Redefining Tradition

I’m not big on tradition–at least, not in the form that it seems to take during the holidays. Thanksgiving, for example, long ago highlighted the rich flavors of harvest, but the “traditional” celebration seems to have devolved into canned sweet potatoes, green beans topped with crispy onions, and a cranberry-colored gelatinous substance. Sure, my family serves a version of these dishes; my grandfather also smokes venison and my aunt makes a bourbon pecan pie that I would fight you for–if there’s a turkey, it’s usually wild.

This year, Kim and I didn’t travel: we packed a picnic, and headed to Yosemite for the Thanksgiving day with my brother and Kim’s sister. That’s Kim on the left, Ashley on the right, and Jason photo-bombing in the background:

More of the family:

And Darla Abercrombie dog:

We live less than an hour from the entrance to the park, but in my seven years here I’ve been once (actually, I think that was before I moved here!). I’ve forgotten how incredible our national parks are.

We spent the morning walking around the lower falls (and the village). We gave up on waiting for sun to come out and settled on a spot on the bank of the Merced for our picnic.


Kim and Ashley cooked everything. From the top: ham and Gruyere bake, roasted acorn squash with wild rice and cranberries, and cauliflower soup. I want to marry that soup.

Overall, it was an incredible day, rooted in spending quality time with loved ones, and in savoring the flavors of the season. That’s our new tradition.

4 Responses to “Redefining Tradition”

  1. Simply Gourmet Photography via Facebook
    November 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. sippitysup
    January 10, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Such beautiful feeling in words and pictures. GREG

  3. Shannon
    April 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Have you heard of Kinfolk Magazine? I happen to stalk them, especially for their food and photography. You should think about submitting this to them. Great post!

    • james
      April 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Thank you, Shannon! Yes, I’m quite familiar with Kinfolk – I’ve chatted with them before, but always get nervous about sharing such personal stories. I’ll work on that 🙂

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