Soon after joining a House, the community begins to feel like a second family. And what do families do together? Celebrate Thanksgiving!
Because the holiday falls shortly before finals, and the break is very short (only Thursday and Friday), most students decide to stay on campus for Thanksgiving and eat dinner with their Houses. In the days leading up to the Thursday, Houses can request staple Thanksgiving ingredients (turkeys, potatoes, etc.) from Tom Mannion, the student activities director. But it’s up to us to cook them!
We also organize Pavs and Costco runs for our own ingredients, and fill out a big organizational spreadsheet of dishes moles plan to prepare and bring. It’s potluck style, and people can cook whatever they like, traditional or not-so-traditional (I’m looking at you last year with the very realistic “ham” that was actually smoked watermelon, Aaron). We also make sure to include a tab on the spreadsheet for helping recent alums find places to crash while they visit to celebrate with us. (It’s within the housing contract guest policy – 3 nights of guests per month!)
On the big day, it’s so much fun to walk around the House and see what everyone is cooking. Blacker has five full service kitchens (Purg, Tunnel kitchen, Cannes kitchen, Siberia, and Pub) and they all buzz with excitement and delicious smells…
We managed to brave the numerous South Hovse fire alarms and survive the rain! And the battles over whether or not it was appropriate to play Christmas music. Our alums managed to arrive despite the disaster of snow on the Grapevine (the mountain pass between the Central Valley and LA). We could also see snow on Mt. Wilson, a friendly familiar landmark visible north of Tech!
Everything turned out deliciously (well, except that one turkey that caught on fire… not the ginger ale one if you were wondering…), from turkeys to mashed potatoes to cranberry sauce to stuffing to casseroles to mac & cheese to mulled cider to cookies to pie to [insert n other foods here]! And we all enjoyed each other’s good company in a conversation-filled dining hall… with Alice’s restaurant playing in the background, of course.