It’s that time of year. My favorite holiday is almost here! Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Woo hoo!
If you’re like me (and I know you’re glad you’re not) Thanksgiving in my family is always somewhat chaotic but, in the end, it all seems to come together. In that vein, here are some random thoughts, memories and menu suggestions about Thanks giving. Hopefully, in the end, it will all come together and make sense! Or not . . .
Minimum Standards for a Successful Thanksgiving Meal
* Turkey (duh!) No goose, ham or other unworthy substitutes
* Mashed Potatoes & Gravy. 800 lbs of mashed potatoes and a 55 gallon drum of gravy
* Stuffing. Nothing involving livers, gizzards, walnuts or other exotic ingredients. Bread, seasonings, liquid – mix it together and you’re done.
* Green Beans. Not that disgusting green bean, soup, French onion concoction that everyone’s grandma makes. Yecch!
* Cranberries. Not cranberry jelly – or whatever it’s called - but real cranberries
* Black Olives. One can per person. And yes, I still put them on my fingers.
* Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. Although there are beers that go well with Thanksgiving dinner (Saison Dupont, for example) my favorite Thanksgiving beverage is sparkling cider. Period.
* Pumpkin Pie. Like vegetables, simple and traditional is best. Don’t be bringing in your Mom’s Famous Mincemeat Pie.
* Whipping Cream. You can never have enough whipped cream. (Am I right, people?) While this can be eaten all by itself, I usually disguise my obsession by eating it with a slice of pumpkin pie. Cool Whip is a sad, sad substitute and has no place at the Thanksgiving table.
Random Thanksgiving Memories
* Getting up early, making coffee and reading the paper while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
* The Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions always play games on Thanksgiving Day. My least favorite NFL team and the perennially worst NFL team. This is not a highlight.
* When our kids were very young we started a family tradition of going to a movie after Thanksgiving dinner. When we first started doing this, the theater was virtually empty. Now everyone seems to do this.
* However, due to the magic sleep potion in turkey, I pretty much always fall asleep during the movie. Movies I have missed large portions of: Toy Story, Toy Story II, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Catch Me If You Can.
Best Thanksgiving Memory
* Jeremy’s birthday is November 25th and he came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day. Nancy’s mother got the turkey in the oven and the rest of the meal started while I was bringing them home. It was a crummy, cold, rainy day (not unlike today in western Oregon) but when we got Jerm home, and our little family of 5 gathered around the table (with Jerm sleeping in his bassinette thingy) it became the Best. Thanksgiving. Ever!
Things I’m Thankful For This Year
* My kids and their S.O.’s. Elizabeth & Jeremiah, Jake & Rachel, Jeremy & Cassie!
* Rudy. And Elizabeth’s enormous yellow lab, Hank.
* My Mom. The unintentionally funniest woman in America.
* My Dad. He provides hours and hours of fun with his unending rants on the current state of affairs in the United States.
* My brother and sisters. Especially my brother’s rebuttals of my father’s rants!
* Great books. South of Broad, Judas Unchained, The Shack
* Trashy TV: Mad Men, Modern Family, Battlestar Gasucktica and, of course, Survivor, Amazing Race and Big Brother.
* Music: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Raphael Saadiq, Melody Gardot, Glee,
* Politics. I’m a junkie for all the in-fighting and stupid commentary on the news channels and blogosphere. Bless you Glenn Beck, Keith Olberman, Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Chris Matthews and Carrie Prejean. Thank heavens we have John Stewart and Stephen Colbert to help us sort it all out.
* My job. Because where else could I work and be able to do this kinda stuff each week!