Nov 26 2011

Thanksgiving Memories

Reprinted from Wed Nov 14, 2007

I suppose I should come up with some Thanksgiving content but it’s kind of hard since it’s not such a big deal holiday for the Gilmores.

The menu is very traditional- Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Wild Rice, Baked Sweet Potatoes (that’s for me), Acorn Squash (also mine), Broccoli and Cauliflower (everybody likes that), Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Jelly (the canned kind with the ridges in it, even have special serving pieces), Tossed Salad with 3 kinds of Dressing (all bottled), Jello Salad, Olives (black and cocktail), Sweet Pickles, Carrots, Celery, Cottage Cheese, and Gravy, Sour Cream and Butter.  Cheese and Crackers (at least 4 types of each), Mixed Nuts, Chips and Dip (California Onion, is there any other?) with wine and the finger food while the table is prepared, Apple and Pumpkin Pies (the audience is not at ALL the same) with Whipped Cream, Ice Cream, and Sharp Cheddar (for the Apple, really worth a try if you haven’t) for dessert.

I may have left out a couple, but I’m not as good as Emily.

Of the Turkey I get the giblets, the organ meat, which I like because they’re very different in flavor and texture from what you normally eat.  I’m not a vegetarian, I just like meatless Marinara better than ground beef Bolognese and if a meal doesn’t have meat in it that is so just not a big deal to me.

But the menus and rituals are very closely timed because it takes a while to turn out that kind of spread.  I won’t pretend the production staff is not segregated in it’s roles- Turkey preparation is ladies time from thawing it out as much as 2 days before (yeah it really takes that long for a big bird if you follow directions and do it in the refrigerator instead of cheating by soaking it in warm water- salmonela, isn’t he the Italian guy who lives down the street?).  None of that fancy Food Channel cooking neither, our Butterball is done when the thermometer pops up.

It is something of a rite of passage that moves around from house to house depending on the guest list.  My Aunty Mame will be visiting her daughter and family, so that will be a big deal, but the Gilmores are not traveling.

Nor will we be sticking to a schedule.  Since I’m currently not attached I get to do only the one on actual Thanksgiving with Richard and Emily (no Luke and the Kims for me this year).  My brother and sister and their emotional attachments will check in and out depending on their needs, one good thing about Thanksgiving food is that it re-heats real well.

So the meal will be peated and repeated all weekend until you are thoroughly sick of it, though I must admit a fondness for Turkey hash (Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing, and little broken Turkey bits in Gravy) over noodles or rice- that usually happens around Tuesday.  And the TV will suck too, all this Sports crap and Holiday Parade programming and the knowledge that it’s time to go out there and consume.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

More Holiday Memories.

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