Into the Thick of the Season – Buttermás Day 7

This morning, we all arose, slightly over-stuffed from one of the best Thanksgiving meals we’ve ever had. I think the best part was that each of us helped make part of it. Our Thanksgivings are, by choice, quite small and private affairs. We prefer to hunker down, we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the National Dog Show, and the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon.

Cooking and eating happen are a somewhat haphazard affair lasting from mid-morning until about 11pm, and we don’t necessarily enforce any particular order to the meal. Pie at noon, followed by turkey and sweet potatoes? Fine. Cheese, crackers and three kinds of pâté? Knock yourself out. Decide, at the last minute, that mashed potatoes are really just one extra side dish that we’re going to save until tomorrow? No worries.

I should probably come completely clean here and say, this is one of three or four days a year where I really don’t worry too much about staying Paleo, or eating particularly clean. I know there are plenty of people who have completely grain-free Thanksgivings, and all the more power to them. But people: French Onion Soup Monkey Bread is an Iowa State Fair food – Paleo-izing this recipe makes about as much sense as non-alcoholic gin.

This morning, we all got up on our own schedules, and eventually gathered and headed into downtown Philadelphia. Some people go for the “doorbusters”, but we head to Macy’s for the Dickens Village, an animatronic walk-through of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Look closely as you get to the end, and you’ll see a Tardis, and Krampus, each binding in a window.

Along the way (or after, depending on your timing) you can catch the Lightshow. A five-story tall display of incandescent animation, culminating in the playing of the Wanamaker Organ – it’s been the same exact show for the last 60 years (save for the Macy’s star now sitting atop the tree, and Julie Andrew’s homing in on John Facenda’s narration.)

Afterwards, we head outside to City Hall and Dilworth Plaza, home again this year to the pop up ice skating rink and Christmas Village – an assortment of pop-up wood-walled vendors which I had (perhaps naively) thought was unique to Philadelphia, but in fact has incarnations all over the country. Still, only our’s has Philly Jesus.

We browsed, we ate, we skated – it’s our proper kick off to our favorite time of year.

Stock up on fatCoffee, because it’s getting cold here in Pennsylvania, and that means one thing above all others: the cows aren’t out on the pasture, so they’re not making as much milk, and grass-fed butter (and so, fatCoffee) are soon going to be in short supply. At least until the Spring thaw.

Buttermas (or, as they say in Spanish, Buttermás – which, loosely-translated means, “more butter”) is an ancient holiday tradition which just so happens to straddle American Thanksgiving. It begins on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and ends on the Friday after, encompassing one full week of rich, thick, buttery goodness. 

Join us as we celebrate the 7 Days of Buttermas: