Thanksgiving Traditions: The Ski Pope, Sushi and other Holiday Anomalies. Part 1.

By Pam's Plate Dec 3, 2012
Bluebird skiing, base-jumping and bourbon cocktails contribute to a superb holiday weekend in Utah.
Thanksgiving Traditions: The Ski Pope, Sushi and other Holiday Anomalies. Part 1.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is different than it was when we were kids. While many return home each year to reenact a Rockwellian fantasy, others have adopted new ways to gather, celebrate, and give thanks. When I was young, Mom prepared a plain roasted turkey. She wouldn’t have known a rub or a glaze from a Turducken. She trusted Betty Crocker for the stuffing recipe and after wiggling the cranberry sauce from its tin-can cocoon, she served it in slices, like gelatinous hockey pucks. There was no Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday or Cyber Monday. We just had four glorious days to fatten ourselves on turkey sandwiches and pie and peruse the Sears catalog.

I am one of those for whom Thanksgiving has changed tremendously. I still enjoy my family time, when my siblings are able to gather from far and wide, but it’s become more about making memories with friends, creating bolder food, and having extra days to ski!

This year was full of surprises, from Thanksgiving dinner guests and high elevation chefs. First, we had a visit from The Ski Pope, not as famous a character as Rudolph or Santa but, as we learned, just as crucial to winter festivities. The Ski Pope (aka Dave, big-time skier from California who visits every year) manifested to help us all to pray for powder.  Dressed head-to-toe in Vatican regalia, sprinkling us with holy water (Alta’s 75th Anniversary Ale) and cranking “White Room” by Cream from his iPod, The Ski Pope invoked the mighty Ullr, the Norse God of Skiing to bless us all with a season of the deep stuff. Thank you Ski Pope!

The next morning, instead of standing in line for electronics, we got wired on a great day of skiing Snowbird, with glorious blue skies and decent conditions for late November. On our last run, we were treated with the sight of a base-jumping paraglider who’d come from above. So many ways to enjoy the Utah outdoors!

Continue to Part II…