Almost as soon as the Johnson boys were old enough to have firm convictions and express strong opinions (I think all three of them were still under 5 at the time), they let us know that the inevitable two weeks of turkey leftovers, turkey soup, and turkey goulash associated with Thanksgiving had become an unbearable burden for them. Could we do something less poultry-oriented this year? (All my sons were born with a preference for red meat, just like their dad.)
So, some 15 years ago or so, we started a new tradition in our family: Thanksgiving pizza.
It's not that effeminate matzo-crust delivery stuff with nothing of any substance on it. This is serious made-from-scratch deep-dish gourmet pizza with a full pound of cheese and a pound or more of meat in one large-size classic 2-inch-deep Chicago-style pizza pan.
The sauce and crust must be made from scratch. The cheese must be grated by hand from solid blocks of three different varieties of sharp Italian cheese purchased at the delinot that cheapo, bagged, pre-grated Costco "mozzarella."
Making the pizza is a minimum four-hour project. Cooking a stuffed 18-pound turkey would frankly be quicker. But nowhere near as good.
I'd post my recipe for the gourmet pizza, but it's a closely-guarded family secret. In an era where few people really appreciate the value and richness of tradition, we fiercely guard our family customs.
We hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.
7:00 PM Update:
This is an actual photo of the Johnsons' 2005 Thanksgiving pizza (after cooking and carving, but prior to consumption). It was fine.