Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey

Ok, tomorrow is the third Thursday of November. Which is a National Holiday. It's the day millions of Americans watch football or the Twilight Zone Marathon and work their way towards obesity by consuming mass quantities of foods high in starch and carbs. Because that's the American Way!

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always held at Farnham Avenue. Gramma and Grandpa and my mom's mom, who we called "Gigi" (pronounced with hard G's, "Giggee") would join us for turkey, stuffing, that cranberry sauce stuff that comes out of the can in the exact shape of the can with all the rings of the can molded into it, the infamous Green Bean Casserole that is known in our family as "Gigi Beans," mashed potatos and gravy and pumpkin and apple pie for dessert.

My mom would get up early and start cooking. Once the turkey went into the oven, Siam, our Siamese cat (totally original name, eh?) would plant himself right below the oven and make these funny sounds. We think he expected the turkey to march right out the oven door and into his mouth and he was not going to miss his chance should that actually take place. Since our kitchen was pretty narrow, naturally he was right where someone would trip over him. Unfortunately for Siam, the turkey never did do a swan dive out the oven.

One year we invited a group of Japanese visitors to experience a Genuine American Thanksgiving Dinner. They arrived dressed in silk suits and dresses while us Americans were in casual attire. They didn't speak much English and I remember my Grandpa telling us to "Speak Slowly and Distinctly and They Will Understand You." He also seemed to think that speaking LOUDLY would also be helpful. Our family is loud enough and I'm sure our guests were more than a little overwhelmed.

After TheManTheMyth and I were married, we spent a couple of Thanksgivings at our vacation place on the Colorado River. One year, I decided to do something different because neither of us are all that big on turkey. So I decided to make roast lapin (rabbit) along with made-from-scratch baked beans. The rabbit came out pretty good but those damn beans never softened, despite soaking, boiling, simmering.

The first Thanksgiving after we got married, TheManTheMyth's grandmother decided dinner would be at her house. There were 10 people crowded into her tiny 600 square foot house including my in-laws, my mom, my dad, my dad's wife and my Gramma. I still don't know we all fit. I think we had to take all the furniture out of the living room and put card tables in there.

15 years ago, I decided I want to spend Thanksgiving with my mom so I flew up to Washington, leaving TheManTheMyth and Thing 1 to spend the holiday with my in-laws. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I just felt blah and ick. I thought I might have eaten something bad on the plane. We drove to Portland to have Thanksgiving with some cousins and all I could choke down was a couple of biscuits and gravy. My mom asked me if I thought I was pregnant but that wasn't possible because a) I was using birth control and b) I hadn't missed a period so no, I'm not pregnant.

I spent the rest of my visit feeling like hammered shit. My mom kept telling me I was pregnant and I kept denying it because see paragraph above. I got back to California still feeling crappy so I decided to take a pregnancy test just for shits and giggles and to prove that I was Not Pregnant.

After my test I immediately called the doctor who, after examing me and performing an ultrasound, confirmed that not only was I knocked up but I was just starting my SECOND TRIMESTER with Thing 2. Color ME flabbergasted.

This year, it'll be just our little family: me, TheManTheMyth, Things 1 and 2 and Lucy. We'll be enjoying a spiral-sliced ham from Costco (none of us really like turkey), stuffing although I'm not sure how to stuff a spiral-slice ham, mashed taters and gravy, steamed asparagus, corn and apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

I'll get out my good set of formal china that I inherited from TheManTheMyth's grandmother and we'll sit and do the "What are you thankful for" question that each of us has to answer although I'm sure there will be some smart-ass answers because we're not a "sentimental" family and just have a Nice Family Meal. While Lucy moans and drools and barks and begs from under the table. And we'll eat at a "normal" hour, like 6:00pm. None of this 3:00pm dinner stuff. What's up with THAT?

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don't overstuff yourselves and remember that there's always something to be thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. I love all your stories! We had a quiet Thanksgiving, just the two of us (and I hate turkey for the record) with EmmaLou, the Golden Destroyer lying in wait for the inevitable dropped piece of turkey (from me). Quiet, cozy, and very nice.
    Now...rats??? Crap on a crutch girl - I had rats when we lived in Belgium and it about freaked me out to the point I couldn't sleep. Pieces of my laundry kept disappearing and after several weeks of this Devoted Spouse was digging around in the garage under the stairs where the lawn mower was stored. He pulled the mower out and there was a rat's nest under the mower and they were the little monsters who had stolen my laundry for their nest -- pantyhose and underwear. I was so creeped out for months! Of course were were living in a 200-yr old chateau and the rats were in the cellars so you could hear them scrabbling about. Chateau was lovely; rats not so much! Cheers!