Thanksgiving leftovers and highlights, oyster shucking, a ride in a vintage car, and more (7 Quick Takes)


Thanksgiving is about spending time with people we love, but it’s also about the food. And you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without pie.

We spent Thanksgiving with my husband’s family at my sister-in-law Karin’s house, and I offered to bring apple pie. I made my first two pies in our renovated kitchen, and the house filled with the incredible scent of apple pie.

Pumpkin pie is my favorite for Thanksgiving, but apple pie is my favorite for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving, so it worked out well that we had both.


My father-in-law brought fresh oysters from the Eastern Shore for us to enjoy before dinner. I prefer my oysters cooked, but our boys had a blast learning how to shuck oysters.

As they shucked, I realized we hadn’t needed to bring any of the packs of cards or games we packed. They were perfectly content to work away with their oversized gloves and oyster knives, opening the oysters and setting them out for the oyster eaters to eat with dollops of horseradish or cocktail sauce—or both.

On the way home, my sons were still talking about the shucking. It was truly a highlight.


Our boys were also excited because their uncle had given them short rides in his new-to-him vintage British car (a 1976 Trumph?) that was gleaming in the sunshine when we pulled into the driveway.

It may not have power steering, but our sons marveled at the whole experience—from the crank-down windows to getting to sit in the front seat (ack!) to how loud it was inside the car.

Our younger son asked if he could take my phone with him for the ride, and he took photos and videos along the way.

I regret not taking a ride myself. Next time.



When we lined up to fill our plates for dinner, I told our fourth-grader that he had to find at least three different things for his plate. When I picked the number three, I hadn’t noticed the bowl of mini-marshmallows next to the sweet potatoes.

So, he did find three things—turkey, potatoes, and marshmallows—and then he added cranberry sauce and a roll when we got to the table. And he had gravy, so you could say he exceeded my expectations.

On Sunday we will go for our second Thanksgiving feast at my parents’ house. They kindly offered to change the date of Thanksgiving for us, and I am grateful for that.


Earlier this week my husband and I realized that our children had a full day of school the day before Thanksgiving, but we had time off. I had a half-day and John had a full day off. So, we decided to go to lunch at Petit Louis since friends of ours gave me a gift certificate to use there for my birthday this summer.

There’s nothing like lunch at Petit Louis. It was so much fun and really felt like a date because it was fancy and delicious and special.

John had the French onion soup and New York strip steak, and I had the mussels and the salmon salad. We even ordered dessert—so extravagant, especially the day before Thanksgiving.

And we talked about the kids and work and a few other things because that’s what you do on a date. It was such a lovely way to kick off our weekend.


Then we headed over to our younger son’s elementary school because about halfway through the morning I remembered that he was running in a Turkey Trot at school. We’ve been part of the school community there for three falls now, but somehow we’ve never been to the Turkey Trot.

Our little boy came running up to me and said, “I didn’t know you were coming!”

“Surprise!” I said.

It was really a surprise to all of us since I had completely forgotten about it until that day. There’s nothing like a happy surprise.


How are you spending Black Friday? We have no plans at all. I am so grateful for an unplanned, unscheduled day.

I am also thankful for many, many other gifts and blessings in my life, especially for this little space here and you for reading.

I hope your weekend includes time with people you love, leftover pie, or whatever makes you smile.

Find more quick takes at Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and have a wonderful weekend!

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.