We spent this past weekend in Detroit celebrating Hanukkah with HWHNYBN’s family. I actually skipped Hanukkah last year, because we had only been dating for a little over a month when it fell…and it happened to fall such that it was Thanksgiving, Sam’s birthday, and Hanukkah all at once. HWHNYBN (probably correctly) surmised that this would be a fairly overwhelming family event to bring me to as my initial introduction to his extended family. (At that point, I had already met his parents and a few other relatives he’s close with.)

There were two dinners. The first was at his parents’ house on Friday night, with a smaller subset of family. His mom and grandmother cooked dinner, which was latkes, brisket, and pumpkin pie for dessert. I have decided that latkes rule…granted, I’ve known them as potato pancakes for a long time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Still, they were delicious…I liked them plain, but various folks used sour cream, ketchup, grape jelly, or applesauce as decoration.
The best moments during the present exchange were (in no particu
lar order):
* Seeing Sam (who is 3) get excited about presents. He loved unwrapping the gifts and announcing what it was. He helped *everyone* unwrap, which meant we all had to go one at a time so that he could help. ๐Ÿ™‚ HWHNYBN and I both just about died laughing when he opened one of his gifts and announced in a perfect imitation of a game show host, “It’s A BRAND NEW CAR!” Hee. ๐Ÿ™‚
* HWHNYBN’s cousin handed me a gift and said “It’s a book, and I want to warn you that it’s used.” It turns out that it was a copy of Sweet Life: Erotic Fantasies for Couples which has been on my Amazon wish list for awhile. ๐Ÿ™‚ She said she couldn’t help reading it herself first! ๐Ÿ™‚ I should note that this particular cousin is also mentioned by name, with credit to her sense of sexual freedom, in The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays by another cousin of HWHNYBN.
* Watching HWHNYBN’s parents’ faces when they opened their gifts…I had picked out a modern art style serving dish set I knew they’d like from an art gallery in one of the malls here, and I do think they really liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚
We slept in the next day, with some plans to see Return of t
he King or possibly go to the casino. As it happened, we didn’t do either activity. Instead, we played with Sam and lounged around the house. At 5pm, we headed over to an uncle’s house for another dinner celebration. This one introduced me to a new food delight…kugel! I looked on the web for a recipe to post, but I couldn’t find one that was similar to what we had. This one was just cinnamon, eggs, egg noodles, and butter, cooked in a pan like lasagna is. It was delicious. I’m told that kugel usually also has cottage cheese or ricotta and sometimes some fruit or vegetables…but as I’m anti-cheese, I liked it the way it was fixed this time.
There was more present exchanging at this party, and it was also fun to spend time with the rest of HWHNYBN’s family. One of his aunts plays an interesting game with her presents. She just puts a number on the gift and she has the recipients stand in front of the present. Then she walks by and either says that you’re correct or incorrect. Then, you have to switch around until you are correct, with her verifying after each round of switching. HWHNYBN tells me that this game was originally played more like a logic puzzle in that she would just say “3 of you are correct” or “2 of you are correct” until everyone was correct, but since there were 15+ people this year, the game was simplified a little so that we would finish before midnight!
We played a rousing game of electronic Catch Phrase, which resulted in a couple of funny moments, but they’re all “you had to be there” funny, so I won’t bore you with them.
Afterward, it was still fairly early, so HWHNYBN and I headed to the movie theatre for ROTK. I’ll post my thoughts on that separately with a spoiler warning. It was a long movie, so we didn’t get home until well past 1am. HWHNYBN ended up having to wake up early to help a relative move some furniture, but I slept in. We traded driving duties for the trip home so that he could nap.
It was good to be home again…to see Maggie and sleep in a familiar bed, but I felt much more comfortable around HWHNYBN’s family this time than I have during previous visits. It was a good trip to Detroit for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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