The anticipation of creating another round of holiday memories is killing me. Thanksgiving here is like running a marathon with a sprint at the end.
When all is said and done – the taters mashed, the gravy whisked and the bird carved I collapse into my chair at the end of the table. Exhausted but happy.
The kids are antsy – they have had to wait for me so they can crack open the Thanksgiving poppers. Once reserved for Christmas the “Christmas Crackers” are now incorporated into Thanksgiving as well. Filled with a cheap toy, a riddle and a paper crown they are a well loved tradition.
We say our blessings – read our riddles and dig in.
Soon the stories begin & laughter ensues.
Remember the time…..
I offered to host Thanksgiving for the first time. My mother in law Lois offers to bring the turkey. Great! Until she showed up Thanksgiving day with a frozen solid bird! Rock hard. After an exasperating day trying to defrost a 20 lb turkey we ate at about 9 PM.
Then there was the time that Aunt Judy brought a Pilgrim cake – taking a bite I thought it tasted ‘off’ and put down my fork just as I heard Judy proclaim that she had made the cake for last Easter but didn’t get eaten so put it in the freezer – scraped the frosting off and re-invented it as a pilgrim. Ahhhhh – the off taste was indeed freezer burn.
Of course the story of Betsy will be told – the cocker spaniel that managed to nose her way into a bag of tarts someone had brought to share and consume the entire batch.
Or the Thanksgiving Eve I decided, after a couple of glasses of wine, to score chestnuts with a brand new serrated knife – opps! There went the end of my index finger and off to the ER. (There is an important lesson to be learned here.)
Along with the Grandma Lois stories will be the cranberry relish story. Let me explain….
Lois always made her “Famous” cranberry relish. Whole oranges (pith and all) whole cranberries and an assortment of other ingredients ground up together. Truth be told – the only people who liked this stuff were her two sons. (or at least they claimed to like it) We would all take a scoop – place it carefully on the side of our plates and dutifully smear it around the plate disguising it the best we could. Then along came the year that I looked across the table to see my brother in law shudder and pucker.
“Hey – Mom ….???”
“Oh, Honey – how do you like the relish? I didn’t have any oranges so I used grapefruit!”
Then their was the year my stubborn father learned why we don’t feed the dog table food. He offered to carve the ham and ignoring our warning he was secretly tossing the dog scraps of ham fat. After we all finished eating we heard that ominous noise… “BAAAARRRFFF” and the dog vomited all over my fathers foot!
Of course there will be the story of the year we were invited to our friends house. 35 + people, sit down – pass the dishes type dinner. I arrived to the wonderful smell of turkey roasting – coming down to the wire I offered to help. She said “Grab the turkey from the lower oven and I will get the one out of the top oven.” I open the door and the oven is cold – there sat a poor turkey in it’s bag – raw. She forgot to turn on both ovens! At least we had one turkey!
At the time of these ‘events’ we weren’t laughing – well, most of us weren’t. Years later – not only do we laugh but these hiccups ARE the reason we remember that particular holiday.
I can’t wait to hear the kids and now grand kids tell their stories this year.
Remember – to smile & laugh – your kitchen adventures are memories being made.