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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The holiday snuck up on me. Fortunately yesterday, when I drove by a local butcher's and saw the sign advertising "Fresh Amish Turkeys," I remembered that there was more to life than cramming junk in your car and driving across the county multiple times a day. Even more fortunately, when I called the number on the sign, they still had a few left. So a fresh bird it is. An enormous too-big-for-four-people fresh bird.

Today's plan was to strip off all the couch and chair cushions and wash them -- the light in this house seems to emphasize the stains, and more importantly, we can't subject a paying tenant to furniture looking like that -- but I think I'd better first do some grocery shopping beyond what I've scabbed out of the pantry of our old house, otherwise the Thanksgiving Day menu will consist of black bean soup, basmati rice, cans of fire roasted tomatoes, and for dessert everyone can have a sip of the Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee I left in the fridge the other day.

For all the different places we've lived Thanksgiving has been pretty much the same: Watch the parade on TV while cooking (except for that one year we watched it in person), have somebody over to share our meal (except the time we ate out on the island and the years we were in Australia), stuff ourselves, and donate most of the leftovers to a homeless shelter. This year we will only see the Macy's parade if it's broadcast online as I opted to forego the cable television part of the package and just get the internet and phone service. In our house cable television, with all its educational potential, always devolves into a Nickelodeon/Disney/Cartoon Network/MTV fest (though I would never discount the value of MTV's series 16 and Pregnant.) Regular network and PBS will do, except that for now, the digital converter box is out on the island and our TV is still at the other house. We bought a dining room table a few years ago that seats 10, envisioning filling it up on holidays and other special occasions. This year Sarabelle's not here, and my parents (who I like to invite just to see their reactions to my non-traditional, ever-changing menu, "Pommes Anna? Sweet potato fritters? Didn't you make any regular goddam mashed potatoes?! And what the hell are these nuts doing in my green beans...?) have gone up north to visit my brother. Our dear local friends invited us into their homes, but with kids in town for only a few short days, we'd rather let them enjoy their precious family time uninterrupted. What will remain unchanged is that with a turkey Good Housekeeping calculates will provide 22 servings, we will be stuffed and there will be plenty for the less fortunate.

And for that I am thankful.

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