Alternatives to DDS on turkey day

by Jean Ellen Cowgill | 11/17/06 6:00am

My grandmother takes Thanksgiving very seriously. Her version of Turkey Day includes mailed, rhyming invitations; a coat-and-tie dress code (for the annual family photo, obvi); intricate table decorations and of course a smorgasbord of good food.

The feast ranges from the traditional stuffing and turkey, browned to a golden perfection, to southern traditions like country-fried ham and pecan pie.

A roommate once laughed at my photo from the big day -- I believe her reaction was something along the lines of "Martha Stewart and Norman Rockwell on crack." But then she had never eaten chocolate bourbon balls or fudge before I came along, so I'm not sure her opinion is really viable.

Alas, the one thing my grandmother's Thanksgiving does not provide is the plane ticket for me to attend. My cousins will just have to perform the annual Cowgill "Un-Talent Show" without me, I guess. What is a girl in serious cranberry-and-stuffing withdrawal to do? Unfortunately, the staples of my off-campus dining are closed for the holiday (no Molly's bread or Naan for me). Luckily, a few eating establishments have anticipated the long-distance Dartmouth student dilemma. Please pass the gravy (and the check).

Boloco: Sweatpants and football more your Turkey Day style? Boloco's November Burrito provides Thanksgiving favorites in a no-nonsense wrap. You can hold your feast in one hand while you gesticulate at the TV with the other.

Hanover Inn: The dining room is full, I'm afraid, but there are still openings for the 5:30 dinner in Zins wine bistro. Any Thanksgiving held in a bistro is sure to be chic, right?

Canoe Club: Opens at 5:30 pm Thanksgiving. Only the regular menu, but maybe you can find some lonely Tuck students with whom to say thanks and enjoy some nice artichoke fondue or a crispy half duck.

Norwich Inn: As far as local establishments go, Norwich Inn is the clear winner. Thanksgiving lunch starts at 11:30 with your choice of turkey, Louisiana Cajun turkey, pork loin, beef tenderloin, venison, scallops ... the list goes on. Call soon (i.e., right now) because they only have a few openings left.

Townies: You have several options for gaining access to a Townie's Thanksgiving. Firstly, start guilt-tripping friends (as I have done) who live in the greater Upper Valley/New England area. Example: "Wow, it sounds like your grandmother sure knows how to cook. Mine does too. Except she lives in Kentucky. Sigh."

If that doesn't work, try to get invited to a professor's home. Which professor should you target? Think through your professors this term. Does one drive you crazy with his/her obsession with miniscule details in grading your work? It is time for that type-A personality to work to your benefit. He/she most likely covers all details not only when assessing papers and problem sets, but also turkey temperature and relative thickness of stuffing.

If all else fails, do Thanksgiving Wedding Crashers style. After reviewing Chazz's crashing rules, find a lovely college-owned home with a driveway and curbside packed with cars with miscellaneous state license plates. Walk in confidently, and remember, you are Sid's kid Lenny, the diabetic. Happy Thanksgiving y'all.