I find myself once again at the brink of my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I look forward to it immensely every year, never wondering what might be served. The table will always house my favorite things: roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce straight from the can. Yes, I said from a can! Anything else on the table is superfluous as far as I’m concerned. Oh wait…the rolls, I can’t forget the rolls AND they have to be that cheap $.99 kind. Why? Tradition, of course! By tradition I mean that the first batch of rolls is to be burnt because we ritually fail to remember they’re in the oven. So, getting the cheap kind makes the crime of wasted bread easier.
Families getting together and relishing the many flavors customarily at our table year after year is what Thanksgiving is all about, right? Grandma’s dressing, mom’s freshly mashed potatoes flooded with butter and sour cream, and a rich gravy that cannot be made without the essence of the turkey that just roasted, ever. My contribution is baked sweet-potatoes, the last acceptable addition to our unvarying feast. It was over a decade ago when I ambitiously tried a new recipe, having since made it my own. I'll admit that I attempted making them different last year, however I knew immediately that I had made a mistake after the first bite. Thanksgiving…shot! Kidding, I saved it when I made my traditional one the next day for leftovers, thus allowing to world to spin properly again.
This isn’t to say that a family member won’t make a delightful cranberry relish or even a friend sharing their famous broccoli-cheese casserole. Not only are they delicious (usually), but welcomed. All I’m saying is that my plate must be filled with the foods I’m thankful for – or else. Kidding…actually no, I'm not.
I'm very flexible when it comes to daily meals, really. On any given day you’ll find me trying to put a spin on chicken, fish or even ground beef. By the way, ever notice how limiting ground beef is? What do we got? Meat loaf, hamburgers, spaghetti or tacos – that’s about it. Nevertheless, I’m always online at Food Network, using the All Recipes app on my phone or fishing through many a cookbook, desperate to try something new. I’m pleased to say that I’ve created some pretty amazing things that have surprisingly expanded the very limited palate of my kids. That, my friends, is what it’s all about, pleasing the family. Unless you’re talking about Thanksgiving, then it’s all about me.
Bridgette and me.
But…this Thanksgiving will be different because we’re spending it with my dear friend and her amazing mother. Although I am genuinely thrilled at the idea, I did fear the initial discussion of the menu as this is her home. Far be it from me to be an ungrateful guest. Yet, I knew my alter-ego, the Thanksgiving Day Bully, would surface...and it did, yet very graciously. Can you believe my canned cranberry sauce was ridiculed?
I’m delighted to say that our Thanksgiving menu has been decided without jeopardizing a friendship. I’ll get my cranberries jellied as I like and she’ll make a fabulous cranberry soufflé that will no doubt make the finest of chefs green with envy. The important thing is that we are maintaining our individual traditions while creating new ones. That's something to be thankful for.
As a follow up to my previous post, it seems defriending both family and friends continues well after the election. We have the spiteful gloating on one side and the sore-losers on the other, neither seemingly equipped with the compassion that should be instilled after a hard fought race. The immaturity usually reserved for the young with an under-developed vocabulary has spread to those who have been around long enough to know better. With most of these cases, I do understand how our passions for what we feel is right get the better of us. However, this clouds your judgment when dealing with the choices of friends and family.
This isn’t everyone, of course. We do have those who have graciously conceded defeat. And, we have those who are quietly filled with satisfaction for the outcome they had hoped would come to pass. There’s no name calling on either side within this group. No disparaging remarks for the victor or for the one defeated.
I must say, I’ve had to walk away from my computer several times to avoid commenting on illogical statements about the presidential candidates. Sometimes is just isn’t worth it. Too bad there are so many who don’t feel that way.
My photo adventures in Florida