Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

So today is Thanksgiving and we all have much to be thankful for. Everyone will be spending the day (hopefully) with family and friends and enjoying a turkey that someone has gotten up early to prepare.

That someone, however, would not be me.

I’ve never actually cooked a turkey and I’m perfectly okay with that. I’m happy to be the person bringing a side or two and perhaps even a pumpkin pie for dessert, but being the one responsible for preparing a 10-20 lb. bird is a little outside my range of expertise.

Maybe it’s because I’m not all that fond of turkey, so have never had a burning desire to prepare it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any major objection to it. And turkey sandwiches the next day? Cool. Slap a slice or two on some nice crusty French bread, add a little mayo and lettuce and tomato – and we’re good to go. No muss, no fuss – and it meets my standards for the subsequent kitchen clean-up. As Vince says, I rate meals on how few dishes there are to clean up afterwards.

But having to thaw a turkey and pulling all that icky stuff out of the “cavity” of the bird? Ugh. I still can recall the first time I saw my mom boiling the heart and kidneys and gizzard of the turkey. I asked her what she was going to do with it and she actually said, “eat it.” I was horrified!

Yeah, okay, I’m a little squeamish when it comes to exotic foods. And pretty much anything in the organ family would be considered exotic.

And, don’t tell me about how wonderful liver and onions are. The only way I could choke that down when I was a kid was by taking the most miniscule amount of liver allowable (according to Mom’s Law) and smothering it with so many sautéed onions that I barely tasted the liver. No, I probably didn’t leave many onions for the other kids, but they were so busy complaining about the liver and making gagging sounds, that mom got perturbed with the lot of them and invariably gave them larger portions. I sort of slid under the radar when it came to liver, so much so that she honestly thought I liked it. I didn’t disabuse her of that notion until I was grown up and there was no risk of being at home on liver and onions night.

Pretty slick, eh?

Ever since Vince and I have been together, my parents have come to Columbus to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. This year, however, they are in Milwaukee with my sister, brother-in-law and niece. And my brothers will be spending the holiday with their wives and families.

So this will be the first year I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my new family. Certainly, I’ve spent other holidays with them, but it will be fun to share a meal with my in-laws.

Vince is downstairs in the kitchen preparing the side dish he agreed to bring while I’m up here writing. I should be down there with him preparing one of those pumpkin pie concoctions that have a yummy cream cheese and whipped cream layer, but I forgot to buy a key ingredient at the store yesterday (and, no, funny person, it was not the pumpkin.) So I guess I’ll have to wait and make it for another occasion during this holiday season, provided I manage to remember to pick up a couple boxes of pudding the next time I go Krogering.

Not that anyone is counting on me to bring dessert, but now I’m feeling a little empty-handed. Do M&Ms count technically as dessert?

Oh well. I’m sure there will be plenty of other yummy foods to eat – there always is at Thanksgiving, isn’t there?

And, really, the day is more about how thankful we are – and I, for one, am truly blessed. I have an amazing husband, and a loving family and wonderful friends. I have a warm, cozy home to come home to each night and a job that keeps a dollar or two in my pocket. And I just feel so grateful for everything that God has given to me – including a brain to be able to write the crazy things that I write and a body that lets me get up each morning to accomplish the things that I want to accomplish – even if I complain about doing it.

I could probably get gushier, but I think I’ll save you from rolling your eyes and making that gagging motion with your finger to your throat, okay? You’re welcome.

So to all who are celebrating Thanksgiving on this day, may your holiday be spent surrounded by family and friends. May you have plenty of food to fill your belly and enough football games to watch while you’re digesting. And for those of you crazy enough to get up in the early morning hours to shop on Black Friday, well, I was going to say may you get plenty of rest beforehand. But you’re just crazy, so I’ll let that alone.

One last Thanksgiving thought about gratitude? I’m grateful that the Pilgrims did not choose to feature liver and onions as the main course for their first Thanksgiving dinner. Yep, LOTS to be grateful for.

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