I NEVER associated shopping with Thanksgiving. For as long as my great grandmother was alive (until i was 11); it meant a huge meal, and if my sister and I were lucky, meaning that there were 13 grownups to be at the table, we got included (one aunt was superstitious). Otherwise we ate in the kitchen (I wasn't too fond of raw oysters then having watched Netsie, the German nurse of my grandmother and her siblings, pull a gallon size mason jar of oysters out of the frig and unscrew the top, pick out one and swallow it while standing at the open frig door. Her head thrown back, you could watch her throat work that oyster down...gag). But when included I recall staring at my knife a lot while the grow-ups argued...Grampsie was a Yankee, Uncle Dixie, not! Oh, it was all about FOOD and drink and politics.
Oyster stew was the first course, and though I avoided the oysters, I loved the soup. Then a salad whose dressing I have never been able to replicate, falling somewhere between thousand island and a remoulade. Grampsie carved the ham; Uncle Dixie (who called my sister and me, "Red Beans" and "Rice") handled the turkey; both portly men with what seemed like extra large carving tools. I can't recall the food on my plate, more than i could consume, no doubt. I'm fairly certain there were whipped sweet potatoes, and creamed spinach (I still make creamed spinach, but I ditched mashed sweet potatoes for roasted ones). Desert included a new box of Whitman Sampler, that I looked forward to.