds of awesome.
Phenix City, AL, Catfish. Mom’s Fruit Salad.
I know I can get a lot of these things (and often do) via the internet or even from creative local chefs. Still, these things are so much better in situ. And they each have memories attached.