... and other things I've learned from the crowd in the comments.
Here's some answers to the questions posed.
1. Kathy in KS asked if there is a recording of the Cosmic Otters out there. This is us playing last spring at the Kalamazoo, Michigan dance with Becky Hill calling. (She's, like, a famous contra dance caller who we were sorta nervous playing for. It didn't help that the Fool and I are incapable of getting to Kalamazoo on time and always end up screaming down this little country road to the grange hall, slamming the car into park and leaping out with our instruments to race onto stage.)
The tunes, by the way, are The Cúil Aodh (trad. Irish) and a little something the Fool wrote called "Baby in a Wheelbarrow."
2. Laurie asks, why is the dance weekend called Breaking Up Thanksgiving.
The name is a takeoff on "Breaking Up Christmas," which is an old-time tune, and also a Southern tradition of house parties and dances in the two weeks following Christmas.
The Chicago weekend grew out of a house party way back in the '70s and still has jamming and dancing featuring pickup bands and volunteer callers, so it's in the spirit of Breaking Up Christmas, just a few weeks early.
3. Laurie also asks, when did we eat the cookies?
Well, Laurie, contra dancing is hard work. Dance weekends have, as a standard feature, a snack table to go with the big coolers of water and sometimes lemonade or hot drinks.
There's usually cut up fruit and vegetables, salty crunchy things (popcorn, pretzels, chips and salsa, nuts), and sweets, homemade and store bought.
So we handed the four batches of cookies (chocolate mint chip, chewy ginger, cranberry bars and cranberry-white chocolate-oatmeal) off to the snack table organizer and they got eaten throughout the weekend.