So what is there to blog about on Thanksgiving Day when everyone is too busy cooking and eating to read it, anyway?
Well, judging from what I’m seeing around this week, there’s the complain-about-the-difficult-relatives possibility. The only problem is that we are not so afflicted this year. There will be 13 of us this year — the two of us, two daughters, five grandchildren, and the Canadian family we have shared US Thanksgiving with for too many years to count. Their two boys, who used to wrassle on the floor, are now bigger than their parents (who are not small people) and one is a freshman in college. They used to like being exiled to the kitchen table with any other kids where they could surreptitiously watch TV. They’ll be at the big table this year — it’s the grandchildren who get the kitchen with its pleasures!
Or I could go all soppy about what I’m thankful for this year, only we always do that at the Thankgiving table. (I know, we’re sort of an unsophisticated bunch.) This is probably a good year for us to do that and concentrate on our blessings: my daughter — the one with the five children — is going through a totally unexpected divorce, as her husband, dearly loved by all of us, decided in August he wants to make a new life with one of her friends. That’s going to be a gap at the table, but she is handling it with fortitude and grace — I am so proud of her! — and our grandchildren are getting used to it, in the adaptable way children do. It will take years, of course, to discover what the permanent damage may be.
Or I could produce a series of recipes. A little late to get them on Thanksgiving, I have to admit. And our Thanksgiving is completely traditional and pretty much as my mother used to do, except that we’ve deleted the jello salad a family friend made that we all loved then and can’t stomach now: lime jello and melted marshmallow and pineapple and mayonnaise and cream cheese and whipped cream. Why the cholesterol did not pop up in bubbles on the top I do not understand. But it’s otherwise what you’d expect: roast turkey with sage and onion stuffing; gravy made from drippings (and how turkeys do drip!); mashed potatoes; yams or sweet potatoes — just plain, baked and eaten with butter and gravy, with a fine disregard for the cholesterol I was just being picky about; peas or broccoli or some green vegetable, an acceptable lime jello salad for the kids made of jello, pineapple, and 7-Up, and rolls if I remember to buy some. Plus cranberry-and-orange sauce, plus the cranberry-sauce-that-comes-out-shaped-like-the-can for the traditionalists. Olives and pickles and little nut cups filled with nuts and M and M’s, which is what the kids eat first (another benefit of being out in the kitchen, where no one is concerned about nutrition). And pies. Pumpkin, sometimes a mince pie for my English husband — but they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving anyway, so I’m not bothering with that this year. French silk pie because we all like it.
Or I could just send you back to pick at the turkey. I do have a wonderful recipe for turkey carcass soup, but it’s not mine. Jane Brody has it in her splendid cookbook, Jane Brody’s Good Food Book. Copyrighted, unfortunately, and we authors have to hang together.
So happy Thanksgiving and jolly indigestion. My mother’s remedy was a swig of baking soda in warm water and go lie on the couch or the floor on your stomach — not a bad post-Thanksgiving-dinner activity in any circumstances.
And remember: we are now officially launched on the pre-Christmas extravaganza!
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