Eric Zinczenko, group publisher of Time4 Outdoors, chimed in with our favorite answers to both questions. He served up wild turkey and fresh venison that he hunted himself. As the kids say, that's keeping it real. "What am I thankful for? Being better-looking than my brother." He quickly followed up the answer with "the love among our family."
Reader's Digest Association Chairman Thomas O. Ryder may be in the midst of leaving the company with a bang, but his mind turns toward family during his favorite holiday. "We all gather at our house in Fenwick near Old Saybrook and enjoy each other for a couple of days." Of course, running a close second to family in Tom's life is food. His turkey-day favorite? "Hands down, it's cornbread-and-sausage dressing adapted from my mother's recipe. It's so good I can only eat it once a year."
Mack Simpson, creative director at Dieste Harmel & Partners in Dallas, was happy to see his baby girl born "with 10 fingers and 10 toes and lacking a prehensile tail (even a tiny one)." He's also "thankful some redneck, sitting out back behind his double-wide, looked at his fish-fry rig and thought, 'I wonder if I could shove a turkey in that thang and fry 'er up!' Otherwise, I'd be left with dried out Butterball smothered in giblet gravy."
Speaking of giblets, Steve Slon, editor of AARP The Magazine, is thankful for them. Steve writes in: "I just like the sound of it ... 'Giblets."'
Dennis Ryan, chief creative officer of Element 79 in Chicago, went the opposite direction on the food chain. "My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the killer roster of vegetable options: mashed potatoes, green-bean casserole with those fried-onion things, creamed corn, brussels sprouts, chestnut stuffing and an odd family tradition: mashed rutabagas."
We've officially broken an Adages record for number of nonmeat endorsements in one column. And that's without mentioning Ladies' Home Journal Editor in Chief Diane Salvatore's favorite: breaded cauliflower.
American Baby VP-Publisher Norma Blatto's favorite part of the meal is "my homemade cranberry conserve, which my mother-in-law loves but my husband can't stand." Judith Nolte, editor in chief of the same title, says that her favorite part is "the part where the dishes are done!" Amen to that.
Brian Gruseke, associate publisher of Parents, is grateful that "my kids are finally potty-trained."
Brian wasn't the only guy offering thanks to the potty-training gods. Golf World Editor in Chief Geoff Russell is glad to be done training his triplets. Proving that he's a glutton for punishment, Geoff says his favorite part of the day is "listening to my stepfather (a Michigan alum) and my sister-in-law (an Ohio State alum) discuss the BCS system."
Linda Fears, editor in chief of Family Circle, is "thankful for surviving my first year parenting two teens and a tween without everyone killing each other."
Joseph Guerriero, publisher of Success and ever the wise guy, is thankful "that I didn't get an invitation to Dick Cheney's annual turkey hunt in Jackson Hole."
Johanna Buchholtz-Torres, editor in chief of Siempre Mujer, is thankful for "Sudoku, Epicurious.com., iPod, JetBlue, DVR, GPS, drive-thrus, a simple hug... and all those things that keep us and our kids on the right track, entertained, connected and happy."
More Editor in Chief Peggy Northrop says about Turkey Day: "It's the one time all year that I eat things like turkey skin and gravy. Yum!"
Lisa Sherman, senior VP-general manager of the Logo network, is grateful that the "first ad-supported gay and lesbian channel has attracted 80 national advertising partners. ... Personally, I'm thankful for what that means for my community."
And we saved the man with the longest title for last. Jerry Shereshewsky, Yahoo's ambassador plenipotentiary to Madison Avenue, is thankful for the good health of his wife and family-and for still loving the advertising business after 37 years.
His favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? "Friday. There's so much good stuff in the fridge that I can surf there all day. ... I also like the part where we hide the turkey leg somewhere in the living room and all the young kids and animals go searching for it. The one who gets it gets a silver dollar. Or is that Passover?"
No, Jerry. Passover's all about the brisket. But we'll all have to wait till next year for that.
Send leftover dark meat to email@example.com