I love to know what people eat.
I think I get this from my Dad, who will watch the food channel all day long if he can (with quick flips for M*A*S*H reruns & a CNN news fix.) For as long as I remember, Dad's narrative of his day at work consisted of what he ate for lunch. His trips are a diary of food. Since he is a person who will try new foods in new places, it makes for an interesting story. Ireland, Germany, France, Cuba, Indonesia, Colombia --- all opportunities for new food. All I know about their trip to Maine and Nova Scotia is that there are many many ways to cook lobster.
I love to see what people consider to be essential food for holidays. "It's not Thanksgiving without: ______________."
There is turkey, of course. I don't love turkey, but I always eat it because you are supposed to eat it on Thanksgiving. If someone offered me roast beef, which I like, I'd feel cheated. That's not Thanksgiving. My oldest son doesn't like going to his wife's family for Thanksgiving because they don't have the essential food. My husband's family's meal is not quite right to me even after 25 years.
Their cranberry sauce is jelly, not made from fresh cranberries simmered with orange juice until they just pop. Mom just chopped cranberries and orange peel, which I hated. Dad insists we have that, and we do. I just add mine as well, and we end up with way too much cranberry sauce.
It's not Thanksgiving without my brother's stuffing. We call it stuffing, even though we don't stuff the bird. I don't know why. He makes two kinds, at least. One with onions, one without. Sometimes he uses oysters, I think. It's made with bread, not corn bread. One time we had a guest who was used to corn bread dressing, so we added that as well.
Nothing gets taken away, we just add more. And although sometimes it feels like too much, I guess it's all good.