Special Feature: Thanksgiving Game Plan


Haverhill family masters art of building meal around the game

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Wednesday, November, 14 By Julie Kirkwood
Staff writer

In the Pike Family, the Thanksgiving day meal has always been scheduled around the big Haverhill High football game. Sandy (Pike) Faraci, who hosts dinner for 30 to 35 family members, is the daughter of the late Bill Pike, who announced the Haverhill football games for many years.

Her brother Bob was the Haverhill High football coach and now her nephew Rob is an assistant coach. And her sister's husband, Peter Shanahan, is the Haverhill athletic director. Virtually all the Pikes who aren't leading their team to victory are cheering from the stands.

So how do Sandy and her husband, Bill Faraci, get a meal on the table for the big family Thanksgiving celebration? "Essentially, somebody has to stay home and cook," Bill said. "We've been doing it for a number of years now. We've pretty much got it down."

Sandy and Bill start meal preparation the day before Thanksgiving and spend all morning Thanksgiving Day cooking and preparing the meal so it's ready to serve whenever the post-game crowd filters in. Dinner time is always a moving target.

"We decide, at some point, that there's enough people there, and we've waited long enough, and we're never going to get the coaches out of the post-season meeting anyway, that's when we start," Bill said. "Usually it's around 2 or 2:30 p.m."

Here's their typical timeline for making the meal work:

The day before

5:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day

7:30 or 8 a.m.

9 a.m.

1 p.m.

2 to 2:30 p.m. (or whenever the first wave of guests gets home from the game)

4 p.m. and throughout the late afternoon

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