A Thanksgiving Dinner for Two


In retail, Thanksgiving is altered each year. It’s not a bad thing. Our family just celebrates it’s on a different day than everyone else does. Thanksgiving isn’t about what day it’s on, it’s about giving thanks and spending time with family. I have many fond memories of a childhood spent on Mountain Road in Torrington at my families home where the Thanksgiving meal was plentiful, and so too were the deserts. Delicious fudge brownies were the centerpiece to every celebration each year.

Those days have come and gone, however, and I have been in retail for seven years. I have worked on Thanksgiving faithfully each year in preparation for the Black Friday shoppers. It’s really a lot of fun seeing the rush people get as they stand in line to get the perfect gift for that perfect someone. It warms your heart a bit as you see the expression in peoples faces. Now, more than ever, a little cheer goes a long way.

On the heels of all the excitement, my mother and I celebrated Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving eve at the renowned G.W. Tavern in Washington. I have heard so much about this charming place that I knew it was the perfect place to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. I’m a terrible cook and I have the volunteer firefighters on speed dial each time I attempt to cook! Going out for a Thanksgiving meal just seems like the thing to do. Another benefit to celebrating Thanksgiving early since restaurants are open. No Chinese food for us!

The moment we walked through the doors of the tavern, we knew it was the right place to be. A rustic aroma welcomed us as we made our way to a table by a stone fireplace complete with a portrait of George Washington himself. We arrived at the tavern during their light fare menu which was between lunch and dinner. A little more affordable and just the right amount to fill us up. We started our meal with a warn bowl of tomato basil soup which was simply out of this world. On a brisk autumn day in New England, this will warm you up!

As we waited for our dinner to arrive, we took note of the surroundings and reflected upon days gone by and what the aroma of the tavern reminded us of. It reminded the both of us of the cabin in Vermont we had spent so much time in when I was a kid. It’s funny what kind of memories a scent can trigger.

Once dinner arrived, we were ready to dig in. I ordered a grass fed beef burger and my mother a salad. Yes, there was no turkey involved in our Thanksgiving meal, but does there have to be? If you remember what I said before, Thanksgiving is really what you make of it. Just as it doesn’t have to fall on the actual day itself, it also doesn’t always have to involve a turkey. We were happy with the food that we had in front of us, as well as the time spent together.

I can’t say I don’t miss the days gone by, when life seemed so much more simple, but these days, in a fast paced world that is constantly on the go and restricted by schedules, any little time you get to spend with family counts, and we have to cherish it. In reality, any day of the year can be Thanksgiving.

From my family to yours, here’s to a blessed Thanksgiving!

-Mike Valletta

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