I seemed to be the most apprehensive one in my family while planning our annual Thanksgiving get together. Covid fears managed to remove a good part of the pleasure of the planning. This year, it was a plan to survive! All the anti-get together harping on the media had only intensified my fears that it was a hopeless undertaking. The other members of the family just decided to take serious precautions and plowed ahead. After a somewhat lame attempt at trying to steer the ship in a different direction, I somewhat reluctantly joined the throng in favor of working it out, rather than being the wet rag that kept saying no. What I mainly felt, was uncertainty.
I always enjoy decorating, so a few weeks agoI got into screwing around with the centerpiece for the dining room table. My affinity for ceramics led me to a liking for vintage and decorative Italian topiary items on Ebay. I’d collected 3-4 of the beauties ready to be put to use over the winter holidays. The centerpiece came together nicely and was pleasing, if not thrilling. Maybe because I seemed to be the only one paying slightest bit of attention to it. Please note the beaded turkey ornament sitting atop the orange topiary. I was very happy to find that in my stash of stuff from years past and museum glue it to the the top of of the tope, overlooking the holiday scene. I seem to have family in mind when creating these scenes, clearly hoping that my grandkids will enjoy them at least half as much as I do. If they don’t comment, I invite them to look at it, searching for compliments. Ever a frustrated performer, I guess, looking for approval. Yuck.
We’d recently been given two gas powered outdoor heat lamps from a friend moving out of town, so that made it seem like it would be reasonably comfortable to eat our dinners outside. It was more than comfortable. Toasty, really. The night air was cool and the heaters were called a “game changer” by my daughter. So right!
I’d bought a string of white lights for the occasion. My son-in -law quickly and expertly tacked them to the perimeter of our eating area on the deck. I liked that look. kinda holiday, but not too far gone. Downright festive. He brought clips with him, somehow knowing, we wouldn’t have any. Btw, don’t ever give a Jew a string of lights and expect that they’ll have any idea about how to go about hanging them. Another reason to have some diversity in a family.
So we came together, a close group of 8 family members and two well behaved dogs. My youngest granddaughter made paper turkey face masks for us as well as turkey face cookies. My oldest granddaughter baked a delicious sourdough bread. Dan did the bulk of the prep and work as he always does, all from scratch. I make a fresh cranberry sauce which was the perfect antidote to my overly sweet sweet potato with marshmallow casserole. No one complained. Add a cornbread w /sausage stuffing, slivered brussel sprouts and a glorious homemade apple pie courtesy of Susanna, and it was a fine pretty traditional meal. Since there wasn’t enough space around the outside table, I ate just inside in the kitchen, prompting someone in the outside group to quip that I looked like the hired help. It was definitely a little weird to be eating solo, but not overly so in this time of weirdness.. Definitely not weird enough to make me drag a chair to the table outside.
The kids had a great game of hide & seek going after dinner and the adults headed to help with cleanup. I decided to head for bed. Party over.
Another holiday celebrated. I’m very hopeful that we were careful enough so that no one will become ill. Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday. I’m reluctant to see it fall from grace. Well, we did our part to keep it going.
Can we just take a minute to acknowledge the genius of whoever thought that cranberry sauce should be a part of the turkey dinner?