Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sunday Post: Waiting for Thanksgiving

Good Sunday to you, people. Have you begun making your Thanksgiving day plans yet? Better hurry! It's like the last few days before Christmas, when you suddenly remember you've forgotten to get Aunt Sarah a present. Then you're too tired to stop off at the mall after work, and you end up waiting in line on Christmas Eve to buy her a gift card to look like you put at least a little thought into your gift, and knowing that no one, not even Aunt Sarah, really prefers gift cards to cash.

With Thanksgiving you've got to be sure you haven't forgotten any important component of the feast, like the cranberry sauce. I remember one year, I made Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. The family came to my house for the Happy day. The sounds of NFL football blared from the television set. The house was filled with the smell of turkey and potatoes and peas and gravy and pumpkin pie and... "Damn!" came the cry from some old man (I'm not even sure he was a relative) "Where's the stuffing!" Dear Lord! I cried out inside my forgetful, absent-mined head, I forgot to make dressing! The thing was, I'd actually purchased one of those boxes of stuffing/dressing mix, probably the cornbread variety, but had left it on the shelf, and the old guy hadn't mentioned a thing until the meal was nearly over. I'd noticed he had looked a little peeved the whole time he'd been eating though, but I thought it was just old geezer syndrome or something, not that he was angry that I spoiled one of his last Thanksgiving dinners.

And on the subject of stuffing, is it stuffing when you cook inside the bird, and dressing when you cook it outside the bird? I think so, though I've also heard that those uptight Victorians actually came up with "dressing" as a substitute name for stuffing, as they thought "stuffing the bird" sounded improper.

I can see, actually, why some people just go out to eat on Thanksgiving. A co-worker said she made dinner last year, and this year she was just going to go to a casino buffet. I've had a few of my Thanksgivings that way over the years. One year it was just me and two business partners, and we waited until late in the day to go eat, like going on to 9 in the evening, only every place we stopped at was closed. We finally ended up at Black Angus and Mariam and I decided on a steak, while Robert, who looked sad at the prospect of a turkeyless Thanksgiving, ordered their special Thanksgiving dinner. Not exactly like those special restaurants we went to when I was a kid, with their enormous buffets and carving stations. Still, I think there is nothing as good as Thanksgiving at home, especially if you don't get too stressed out...

...or have to travel far in the TSA's Nazi America...

So, I wait for Thanksgiving and the chance to stuff myself, and when it's all over, I'll wonder what all the hype was about. I mean, I know don't about you, but I can only eat so much food at one sitting without making myself sick. It's like sex for me these days; I feel lucky if I'm really in the mood once a week, and once I've had it, I don't want it again for a while. So different from Chinese food.

I stopped off at a place called Trader Joe's and got some stuff to take to my Mom for Thanksgiving, including a jar of their cranberry sauce, which I've never seen in jars before, only cans. It looks good though. I got her some dried cranberries too, cause she wants to use them in her homemade dressing. I just hope she doesn't invite that old guy and then forgets to make it.

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