Another delicious year in the Smarto Household for Thanksgiving! This was my first significant block of time at home since I moved to my new apartment in East Liberty, so I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my family (and enjoying a home-cooked meal like only Mom can make).

As usual, Mom made the full spread of our traditional meal; turkey, potatoes, yams, jello, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, cornbread casserole, and all kinds of drinks. This meal has been essentially unchanged since my infancy, and the meal’s familiarity is just as comforting as it’s taste.

Putting the breaks on my fast-paced grad school life for a while, we spent several days essentially stuck to the couch and enjoying each others’ company. We did make it out of the house for a few hours to catch the newest Bond movie (which was awesome), and also taught Mom how to play poker.

Doug and I also brewed a new batch of beer (pictures below). This time, we went for a Holiday Ale with lots of spices (orange peels, cardamom, ginger), and it should be drinkable by Christmas break. The whole brew took only about 3 hours from water to wort, and now it’s sitting in the fermenter turning to booze very quickly, bubbling away. I enjoy making beer more each time I do it.

I was also happy to spend some quality time with my four-legged siblings, I haven’t seen them much since I moved back to Pittsburgh. With the abundance of attention and food-droppings associated with the holiday, I think Thanksgiving might be their favorite time of year.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Smarto Thanksgiving without a mishap or two. This year, on Saturday, I developed a severe case of Labyrinthitis that landed me in Urgent Care for a sharp dose of anti-vertigo drugs. I can’t describe how miserable the dizziness and vertigo was, and I was driving when it struck, so I was fortunate to be able to safely get the vehicle off the road. Mom and Doug, guardian angels as they are, came and rescued me from the side street in Wilkinsburg to haul me to the doctor and coddled me the rest of the day; any movement sent my world in to a tilt-o-whirl so I needed help with even simple tasks.

But sickness aside, it was a great holiday and was much-needed. I’m stoked for Christmas now!