The Thanksgiving Meal: To Tweak or Not To Tweak

Of course, there’s comfort to be found in the meal even when quality doesn’t necessarily abound.

“The food,” Estelle Markel-Joyet says as if she’s pondering a question, while speaking of the spread her husband’s family puts out.

“It’s sweet potatoes with marshmallows,” she says blankly. “Stringbean casserole. I’m grew up in France—I have no connection to these things. There’s a reason we used to eat at restaurants,” she says.

As a salve, she says, they take their own dishes, usually something they know no one else will eat (this year, it will be pickled shrimp).

But that’s fine.

“Other than a bourbon pecan pie by Matt’s brother,” it’s the family, getting everyone together that’s important. The food—it’s actually horrible.”

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