Thanksgiving is for any day
Well, we can mark another holiday off the books for 2019. I hope everyone had a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. With the erratic weather we have had the last couple weeks, many plans were changed, postponed or canceled at the last minute.
My daughter, Hannah, (a sophomore college student), and I, always make plans with the unspoken contingency, “weather pending.” We live in Wisconsin, and the weather is so mercurial, we’ve come to expect just about anything. This holiday was a prime example.
Han finished her last class Tuesday afternoon, but stayed on campus to dog sit for her professor Thanksgiving Day – I lost out to a dog! I think that may upset a few parents, but it didn’t matter to me whether we celebrated on the actual day, or not.
Thanksgiving is every single day we spend together. If we have a huge meal at the same time, that’s just a happy added bonus.
The Friday following Thanksgiving, I picked Hannah up and we decided to eat at Texas Roadhouse, before heading home. Texas Roadhouse is one of our favorite places to dine.
It’s a tad expensive for our budget, so we limit ourselves to special occasions: Han’s June birthday and before we attend a Lorie Line concert. (Lorie Line is a classically trained pianist, composer and performer from Minneapolis, Minn. We have gone to her show the last seven years.) After we ate, we went to the mall to hit the annual Bath & Body Works sale. I had coupons burning a hole in my pocket and with the “Buy 3, Get 3 Deal,” I couldn’t pass it up. The store was insane and the majority of shoppers were so rude. That experience made me extremely thankful.
Thankful that I wasn’t one of the harried associates working there. Thankful that I wasn’t the wife of the strapping young man trying to navigate a double occupancy baby stroller, (complete with sleeping infants), through the frenzied mayhem of obsessed shoppers, trying to locate his wife who was “there one minute and gone the next.”
Mostly, I’m thankful for my daughter. She just takes everything in stride, and kept patting my arm or back when she sensed I was on the verge of going ballistic at all the shoving and complete lack of manners displayed. Now I remember why I’m not a huge fan of Black Friday shopping.
I have been Black Friday shopping three times. Once, with the girls I worked with at a credit union. We shopped, went for breakfast and still made it back in time to open for business.
The second time, Han was only two years old. There was a stereo with a record player, cassette player, radio and CD combo that I just had to have. We were waiting at the store when the door opened at 5 a.m. Hannah was exceptional, as she held my list and just watched the horde of shoppers in wide-eyed fascination. (It may have been shock, but she doesn’t appear scarred, so we’ll call it fascination.) Yes, I grabbed one of the last coveted stereos. Yes, it was worth it. Yes, I still have it. Yes, it still works. Best purchase ever.
We fixed our Thanksgiving meal Saturday. Han asked to make everything herself and I was happy to oblige. While she peeled potatoes, prepared stuffing and basted the turkey, I sat and chatted with her.
This was one of the nicest holidays we have had. We discussed everything, listened to music, laughed continuously, and talked about past and future holidays.
Her meal was superb. She’s definitely a better cook than I can ever aspire to be. I’m frequently ribbed for my dubious and somewhat haphazard baking skills. One Thanksgiving, about 10 years ago, I decided to cook the turkey in a foil roasting pan. How convenient for easy clean-up…throw the pan away. Mission accomplished. I knew the pan was not sturdy enough on its own, so I placed it on a cookie sheet. Brilliant! Problem solved, right?
WRONG. I didn’t take into account the “slide factor.” Apparently, I pulled the oven rack out too rapidly and the turkey, foil pan and greasy drippings, came rocketing across the cookie sheet. Its velocity made an Olympic bobsled appear sluggish in comparison. Hot, scalding turkey broth flew everywhere. I think I ended up with third degree burns on one leg. On a positive note, I haven’t had to shave my leg in that particular spot since. I did, however have to scrub the kitchen floor before we could eat.
That was probably the same year I fixed a sweet potato casserole with brown sugar, butter and marshmallows. I put the casserole in the oven to bake and when it was heated through, I turned the oven setting to broil to brown the marshmallows. Important: DO NOT turn your back when browning marshmallows, as they tend to catch fire. It’s affectionately called Cajun Sweet Potato Casserole now – blackened to perfection.
I can’t wait for Thanksgiving next year. Maybe I’ll be chosen to cook the meal? We can always take the inedible items and throw them, as we clear a path to the hand soap specials. Black Friday shoppers beware…and be thankful my aim is as poor as my cooking.