This is another repost...........
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The story of Thanksgiving 2006
As I prepared for this thanksgiving I often wondered if I would actually be able to pull it all off. Because I never had actually made a Thanksgiving dinner before. Sure I've cooked turkeys and the trimmings but I didn't have all the pressure of it all being the "holiday dinner". After all since losing my Mother In Law just two months earlier we all deserved to have a nice dinner. Living up to Ed's mother in the kitchen is huge. She was revered to be the best cook by her whole family. So I had some pretty big shoes to fill. So setting out to make this a really wonderful dinner I planned every last detail. I sat down with my sister in law and we split the list up to make it easy for both of us. I would do the turkey, stuffing, mashed Potatoes, green bean Casserole, cole slaw and of course "pickings". Her list was sweet potatoes, corn, broccoli, dinner rolls, and Cranberry sauce. My brother in law was going to attempt to make Escarole soup, a Thanksgiving tradition. I know it doesn't seem too equal but I'm kind of a control freak that way. She also asked if her mother and aunt could come to dinner because they "had no other place to go". So of course I agreed, after all no one should be forgotten on any holiday.
I wake up the Saturday before Thanksgiving with the worst "chest cold" in recent memory. I panic, "I can't be sick I have a whole dinner to cook in 5 days". So I arranged to see my Dr on Monday evening. The Dr hooked me up with some antibiotics and a cough medicine. Ok this will take care of it. One problem under control. I go to pick up the cough medicine and they tell me $71.37. What........seventy what. No I can't spend seventy anything on 8 oz of cough medicine. Nyquil has been working and I'll stick to that. Tuesday, I kill my total energy for the day while shopping for the dinner. By Wednesday I thought I was doing a lot better until I tried to sleep through the night. I was coughing so bad that I actually woke up Ed in the middle of the night. I chug some nyquil and stress about getting to sleep because tomorrow is turkey day. The day arrives too early. I get up from trying to sleep at 7 am to start preparing the meal. I make the stuffing, prepare the bird and send Eddie down to his father's house to pop him in the oven.(the turkey that is) I actually have time to get a shower and pull myself together.
As we arrive at his father's house we all have this awkward feeling. Mine a feeling of emptiness. Ed's mother would have greeted us at the door and the house would be filled with all those familiar smells. Instead the house is quiet, Ed's dad is sitting around watching the parade but not his regular self. He is very quiet, and just going through the motions. We come in and try to lighten up the scene as we bring in bags with all kinds of good stuff to be prepared. Ed and I get right to it he starts on the deviled eggs and I start peeling potatoes. Mitch and Matt are arguing about the proper way to set up a cheese tray and Lucas is just ready to play. I am excited to use my new digital probe meat thermometer. This way I will know that I'm doing it right!! Well, 3/4 of the way through, the $14 piece of crap quits on me and leaves me guessing. The bird doesn't even have one of those plastic pop up things in it.........Ugh. My brother in law his wife and daughter mosey in at 3:30 ( dinner at 4pm). They are greeted to a mostly complete meal and a pretty set table. I look around and No Mother and Aunt. No mother and Aunt... I ask in my fake voice "oh are your mother and Aunt on their way?" because now if I dry out this bird I will have to toss it out the window and go find a bridge if you know what I mean. Jennifer replies "no" ...yes that's all "no" so I repeat "are they on their way HERE..aahh are they running late?" She says "no they went over my cousin's house, they decided on Tuesday to go over there". What how in the world could anyone be so inconsiderate! You didn't have the decency to call and say "two of the guests will not be attending, Thank you for their invitation..blah blah blah.." But yet you called me two times during this week to tell me about your daughter's recital on Dec.21 st and the cost is $15 a person.......AHHH * Side Note* Why in the world should you have to pay to see your child perform in a recital of which you've been paying for dancing lessons....Sorry just has to say thatOk, well this might be good then two less people is better a tad less stress. right. yeah I don't think soSo we remove two place setting from the table and prepare to eat. But wait a minute the food they brought to be served is stone cold. Yes my darling Bro in Law made the soup only 30 gallons of it and it's all cold!!! The soup is the appetizer ..it can't be cold. So as I try to warm the largest stock pot you've ever seen I turn and ask about the other food they were bringing because I will probably have to heat that too.
"Umm do you have the rest of the food in the car? Cause we should probably get warming it up....." in my fake voice with a few crackles trying not to tear up or start hacking my head off again."Oh I forgot it" she repliedI said with a really long pause kinda in a bit of shock but not really "ooohhh OOOKKKAAAYYY" "didn't forget you Smirnoff Ice and Coor's Light though did ya" I thought and keep to myselfWe will proceed without them. Who need veggies anyway.As we all sit down to the table I serve the soup, and Lucas looks up and says "I'm ready for my corn." Since he was looking forward to only eating corn and a dinner roll, My heart breaks" Luke I'm sorry we don't have corn" "but you said that I could have corn""I'm sorry Buddy, it didn't work out that way"Now I'm even more mad cause now you just disappointed my kid.As I serve the soup I realize that whom ever made in didn't read the recipe quite right when it said "chop escarole" because there are huge leaves in the pot. stems and all..Oh my God.
I sit and proceed to say grace. The prayer that I've stayed up for two nights writing myself. (Okay I was up coughing anyway)And Nothing barely any Amens....Okay I pour my heart and soul out on the table and Nothing.........I just smile to myself cause if I don't I'm gonna cry and cry...So they start eating their soup.Matthew who always loved the soup since he was a baby says " I don't like this seaweed soup"I think that sums up the entire 1st course
The bird is out and beautifully browned. My nerves are shot at the thought that when we go to carve this pretty bird that blood will just stream out and I will have to go find that bridge I was talking about. But no, the bird is cooked . Thank God. (one more thing to be thankful for)
We carve and serve the everyone is eating and I am spent. physically and mentally. The food tastes great. I finally got my stuffing to taste just like my mom's! Yay
That's the end of the celebration for me.
Clean up time! I sit at the table and swear to myself I will not clean up cause I've been cooking for days. There are plenty of people to help. So I sit and exchange conversation with Granpop. As the table stays dirty and the plates are piling up. I see visions of Ed's mom cleaning, "she would have never let the dishes pile up" runs through my mind over and over. "no, I cooked now they clean up" As my sister-in-law cracks open another Malt beverage I decide that I will do what needs to be done cause she is walking around trying to look busy.So As I wash every dish by hand cause it's Ed's great grandmother's china, I slump over the sink in agony cause my back is killing me. I'm handed two Advil by my "thoughtful Sister in Law"Oh thanks maybe could you pick up a sponge instead. Yet another comment I keep to myself.
As it is all said and done I say to myself that I'm glad I did it because we are making memories for the kids . My fondest memories are of childhood Thanksgivings with hand print turkeys and homemade place cards.
I guess I'll just know what to expect next year.
As I search for some compliments I've included my original prayer.Thanks for reading
Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food Prepared by loving hands.
As we partake of this feast,
We pray for health and strength to guide us though our darkest days.
On this Thanksgiving dayI pray that we may heal our wounded spiritsand
rejoice in all the Blessings that surround us
Those special gifts that have no price,
Our Friends and Family that means so much