The evening before Thanksgiving last week, my wonderful mother knocked on my door and with the help of some devoted cousins, whisked my children away for the evening. They wanted some time with their grandma and their grandma wanted them without me, their mother. (On the latter, I cannot blame her, Sam I am! I'd want those boys away from me, too.)
The tired monkeys returned home many hours later with brand new twinner lighting mcqueen pajamas, smiles on their faces, stories to tell, and the remnants of their Slurpee's still in their cups.
My husband arrived home a little bit early that evening from work, walked in the door and asked me what we should do. He suggested we clean bathrooms. I said "No! You are taking me out to dinner!" After much discussion, we settled on a trip to Target for some Christmas shopping and a dinner at 5 guys for some burgers and Cajun fries. I did drink water and only ate the fries that fell out of the cup in the bag so that made it healthy.
Driving home that night, to curl up on the couch and watch a documentary about the Helvetica Font (his choice) we had a discussion about Thanksgiving Day, holidays in general, and food.
I posed the question:
"Why isn't there a beef holiday? I mean, why don't we have a holiday where we eat prime rib?"
My husband turned to me, laughed, and immediately pulled out his phone to mock me on face book with a status update, "My wife wants to know why there isn't a beef holiday."
Ignoring the mocking, I was posing a serious and to me, baffling question. Why isn't there a holiday where a big hunk of beef is the main course? I know we eat burgers all summer long, and I like ham for Easter, but why not a giant roast for Thanksgiving?
Forgetting a bit about my lamentations we moved on to the turkey day itself. When it was my turn to dish up a plate of food I stared rather longingly at the spread thinking, "There isn't a traditional Thanksgiving Day food that I like to eat." (Poor me, right?)
Yams gross me out. Green beans when cooked with bacon and shallots and brown sugar are delish, but not baked in a pan with some cream of mushroom soup and crumbled onions. I've seen stuffing be made from scratch before and cannot stomach the thought of eating soggy bread and other junk that's been thrown in. The actual turkey itself, if I consume too much (more than a few small slices) gives me a stomach ache - several turkey days in a row in fact.
My dinner consisted of carrots (that Ross prepared in an orange balsamic glaze with fresh chives that were delish), mashed potatoes, and a teeny tiny bit of turkey and gravy.
I also ate dessert, but just the stuff that I brought because I don't particularly care for pie, though all the pies looked lovely with golden brown crusts and I should have taken a picture of them all but I forgot. (Yes, I know we could engage in a whole pie vs. cake debate, but we can save that for a different blog.)
I am so grateful for the holiday of Thanksgiving. I love being able to spend time with all my family and this past Thanksgiving I had a tremendously wonderful time - the best I've had in years! It is always fun to squish in my grandpa's house and then dash to the basement when the meal is over to find the cool air. This year, to keep and the big and little kids occupied, I even brought crafts. We did stickers, and made bracelets and pins and did thumb print art and had drawing contests. It was so much fun.
I'm just not a fan of the food. It's funny how traditions are created and stuck with for years and years and years. I guess for most folks, its the one time of year to break out the jellied cranberry sauce and that's really important. I'm just one of those people who, if I were in charge of Thanksgiving, this would be my #1 menu of choice:
*A cross-rib roast coated in olive oil and lemon pepper cooked for 24 hours on very low heat.
*Carrots and potatoes roasted in the oven until they are so soft they melt like butter in your mouth.
*Grilled asparagus with a dash of lemon and sea salt.
*Home made croissants to make Julia Child proud.
*Chocolate molten cake or some sort of chocolate truffle torte for dessert.
Or, if it was going to be a small group, we'd go French:
*Beef Bourguignon (with lots of onions, carrots, and delicious goodness)
*Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
*Green beans in melted brown sugar with crispy bacon and fried shallots on top
*Croissants (yes, please!)
*Something Frency for dessert, like eclairs (for my guests), or Napoleon's or mini raspberry and strawberry tarts.
Now those are some meals that would make me very, very thankful. And full. And fat!