Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks A Lot, Pilgrims!

Okay, time to quit supposing. It's not 20 years ago, we all have Thanksgiving dinners to prepare, and why am I wasting time in the blogosphere right now, anyway? Probably because I have a Thanksgiving dinner to prepare, but I don't know who's coming. We always wait until the last minute and invite whoever's alone (I mean, people that we know - not perfect strangers) to come eat. Those are the only people who might want to share their holiday with a teenage girl casting death glares at everyone, a whining 5-year-old, a spoiled 2-year-old girl (who's cute as a button, but loud), a 10-year-old vegetarian who nags people not to let their turkey touch his plate, and a 7-year-old boy who has just learned to burp at the table. And even then, the anticipated guest sometimes turns us down, thinking that one of those Swanson frozen dinners in the peace and quiet of his own home will do him just fine. In other words, we only get the truly desperate.

Thanksgiving just ain't what it used to be.

But that's okay, it will be over soon. And then there's Chanukah, because my side of the family's Jewish. Luckily, Theo likes to fry up potato latkes (anything to avoid doing his Chemistry homework); but I still need to locate the dreidels, the menorah, the candles, the Chanukah tablecloth - all of which (in an unfallen world) would be located in a box marked, well, Chanukah. But they aren't. And then I have to make the life-or-death decision of whether or not I can use the homemade applesauce from last year as a side for the latkes. Would you like your holiday celebration tainted with the risk of botulism, or no? It would certainly add a certain frisson of excitement to our party, I'm sure - like Russian Roulette, only more fatal.

And then, because I wasn't smart enough to marry within my faith and keep my life simple, we have Christmas. Throw in 2 flute recitals, the church Christmas pageant, and the New Year's Neighborhood Open House that I told everyone I was hosting, and things start getting a bit crazed around here. Because I'm expected to keep all my regular balls that I juggle up in the air while I take care of these extras.

But, I did manage to order the Christmas photocards, a task which was time consuming, folks, in the way, say, that evolution is time consuming. No matter that I have well over 2000 digital photos online for this past year. I had to find the right combo of four photos to show off each kid, plus I had to find a template which will offend neither side of the family (Christian and Jewish, remember? Thank Allah there are no Muslims to deal with), plus I had to make myriad other decisions (20 or 40? Photo or Stationery Paper? Express Ship? Text of Greeting?). In short, Larry found me actually sobbing at the keyboard at 10 last night, unable to navigate my way through the maze of choices being offered to me. He had to take over.

(Silver lining - I got to use a line from Casablanca: "Oh, I don't know what's right anymore," I said, in my best Ingrid Bergman voice. "You'll have to do the thinking for both of us.")

So that's done. And I remembered to start defrosting the turkey. What's up with all those weird safety instructions for thawing out old Tom, anyway? If cooking him for 5 hours doesn't kill whatever's dangerous, I don't think it matters how you defrost it. And no one's died yet. That's why I don't serve the applesauce at Thanksgiving - if someone did die, we wouldn't know which poisonous foodstuff to blame.

Hmm...getting a little morbid for the holidays, aren't we? Time to sign off - tomorrow's baking day and I need to defrost the pumpkin for the pies. (Just had to slip that hyperlink in there - it makes me feel so blog-savvy.)


  1. If Thanksgiving dinner involves my brother that lives on the eastern shore, and his wife and kids then we stay home, and I buy banquet turkey dinners and we have a nice little turkey dinner with no clean up involved, and the kids are excited because they get a special dinner, LOL.

    Some days I just wish he would come to dinner more often, then we couldnt have to get dressed - well get out of pj's anyway - and I wouldnt have to fill the gas tank using the kids college fund, and life would be so much simpler.
    *sigh* but no one else, not even my mom wants to spend time with them, so I have no excuse to stay home and have a simple day.

    And I say go for it with the applesauce - whats life if there is no risk taking involved? Boring thats what. Add some excitement to your family's days. And think about what a great story that would make...
    Remember when mom tried to kill us all, HAHAHAHa and you all could sit around and laugh all day.

  2. This year I got smart and told my in-laws that we would love to come visit them over the Thanksgiving holidays. It's a 8-9 hour trip with a toddler who doesn't like his carseat, but, hey! I won't have to cook. All I have to do is find a seat at the table. Maybe I'll help with the dishes . . .

  3. What? Huh? Applesauce is dangerous? I guess living in Spain is like living under a rock, because I had no clue. And to think I gave it to my kids all though babyhood (until they decided they were sick of it and now they won't touch it) and no one died. All you need now to complete your party is someone who hates Thanksgiving because his father ran away with the houseboy on that day. ;) Have fun!

  4. I don't have my photos done. You have accomplished what we mommy's all recogize as an awe inspiring task...early. Congratulations.

  5. It's not really the pilgrims' fault. Thanksgiving as we know it is, I think, a Victorian invention. Seriously. Plimoth did a huge exhibit on this. (Sorry, sis and BIL both work there, I had to throw in the bit of historical accuracy.)

    Nevermind the photo cards, we give photo calendars as gifts each year, but I can't order them until I have a December picture, and by that time all the special offers will have expired, because they don't want you ordering in December, but that's when I order the cards, too, so they ship under one fee, and even as I type I'm beginning to hyperventilate because I can't do it yet because it's not December.

    And my husband doesn't help with this stuff AT ALL.

  6. Oh I just love thanksgiving. I always get invited somewhere and I just make mashed potatos. This year I am making one thanksgiving and going to another. My sister and I are cooking today!! We will then have a break on Wed. then on Thursday we will feast again. Such torture.

  7. What is with all those defrosting warnings on the turkey???? That was so funny and I totally agree. Take care.

  8. What's a little botulism between friends? It will give everybody something to talk about next Thanksgiving. Ahh, the holidays. They bring out the best in us, don't they?
    Have a good one.

  9. Can I come to your house? Death glares and whining sound better than what I'm in for.

  10. Haha! Thanks for the laugh. Is it just me or do holidays seem to be getting out of control? I have said before, I am in the mood this year to just boycott Thanksgiving and order me some pizza!!!

  11. jennifer - you're right, it would make a great story, if anyone survives to tell the tale.

    bia - I thought you liked to entertain! And with that beautiful farmhouse table, too. (Yes, I lust after your pretty dining room.)

    theresa - the applesauce is homemade, by me. That makes it dangerous.

    amy - Aaack, don't remind me. I still have to do the photo calendars, too.

    fannie mae - you are very welcome. Then you can let everyone know that I'm not making any of this stuff up.

    valarie - pizza sounds like a good idea to me.

  12. We are hosting a few members of the family for Thanksgiving including one relative who annoys the ever loving crap out of me. I'd rather not host, frankly. Thanksgiving seems so dumb. We're grateful, so we eat and have awkward conversations with our family. I'd rather just be grateful. Grateful I don't have to have them over.

  13. This is why I drive to my mother's and hide...no I mean eat Thanksgiving dinner. Then she has to deal with my whiny 3 year old, non eating 6 year old, and the 18 month old table dancer.
    You could totally make some bet/game for the applesauce...The kid who is slowest to clean their room or keep your MIL busy, so she doesn't bother you, gets the present!! Botulism....The gift that keeps giving

  14. You made me laugh so hard I snorted! I hope you are proud of yourself!

  15. Thank you thank you for all the laughs. I'm so glad you got to use the line from Casablanca, I'm so jealous. (I'm not sure I would trust my hubby to ever think for both of us)