Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving, It's Not My Favorite

     I could write a lengthy blog post about why I've never been a fan of Thanksgiving.  But, to keep your from clicking away due to too much text, I will bullet point it.
  • Parades on TV are boring. When I was a kid, we only had a few channels, so Macy's was it
  • Growing up with all brothers, any TV past 11 a.m. was all about football
  • Went to gramma's where there were no other girls
  • My mom didn't like to cook, so I was not encouraged to come help in the little galley kitchen
  • Dressed like a girlie girl, my tights always were pretty, but also always slid down uncomfortably
  • As a young woman my mom died on Thanksgiving
  • I feel like we have no established traditions from before then or after--though I suppose if I buy the canned cranberry thing and serve it, all will be well.
  • Waa waa waa, right?
     So when Brad and I hosted our first Thanksgiving in 2007, I looked to him to be expert, only to find out (that morning) he had never made a turkey either.  All things turned out well that year nonetheless.  A true reason to be thankful.  Last year, my friend Jenn and brother Jim came over and helped with things.  To save the day they decided to make a rue for the gravy.  I thought rue was French for street, I still have no idea of what it has to do with cooking.
     This year there will only be five of us here for turkey, so cooking should be easy, right?  My brother is bringing stuffing and pie, so as always I have less to do than most hostesses.  Mac wants cheese filled crescents, so he's being assigned that gourmet rolling.  But still I angst.  This will be the first time I've mashed potatoes for Pete's sake.  I'm 52 and I've never mashed a tater!  I'm more of a graze on appetizers all party hostess, so the idea of having a meal ready all at once is overwhelming me.
  The best thing about Thanksgiving is I have a week off of school.  I am going to go grocery shopping today, something else that makes me anxious,  so I opted to write a blog post instead in effort to avoid it.  Martha Stewart I am not.  Meijer is open and here I sit.
     I am a mess.
     Here are my feeble attempts at decorating so far:
You've seen my tree of thanks, but I've added some festive twine to the vase.
Inspired, no?
     Bad blogger that I am, I found this printable on line, but can't recall the source.
The owl was Mom's, so it is a little tribute to her.
The "THANKFUL" banner was also a free on line find.  
I used, twine, grocery bags, and clothespins to hang it.
Note the twine on the candles.
It's a theme people!
This will be added to the buffet that day.
Be sure it will hold cookies (not a banana, turkey, garlic, or bread) AND be festooned with twine.
Impressed yet?
Until then I grabbed a textured platter to balance things out.
I don't think it's working.

     Shucks.  I'm done.  I have to shower and shop.  I have to buy a turkey.  I have to select potatoes.  I have to exchange a tablecloth...at least I hope to.  Wish me well.  
     Seriously, complaining aside, we have an incredible amount of blessings to be thankful for--and as I age, that awareness is precious to me.  Also, I plan on wearing a dress with tights that day, so I have no doubt it will REALLY feel like Thanksgiving no matter how the meal turns out.
     If you have gotten to this point, I am thankful for you.


  1. Any good board games you plan on playing? I hope the weather will be nice in case everyone wants to go for a walk between the 3 football games being played this year, usually there are only 2. I hope your tight are long enough to stay up :)

    1. Jim doesn't like games, and yeah, I'm hoping my tights are well fitting too!

  2. I've never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving myself...not sure why - just never was crazy about it.

    I made my first full Thanksgiving meal last year... so dont feel bad about the mashing :)

    Quick thought... is your turkey going to thaw out by Thursdsay if you get it today? Get a small one!

  3. Just remember the turkey takes quite a while to thaw if you're buying a frozen one, and you need to remove the bag of giblets from inside. I had all major holidays dumped on me at the age of 32. My mother's house was so cluttered she could no longer host. So I've hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter every year for 25 years. I can't believe you never developed any holiday traditions with your son over the years. This year we are breaking with tradition and spending Thanksgiving with one of my husband's cousins. I'd rather be home but it will make him happy. :)

    1. Gramma (maternal) used to host Thanksgiving, but when she downsized (I was 11), it would mostly be at our house. Again, it was football heavy. I think my one married brother hosted once or twice.

      Back then, Mac was with me most years, but not always. He went with his dad a couple of times.

      When I was 31, and Mac was 5, my mom died suddenly (on Thanksgiving). After that, my aunt took over and we sometimes went to my brother's. I was always told, "El, just bring the pop," since I didn't cook much. I did start contributing desserts (Frugal Gourmet's cheesecake).

      Three years ago Mac worked. The last two years he was in Baton Rouge. This year he'll be here. :)

      He claims we had cheese crescents here, but I know I've never made them, so that's HIS new tradition/contribution. Next year, since he's moving to BR, we may meet halfway somewhere. Who knows!

  4. I'm not a fan of Thanksgiving for essentially all the reasons you posted. Except it was my Grandma who died, two days before Thanksgiving. No real traditions, my borther and I were the only kids at family events, I don't like turkey.

    However, I love decorating, especially a table, so I can get behind the holiday on that fact alone :)

    Best of luck with the taters! I bet they are awesome.. or at least edible :)

    1. As long as there's enough butter, I should be all set!

  5. You got the french part right, but it's roux, not rue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roux
    Your day will be fine. Cooking should not be a thing of angst. If turkey isn't your thing, make what is! It's about the fellowship, anyway. I hope your day in the kitchen is a day of discoveries and joy. I for one don't look forward to my day tomorrow. Being in the kitchen on my feet all day {hosting a gathering of 40 tomorrow nite} is HELL on my back. I wish I had a soaking tub. Like seriously… would be such a blessing. But alas… these are first world problems to be sure.
    Wishing you and yours the most blessed Thanksgiving. Cheese crescents sounds absolutely DIVINE!!

    1. Yes, Mac schooled me on the roux thing, too. You know, having become degreed in Cajunland, he's all about those x's.

      Forty? WOW!!

  6. Mashed potatoes are easy if you get out the hand mixer. Very smooth with butter and milk.

    1. Never thought about the hand mixer! Done!

      (And I just saw a thing on-line about using an apple slicer to cut the potatoes quickly.)


  7. I'm sure it will be wonderful!
    It's not really a big tradition in my family, either.
    My mom would cook a turkey, but I don't think we ever got together with extended family, and they mostly lived in the same town... (usually saw them Christmas eve)
    I did look forward to my moms hot pepper cheese noodles she would make with the leftover turkey (yum).... I'm sorry your Mom passed on a thanksgiving, Mine passed when I was 22, on March 29, and her funeral was on April Fools Day...I was partly expecting a resurrection...lol!

    but I LOVE, your decorations! especially the tree! i will copy that someday!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. I had 20some (I think I missed one) Thanksgivings with my mom, so it's not like it ruined Thanksgiving, it just is something I can't help but think about.

      She used to make my clothes. I remember a brown corduroy jumper with a cream blouse and cream tights that I wore two years in a row. That's a great memory!

  8. I love mashed potatoes, so I make them almost every other week or so! I'm going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, so luckily I don't have to cook. Although I might make an apple cider sangria recipe that I found on Pinterest.

  9. Oooh, that sounds so good! Tomorrow night I'm making apple cider caramel filled cookies!

  10. I have Thanksgiving, and, although I stress a little, I love it. To me, it marks the beginning of the holiday season. Growing up we had many traditional dishes on Thanksgiving. It gets a little dicey, however, when you get married, your sisters get married, etc. Their 'new' families bring their own traditions to the mix. (We have ended up with way too many carbs.) So, don't worry about traditions, because even long standing ones change or get tweaked. As long as you continue to serve 'the pop', your traditions are safe. Have a great time. Happy Thanksgiving to one of my favorite turkeys.

  11. I hope you'll be sharing some #foodporn from the festivities. Nothing like looking at food while eating food!

    I love Thanksgiving! Always a lot of laughter and fun (and an occasional fight).

    Happy Thanksgiving, Ellen!

  12. I hope you had a delightful holiday. To me the only tradition that matters is the one that is called - spending quality time with family.

    Big hugs!


I'd like to be humble and say I only blog to record the doings of my life, but really, I blog for conversation, and I would love to hear from you. It's okay if you don't agree with me, that's what makes life interesting.