Money, it's a drag. So is tryptophan, but on a whole different level.
When it comes down to it, traveling is expensive. And when it comes to sailing the skies around Turkey Day, this fact is inflated like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. When I looked into going home back east, ticket prices were jacked up more than $200 over the normal price. This, along with the problematic issue of boarding my small child -- I mean cat -- made going home for the holidays impossible.So for those of you who don't want to brave traffic hell this Thanksgiving or are frightened at the mere thought of cooking a bird that weighs more than a bowling ball, Madison provides tons of Thanksgiving options. A few ideas for newbies, interlopers, students and singles follows:
- The volunteer to help distribute baskets from St. Bernard Church. However, the CAC and the Goodman Atwood Community Center won't be hosting meals on their premises on Thursday. For a list of places serving food, these groups urge individuals to call the United Way of Dane County's Volunteer Center at 608-246-4380.
- If the thought of sacrificing a bird for consumption really ruffles your feathers, check out the vegan feast at the Wil-Mar Center from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Seitan turkey, a meat- and meat-product-free "bird" commonly made from soy, gluten and herbs, will be served, along with traditional holiday fare like mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
- If you want to give thanks to the Lord, the volunteer for and/or participate in the festivities. Catch the service prior to the vittles at 11:30 a.m. For info on home-delivered meals, call 608-233-9751.
- On the south side, St. Mark's Lutheran Church on 605 Spruce Street will be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner starting at noon.
- In the heart of the downtown, the Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 2 p.m. Volunteers are needed to assist in serving and other tasks, so please consider contacting the church to learn how you can lend a helping hand. Those who are unable to leave their homes may contact the church from 3-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21 to request a delivered meal.
- If mere mention of the
- Another way to celebrate the holiday is with a pool cue in hand. The downtown Asian Kitchen just off State and Broom streets -- along with a variety of other Chinese eateries around town -- will be open to satisfy your cravings well into the evening.
- For some folks, baking takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but the The Guide for more information on collection times.
- If you miss the summer days of marathons and fun runs throughout the downtown streets of Madison, consider being a spectator or volunteer at the RSVP to participate.
- Please note that Metro buses will be following their Thanksgiving holiday schedule on November 22, and will be only operating the following bus routes: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 30, 32, 40, 50, 51, 63, 67 and 68. Also, the Paratransit service rides will not be running on November 22-23. Please plan transport accordingly. Please check The Guide for further Madison Metro bus schedule and route changes throughout November.
- You too can make this holiday season all gravy by filling your belly with good eats or the fuzzy feeling of helping others. If the idea of traipsing outside in the cold has you entirely freaking out, I give you an olde Coastie recipe you can fix in between watching football and making turkey shadow puppets on the wall...
Cranberry Bread, a recipe from Grandma/Brutal Barbara from Brooklyn
2 cups unsifted flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-1/2-by-4-1/2-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in juice, oil, egg, and vanilla just until blended. Fold in cranberries and raisins. Spoon into greased pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until center springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip. Cool bread in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. Serves 10. Enjoy!
However you end up spending the holiday season, may you be thankful for a Thursday off and a week of leftovers to follow! Have a happy Thanksgiving!