Wednesday, November 30, 2011

thanksgiving report

This is being written for the relatives who could not attend the family dinner and the guilty know who they are. The rest of you readers can go rent DVDs or make some soup because as a family we are not that interesting.

My daughter offers her house for Thanksgiving and damn I am glad. She's a social girl, the lovely Carrie and the next day I say, aren't you glad it's over?  I know her answer before I hear it, "actually, I like having people over," she says sounding a bit wistful.  Once again the evidence is clear, babies were switched at birth and this is not my living flesh and blood, yet I love her fiercely.

I suck at entertaining and the holidays bring my inadequacies to the surface.  My mother excelled at hospitality and anyone who supped at her table felt nurtured, her ironed violet linen napkins folded under the silverware.  If you get a food spill at  my house I will gladly throw a roll of paper towels at you.  I remember riding in the car with my parents, my son and his girlfriend.  My mother was talking about something and suddenly the girlfriend looked her straight in the eye and said, "I like you."  I was steaming in the front seat thinking why does nobody ever ever like me? But why should they?  The term polite company in my book means company who are polite enough to stay home and not expect me to wait on them.

We had 56 pounds of turkey, I'm serious, for eighteen adults and a smattering of small children who were mainly interested in dinner rolls and desserts.  Like I said, people cancelled along the way, no matter, Thanksgiving reigns as leftovers royalty and my gravy was smashing, I must say, simply smashing and it will live again, thanks to freezable containers.

Last year I hired some young bakers at the farmers' market to do the pies, I was too full of my mother's loss to deal with that baking requirement.  Pies were her speciality but those pseudo desserts were dull and lifeless and full of too much sugar. This year I produced a pumpkin pie of superior value, butter and brown sugar and walnuts between the crust and the filling, Marie's recipe on a cinnamon-stained card.  My sweet sister-in-law experimented with mincemeat to please the old man and who the hell eats mincemeat anyway?

End of the evening and I realized I had not seen my father for an hour. I walk down to the basement just a few creases in my forehead and there he is, sitting at the table surrounded by five children. They are teaching him Texas Hold'em and he says to me, "they understand the game but not the value of the hands."  Expertise intersects with youthful enthusiasm and it's a win-win situation.  Oh, lovely day. 

1 comment:

AmySueRose said...

That was a feast fit for Harry VIII