“I moved from Arizona to the Bay Area in 1982 for college. I didn’t have the money to come home for Thanksgiving, so I had my first solo Thanksgiving in the kitchen of the I called my grandma for advice and she told me how to use stale white bread for stuffing. Well the sourdough bread was a revelation! home on Christmas, and she never looked back. I took or mailed a loaf of sourdough home for years. She even changed her recipe card! She’s long gone, but the card – and stuffing – remain. Elizabeth Dahlhoff, San Francisco
“I tend to forget year after year how often we are blessed by the California weather gods on Thanksgiving with a combination of bright sunshine, clear skies and pleasantly warm temperatures. The extra glow of the Fall foliage and just the right touch of liveliness in the air have inspired my family time and time again to leave home and hearth for a vacation picnic by the sea.
My favorite Thanksgiving memories are the hand-hewn tables laden with food at the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, where we celebrated not only with family, but also in a friendly community of visitors drawn, like us, to the edge from the sea to give thanks. ” — Brandi Katz, Aromas
“Although I’m originally from California, I’ve adopted an international, outward-looking tradition for Thanksgiving dinners. Each year, we choose a different country as our theme, a sort of tribute that seems fitting to this state with such a vibrant culture of immigration and diversity. This year it’s the country of Turkey, with a pomegranate-sumac glaze for the turkey and pumpkin kabak tatlisi with walnuts for dessert. We have done Japan, Greece, Italy, Spain, India and many more. It’s great fun and I can assure everyone that the tandoori turkey is amazing! — Alexandra Devarenne, Petaluma
“My husband and I moved from Wisconsin to Palm Springs a few years ago. Once we moved away, and with our grown children, we started a new tradition:
Instead of cooking/eating Thanksgiving dinner, we celebrate gratitude in another way. Every year I send letters to about 10 friends and neighbors offering to bake them apple pie for their Thanksgiving celebration. I make the pies using my grandmother’s recipe, which I once won first prize with at the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison. I bake the pies to show my gratitude for their year-round friendship, and I ask two things in return: that they return the favor in some way (to friends, family or strangers), and return my pie plate so I can do it all over again next year. — Robin Worth, Palm Springs