It's over
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Whew. It's finally over. I'll let you in on my dirty little secret: I hate Thanksgiving.
When I lived in my home state, I would get together with family for dinners often - at least once a month, usually more. Now that we live far away, we had Thanksgiving with just our family, which is still 8 people even if one of them is only 2 feet tall. It's not really *that* special. It's actually just a lot more work, and becoming Mom made it worse.

I don't know why. I just hate it. I hate the glurgy, public "We're so thankful for what we have" speeches that are usually insincere and run on every channel, every newscast. You're so thankful that the turkey's not even cold before fistfights are breaking out over a video game? Come on. I hate the anticipating Black Friday that goes on, complete with news coverage of people in tents outside of Best Buy. I hate the Macy's day parade - it puts me in a coma. Maybe if I was Elizabeth Perkins, looking for love but not knowing it, and having to staff up at unexpected times, I would like it. I love solving problems under pressure. But watching it while peeling potatoes? No thanks. I hate the specials that run, about "the real story of the Mayflower", and that always include things like "Most people don't know that the Pilgrims didn't eat pie on Thanksgiving - sugar was running low and there were no ovens", "The first Thanksgiving probably took place in early fall as a harvest festival", and such. Really? I've only heard it every year for the last two decades. Not many "surprising facts" about the Pilgrims actually surprise anymore.

My husband loves the turkey, and is always up to the challenge of cooking a good bird. This year, he used Liquid Smoke, inspired by Alton Brown's smoked turkey. My husband is also a nerd like me, and I watch Modern Marvels with him and he watches Good Eats with me. He also loves the Iron Chef - even though there's no way I'd ever eat a single thing that came out of Kitchen Stadium. Husband also makes the stuffing - oyster - leaving me with just the sides.

Yeah. He puts foil on a bird, turns on the oven, and leaves the kitchen. Actually, then he started making all kinds of other things, including eggs and caramel popcorn, preventing me from using the stove for a good portion of the morning. I made rolls using the breadmaker (note to self: test recipes before the big day. They were good, but had a crunchy shell). Brussels sprouts (husbands favorites, but I finally found an awesome way to cook them so I could stand to eat them). Potatoes, gravy. I was going to make a froo-froo "chick" salad with spinach, red onion, mandarin oranges, and rasberry vinaigrette. But my husband stole the red onion in the wee hours of the morning for his stuffing and then fed the kids the oranges. So I had spinach. Which I really like, but it's nothing special.

I love the pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. For the first time, my husband did not have to work on Thanksgiving. He was actually home Wed - Sun, which was a nice mini-vacation, but it also stinks to have a 15 hour week right before the rent is due.

I guess it's the let down - Thanksgiving is quite ordinary. I broke out the cloth napkins and good plates, but we always eat as a family. We always say grace before dinner. I always cook for a crowd. We're a 2 chicken family on a regular day, and a 10 lb. turkey is nothing special, except my husband fusses over it instead of me.

We even have turkey throughout the winter. I scored 4 turkeys for less than $5 each. They're good for at least 3 meals! We'll be eating them all winter. I hope to score some good hams for the freezer in December, too.

My pies turned out well, although not as pretty as the picture. I smack Cool Whip on top, instead of crushed pralines and greenery. I made an Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie, which I thought was a little sweet but everyone else loved. Also a pecan, which was really good but didn't slice very well. But again, that's not too special. I bake often, and my husband does too. He made $6 last week selling his chocolate chippers at work, and $7 selling my sausage kolaches. He's giving the tamale pushers a run for their money!

The kids were off for 5 days. We had a little bit of a rough time. Had a showdown with the 2 year old. I just threw away a stack of papers with childish writing scrawled all over them - I will obey. I will not hit my sister. I will not spit. I will not burp in people's faces.

Maybe I'm just in a cynical, melancholy mood this weekend.

But, we're done now, for which I can be truly Thankful.

Tags: Family Life, Mama Says
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 11/26/2006 08:04:00 PM | Permalink | |