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Issue Date:
April 22, 2014

Booth Students Celebrate Thanksgiving

By Brad Schwartz '13, Carolyn Braff '13, Liz Oates '13 and Chris Haltiner '13  |  november, 2012, Issue 2

Someone asked us, "What is a typical Thanksgiving like? How are people spending their time?" Given that traditions can vary from one family to the next, we asked students to tell us about their Thanksgiving plans and traditions.

Brad Schwartz '13:

Thanksgiving boils down to the 3 F's: football, family, and food. Thanksgiving often kicks off with a friendly game of football at the park, especially fun if there's snow on the ground. Then, I watch football on TV and hang out with family at home. It is tough to lay off chips and beer in the hours leading up to Thanksgiving dinner, but that's the goal. Every food associated with Thanksgiving is a favorite of mine, from turkey to pumpkin pie. My family sticks to traditional recipes and candied sweet potatoes highlight my meal. As a sweet potato purist, I prefer them lightly candied without nuts or marshmallows.

Pumpkin-flavored everything brightens my fall. A growing number of craft breweries contribute to the cause. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale tops the list, brewed in my hometown of St. Louis. Southern Tier Pumking is a recent addiction and closest to drinking a pumpkin pie. Lakefront Pumpkin Lager, brewed in nearby Milwaukee, is an easy-drinking alternative.

A few high school friends traditionally gather at White Castle around 11pm, following the Thanksgiving feast. White Castle is never a wise move, but consuming a Crave Case on Thanksgiving night is the worst idea ever. That's why it stuck.

Carolyn Braff '13:

I am going to Pittsburgh this year, as is my family's tradition, to visit my dad's brother. Because I am flying to Pittsburgh this year, I will actually be missing out on the famed Braff family tradition of driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, with an overnight stop in Breezewood, PA to sleep at the same Ramada Inn my family has been going to for 20 years and eat at the same Denny's for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. My plane flight will mean missing the 5-people-crammed-into-a-Toyota-Avalon-for-7-hours-fun-fest, but I will still get to join the family for the downtown Pittsburgh Thanksgiving Parade, where my little cousins always perform as baton twirlers. Big celebrities in this annual Parade (which takes place on Saturday, not Thanksgiving Day) include Mr. McFeely of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fame. It's a phenomenal trip.

Liz Oates '13:

This year my family did Thanksgiving in Bloomington, Indiana. The grocery store ran out of turkeys! We decided to have Cornish hens instead, which my brother and my mom made with lemon, garlic and rosemary. For sides, we had rolls, scalloped potatoes, sweet potato mash, broccoli, cranberry sauce, and watermelon pickles that my grandmother made. Watermelon pickles are made from the rind of the watermelon and are very sweet, like candy. After dinner we ate pumpkin pie and played Boggle. We ended the night with a glass of eggnog, grateful for family and the many blessings in our lives.

Chris Haltiner '13:

As someone who is known to enjoy eating, I'm a big fan of Thanksgiving. The last two years I've spent the holidays with friends and their families in NYC; I got to enjoy turkeys, stuffings, sweet potato souffles, pecan pies, and all the other delicious ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

This year I decided to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and my sister in Switzerland. Swiss people don't typically celebrate Thanksgiving, which means I will miss out on the turkey dinner. But in return I get to spend some quality time with my family.

It is very easy to forget how privileged we all are to be in an environment like Booth. It is good to occasionally take some time off from our busy schedules and spend it with the people who enabled us to get here – whether over a turkey dinner or not.

Last Updated 11/27/12
Last Updated 11/27/12