Little Man says, "Power to the People! Power to the People, oh yeah!"
Goodness gracious. Thanksgiving sure is different for me than it was a few years ago. Instead of being the first person up in a house full of people sleeping everywhere, I was the last person up in a house full of...two. Instead of having a list as long as my arm of dishes to prepare and check off as I go, I have one thing I need to cook today and it is in the oven. Where once chaos reigned on Thanksgiving morning now no one is even watching the Macy's Day parade. I'm sure there IS chaos happening at Lily's house and maybe Jessie's too but at my house there is peace and quiet and a cleaned up kitchen and a dishwasher chugging and instead of doing complete kitchen clean-ups ten or twelve times before dinner is even served, I'm done until I mess things up a bit making the gravy and whipping the cream.
Okay. Turkey Fun Fact: Four days in the refrigerator is NOT ENOUGH TIME to thaw a frozen 14 pound turkey. Nope. It's gonna take a lot of hot water (I've never killed anyone yet) before you can even get the giblet Popsicles our of the damn thing, much less stuff it. Please forgive me, vegetarians and vegans. And yes, if I'd had to raise and slaughter that bird we'd be having some nice pinto beans for dinner. I am a big fat hypocrite but I am at peace with that.
Anyway, the turkey is in the oven, filled with my incredibly non-gourmet, prosaic stuffing. This is one thing I just can't budge on. I am sure that stuffings and dressings made with homemade bread and currents and apricots and sausage and whatever else that people put in it are delicious but my god, I just love the Pepperidge Farm kind made with onions and celery and pecans. I do mix the Pepperidge Farm crumbs with a cornbread that I make the day before, seasoned with sage and thyme and crumbled up to marry happily with the commercial stuff. And I add a few cut up hardboiled eggs. I have made it with oysters before and I enjoyed that but honestly- I could just eat a bowl of this stuffing with some cranberries on the side and be completely delighted with Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way. And there will be THREE types of stuffing at Lily's house this afternoon and THREE types of gravy. There are going to be so many casseroles that the table will not hold them all. Two turkeys- my traditionally baked Butterball and a fried turkey.
Yes. A fried turkey.
Nothing could go wrong with that plan, is how I feel about frying a turkey but Jason and Lily are braver than I am.
Oh, the Thanksgivings I remember!
The year that a friend of mine drove all the way up from St. Pete to have dinner with us and got so perturbed when I pleaded with him not to replace the Vivaldi I was listening to on the CD player in a vain attempt to calm myself as I was making a meal single-handedly for twenty, with the blues he loved so much that he got in his car and left and went home.
All the years that my friend Lynn would come over on Thanksgiving morning before she had to be at her family's gathering to dance a little bit and to do a shot of rum with me. She'd always say, "Yum rum! Whoop-ai-ay! and down it would go.
The year I tore my knee up dancing with Owen the night before Thanksgiving at our then-traditional Thanksgiving Eve party and could not stand and cook so the children put me in Mr. Moon's huge and comfy recliner and gave me pain medication and cooked the whole dinner themselves. This might have been my favorite Thanksgiving ever. I was so happy.
Needless to say.
The year that Mr. Moon and I ran away to Dog Island all by ourselves, deserting our family. May made the kids' Thanksgiving dinner that year and I made a tiny chicken with stuffing and some green beans and potatoes for me and my love. I believe everyone may have been delighted with the stress free event that year.
Except for possibly May.
The year my oven quit working on Thanksgiving morning and we had to use our out-of-town next door neighbor's oven and the turkey was so damn big that Mr. Moon had to take it back and forth in a little red wagon.
This morning Mr. Moon went out to the garage to get the turkey from the refrigerator in there for me and I ran out to go with him. We held hands and went to let the chickens out.
I have no idea why (last night's joy, perhaps, still leaking from my heart?) but I am feeling so tender and loving this morning and I said, "It wouldn't bother me if we just stayed right here and ate that turkey and the cranberry sauce and the pies all by ourselves."
We laughed a little, feeling guilty, but not very guilty, mostly feeling thankful that we still love each other enough that we truly would be happy to spend the day alone together.
There are many, many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and if you have something to be thankful for, the rest is gravy, as they say.
But gravy is good and I'm sure that fried turkey is too and we have so much to be thankful for.
And I am thankful for you.