So, how was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was good. Ours certainly was…
In an earlier post, I had written that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, ahead of Christmas, Diwali, the Fourth of July and anything else you can name. What makes it special is that this is the time the whole family gets together, no easy feat in this day and age when children often live so far away. This time we had eleven people in all at our Thanksgiving table. Our daughter flew in from Tokyo, our son came from New York and assorted nieces and nephews came from California, Ottawa and points in between.
A big part of Thanksgiving is the Thanksgiving feast with everyone gathered at the table. It is traditional to have a lot of food ( Thanksgiving is a time of excess) but it also results in a lot of leftovers. One reason is that the hostess frets that there won’t be enough for everyone and wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. Another is that we don’t eat as much as we used to. A third reason is that the meal is preceded by a lengthy round of appetizers and drinks as guests catch up with each other; by the time they sit down for the main meal, they are already half full. There have been times when more than half the food is uneaten and has to be packed away. It is not wasted but by the time the leftovers are consumed in various guises ( turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey hash etc.). everyone is heartily sick of turkey. Over the years that we have hosted the Thanksgiving dinner, we have gotten better at judging how much food to prepare but other factors keep the percentage of leftovers still quite high.
Our spread this time included a 10-lb turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (of course), green bean casserole, candied yams, mushrooms and red peppers, cranberry sauce and three kinds of pies (pecan, pumpkin and apple-almond). If this had been all, it would have been fine but it was not to be. My wife fretted that there was not enough turkey and made last-minute additions of a turkey breast, a pot roast and roasted vegetables. Our son and daughter got in the act and decided to make one dish each. Our son made lobster- mac- and cheese while our daughter made roasted Brussels sprouts. Finally, our niece from Ottawa contributed a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake in the shape of a turkey (excellent)
By the end of the meal, not much was left of the mashed potatoes and gravy, the green bean casserole, stuffing, roasted vegetables, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce. Surprisingly, my son’s lobster-mac and -cheese was the hit of the evening, one of the diners declaring that it was the best thing he’d eaten. The turkey itself was about 75% gone but the turkey breast and pot roast were practically untouched and there were sizeable amounts left of the yams, vegetables and mushrooms. Predictably, all three of the pies disappeared quickly. We had no space for the Baskin Robbins ice cream cake but we put it in the freezer and, with the help of guests, it was dispatched over the next two days. Overall, it wasn’t too bad though we will be eating turkey kheema ( curried hash) and turkey soup the rest of the week.
Each year, after the guests have departed and the dishes loaded in the dishwasher, we tell ourselves” Next year, we eat out at a restaurant.” But then we relive the joy of having everyone together again and all else is forgotten. See you all next year.