Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving (a little late)

I couldn't post on the actual day of Thanksgiving because yesterday morning, I indulged in a little late sleeping, which meant that I had to frantically plunge into the kitchen with a frantic look in my eye, sending celery, onions, butter, bread crumbs, chicken stock, eggs and the like whirling through the air like a Looney Tunes feature. I assembled my dressing in a very large buttered baking dish and slid it into the oven with precious little time to spare.

The dressing, made from my own recipe cobbled together from what everyone could remember of my grandmother's recipe (which was sadly never written down) and my mother-in-law's (which was), tasted so much better than Martha Stewart's recipe did, I just can't tell you. Mine was somewhat marred by the fact that, in my rush, I shorted it two eggs, which led to a more crumbly texture. My family prefers dressing that comes out in slabs.

Here's what was on the buffet at Pat and Angie's house yesterday:

1. turkey
2. ham
3. mashed potatoes
4. dressing
5. green-bean casserole
6. candied sweet potatoes
7. gravy
8. deviled eggs
9. vegetable tray (celery, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, etc. with dip)
10. cranberry relish
11. dinner rolls
12. cheeseball with crackers

For dessert:

1. Pecan pie
2. Pumpkin pie
3. Pumpkin cheesecake
4. A creamy-looking mousse-type dessert that looked wonderful
5. Orange Jell-O with a cream cheese layer, garished with mandarin oranges

There were a lot of us there, a very nice mixture of my brother's family and Angie's family, whom we all like very much, although Angie's uncle Steve, who turns out to be a mere eighteen months younger than I am, twitted me unmercifully about my age, the little whippersnapper. One retort that I never thought of until just now is that I could have told him that it doesn't matter if he's younger than I am because men have a shorter life expectancy than women do ANYWAY, but of course I never think of witty rejoinders like that the next day. Humph.

The humor highlight of the entire day, though, was provided by eight-year-old Dayden, who went through the buffet line with a plate that was just as empty at the end of the line as it was at the beginning. He went away to the kids' table and we saw him no more until he crept back to whisper in his mother's ear that he didn't like any of this dumb food and was wondering if she'd want to make him a cheese taco.

I thought that was hilarious. A cheese taco!

Meelyn and Aisling went home with Nanny and Poppy to spend the night, so my husband and I were left alone to fend for ourselves. We drove to the nursing home and visited with Grandad for about half an hour and I was gratified by the fact that I was able to make him laugh out loud about three times; he professed himself to be just too tired to get up from his bed, get dressed and ready and driven out to Pat and Angie's house to spend the day, and I was worried about him.

My parents have been very comforting about this, explaining that at nearly ninety years old, he gets tired and it would probably take him three days to recover from spending one afternoon out of town with the family, and I understand that. Intellectually, I understand it. Emotionally, though, is another story: This is my Grandad, after all, who read endless books and told endless stories and bounced me on his knee like a trotting horse all the way to Boston and back and bought me a pretty little pearl ring for my eighteenth birthday.

This was my second Thanksgiving in a row where I was able to stay away from the sugary HARD, but I just had a doctor's appointment regarding my blood sugar and she expressed satisfaction at the fact that I am still in a condition known as pre-diabetes instead of the real thing. She told me to keep up the good work, so I tried valiantly, serving myself a plate of dinner with proteins and carbs nicely balanced and turning my head sadly away from my mother's delicious homemade pecan pie. Ouch!

1 comment:

Kayte said...

Congrats on being the poster child for willpower on a major sugar-laden holiday. Your table offerings look much like ones at Elwood. Let's see:
Dressing (with or without bacon)
Carrot Souffle
Corn Pudding
Steamed Broccoli
Relish Tray
Rolls and butter
Four Fruit Salads
Deviled Eggs
Lima Beans
Coconut Cream Pie
Banana Cream Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Cherry Pie (3)
Apple Pie

Can you tell that admission to the dinner includes one pie per family? LOL. This is a pie-loving family, let me tell you. Me, not so much. I did refrain from more than two bites of my chosen items, that was something!