A Paminidic Thanksgiving

Is there a blessing for a Pandemic Thanksgiving dinner? Absolutely there is; it's only how you look at it.  While visions of the family sitting around the table, enjoying a wonderful meal are lovely to think about, it can be a myth.  There are not many meals where Elaine and I have agreed about many things such as food, friends, fuss, dogs, and menu because it's hard to decide when two people are so alike.  

A wonderful Idea

This year is different because of the pandemic and families with the lack of getting together.  This could be a blessing or a curse, you decide!  In years past, you plan for that joyous occasion.  You buy groceries for weeks and look for that special turkey.  Is it fresh or frozen, and how big will it be, stuffing inside or not, canned cranberries or real berries, rolls or croissants?  In my world, I want all of the choices. The days of Norman Rockwell dinners seem to be long gone, but we always try.  I LOVE a big Thanksgiving dinner, and I always ask Elaine to make extra so we can have it for days.  I never tire of it and hate it when the food is gone.

After heated discussions of who is coming, what food is served, who sits where, and where the kid's table will be, along with trying to please everyone is finally here, and today is it.  Getting up at the crack of dawn and baking several different perfect pies is in order, but they are only made with homemade flakey crust with buttered Crisco.  The turkey is on, and hopefully, it's thawed because you can't defrost an 18-pound turkey in 12 hours; note to self!

"How do we fix that" are the words of the day with several situations each hour.  When the cooking starts and all the burners are on, and the oven is on 400 degrees, it's hot.  Someone with hot flashes is starting to strip down to their bra and panties.  The kitchen just went from a "G" rating to an "R" rating not only because of the scantly clothed people but the language, smoking, and drinking and hopefully not to an "X" rating.  We are approaching the bowels of hell very quickly.

When all the food is made, you need to find a place to put it.  With all the Doodads (an ornamental attachment or decoration) on the table, where does the food go?  There are individual Doodad utensils for creamers, salt & pepper shakers, gravy bowls, silverware, plates, butter-dishes, and I know this from personal experience.  I love a Buffet with one fork; I don't need a knife; I can pick it up and eat it.

Who will be the first to knock over a glass, talk politics, religion, break wind, watch the crying baby cry.  Most of us already know, and hopefully, someone will change the topic to "is it supposed to rain tomorrow?" 

Not much talking after everyone digs in, but toward the end of the meal, belching, flatulence, stretched belts, and thoughts of not wearing tight pants or your girdle are in order.  The kids ate only the Jell-O, and there were not enough homemade dumplings, but they're never is.  After dinner, the TV goes on, and all the seats, couches are jacked (reclined) back for comfort, and hopefully, everyone got to take a stroll outside and "walk their air off." before taking their seat. It's time to go home in everyone's mind, but everyone is polite to stay for pie and dirty every dish, utensil, saucer, glass, and cup in the entire house.

Not Gonna Happen
After being refined and staying just the right time, it's time to leave.  On one occasion, we had the entire family with all the kids at the cabin.  Several tables were set up for dinner, and afterward, the musicians in the family played a concert that everyone enjoyed.  It was a grand time for all, and it was the best holiday we ever had on the farm.  Family, food, fellowship, and it was the only time everyone was altogether at the farm.  It doesn't get any better; everything was perfect.  Walking to the car to go home, one family member who was leaving was asked by us, "How did you enjoy the food and entertainment?"  "We will never do this again," they said, and we didn't.

A Better Idea?

When everyone had gone home, and we are sitting and reflecting on the day, I can't help to think and hope everyone will enjoy "my" leftovers they took home.  Many years ago, we took all four of our young kids to a rented cabin; I pulled out a bottle of wine.  It's something I rarely did in front of the kids, and my 10-year-old son asks, "Daddy, why are you drinking wine? My answer was short and to the point, "to take the edge off."  While I'm sure he did not understand,  he called several years ago, "Dad, I understand so well about the wine."  

A pandemic Thanksgiving you say?  It may not be a bad idea in some cases.   Happy Thanksgiving.  Elaine is cooking a full meal today with homemade pies, and we will enjoy it; she is such a trooper.  Ken