our thanksgiving

More holidays should be like Thanksgiving (and I don't just mean because of the food). In my family, this day means the four of us gathered around the table in the middle of a Thursday, eating comfort food, with Bailey somewhere nearby. We don't exchange presents and we don't spend hundreds of dollars. There aren't any Thanksgiving songs to sing or Thanksgiving movies to put on. There's the meal, and the random television shows after, but there's little else. It is filled with everything that matters and none of what doesn't. And this year, on a day when the hot water went out and the weather got much colder and two fire trucks rushed to our neighbor's for some kind of emergency, we were blessed to look around and see not what we lack but what we have. You know, this little family I have been given are the three people I have fought most with in this life, the ones who know exactly what drives me crazy and who have seen me at my most selfish and ugly, and we disagree on many things, … [Read more...]

good enough for grazing

This may seem a strange thing to say, the day before the nation's biggest food holiday, especially one in which I'll be doing the cooking, but here it is: I'm not really one for huge meals. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving. It's right up there with Easter as my favorite holiday. Every end of November, I love that we have a specific, routine reminder to stop and be grateful for all we've been given, and of course part of that is the table spread with turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and green been casserole and rolls and Jell-O molds and pies. But, if I were to offer one small complaint with this holiday, it is this: the indulgence of eating all those good things---and so much of them---at one, long, stuffing-yourself-until-your-pants-don't-fit sitting. I'd much prefer to graze all day, and in fact, that's what I do. In my family, at Thanksgiving, we make more turkey than we need, so we can have sandwiches for a week after. We save all the … [Read more...]

Hedged Bets & New Traditions

In my family, Thanksgiving mornings have always been quick, light bites first thing when you wake, as the scent of roasting turkey barely begins to float through the kitchen. In our pajamas, we eat cereal, cups of coffee, maybe a piece of toast. But, anticipating, we stop there. It’s no different than any other kind of delayed gratification, just like working this week means a paycheck next or not buying yourself new clothes---not even the creamy white coat with the 3/4 sleeves---means more money in your savings account or a little extra to spend on Christmas gifts. That’s all well and good, most years. When the turkey is a sure thing, when the stock market is strong, by all means put off pleasure. Look ahead to the later reward. But what about when the long-term benefit seems a little, well, unsure? This year, for example, the economy is in flux. Also, I’d be responsible for getting the Thanksgiving meal on the table. While very different situations, putting all my faith in the … [Read more...]

On Thanksgiving

As a child, I counted the days to Thanksgiving. You don’t have to tell me this is unusual. As far as holidays go, most kids would agree Christmas is the best, with its presents, cookies and long break from school. Shopping malls and radio stations also rush to December, bringing out music and promotions just after Halloween. But, in this holiday’s defense, I offer one word: turkey. Before I was old enough to know how a bird was cooked, I understood that slicing the crispy brown skin of one fresh from the oven would reveal white, tender meat perfect for a week’s worth of sandwiches. Coupled with all the trimmings, Thanksgiving turkey makes a meal worth anticipating. And this year, for the first time, I’d be the one making it. The star of our feast was an eight-pound turkey breast (because we prefer white meat, and because we’d be out of town, so smaller would be easier) filled with my grandma’s recipe for moist bread stuffing, the most delicious thing I eat every year and so … [Read more...]

A Meme, at T Minus 1 Day

turkey-day

OK, friends, I’m not really one to do these sorts of things, but Robin Sue at Big Red Kitchen tagged me for this meme, and so how can I say no? But one more thing before you plunge into the below lists: We are T-1 day to Thanksgiving. As in, it's tomorrow! Oh. My. Gosh. Something I’ve been meaning to tell you, planning to tell you for the past few weeks is that, this year, I will be doing the family feast. Yes, you read that right. My mom will still be making pumpkin pie, mainly because hers is perfect. But the rest is me. This whole prospect is terrifying and exciting, both, lightened only slightly by the fact that we are trimming the meal down because of location—we’re celebrating at the Wisconsin cabin. In fact, we are driving there right now. When I return, I promise stories, recipes and a full review of everything in between. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! On with the meme! 7 Things I Did before 1. Went to college in Florida 2. Went to college in Wisconsin 3. … [Read more...]