Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanks - giving

This wonderful national holiday that revolves around food.

If you're lucky enough to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor, it's a truly great holiday. Or if you enjoy cooking. I do like to cook, though honestly this year I have done more of it than ever before, and am a bit tired of it.

We have the biggest dining table in the family, and it's one of my favorite family treasures. It's made from a single cherry tree that died on Burnside, Excy's family's former estate in MD. It must have been gigantic, because we have three inserts, and fully extended will sit 16, 14 more easily. Thanksgiving became 'my' holiday because of the table, and because my SIL felt it too difficult to pack up the kids and all their gear when they were small. They're 14 and 17 now, but she won't give up or alternate the holiday, which is slightly annoying. But I've had years to adjust. I don't mind it much; it's an easy enough meal to make, and my mom and a family friend as close as a sister contribute some. A few years back, my SIL and I finally figured out that (duh) they really didn't need to eat two huge meals in one day, so they come over later for dessert, coffee, and conversation.

We like to eat around 5 p.m., which leaves plenty of time for my traditions: watching Macy's Parade (I'm such a corn-ball, and usually something gets me teary-eyed). By the time Miracle on 34th Street comes on, I am a whirling dervish of activity with last-minute silver-polishing or whipping up the mashed potatoes, but that movie always gets me in a sentimental holiday mood.

Our menu is usually set but every once in awhile I'll make something that sounds too wonderful to resist an experiment. We eat way too many carbs and starches, and to make matters worse we go back for seconds before the desserts. Combined with the left-overs we devour the next day, and then turkey and cranberry sandwiches after that, we consume more in three days than the rest of the year.

To assuage some of the guilt I feel from over-indulging, I donate during Thanksgiving and Christmas to the AR Food Bank to ensure a hearty meal for everyone. It's not just the young who have a hard time. Six million Americans 60+ suffer from hunger and not enough reliable food sources.

p.s. What a mess. I went out to feed six 'coons hanging around the terrace because it's cold and rainy, and one has a Coke can stuck on his front paw! I heard this clanking...he's charging around on it so it's pretty far up his arm...Poor thing...I hope he figures out how to extract his paw...


Doris Sturm said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving - mine was small and vegetarian and relatively painless. I didn't have to deal with left overs, but for Christmas I would like to have a small bird so that I can have something to nibble on for the next few days. I don't like to cook every day and left overs are fine by me. Being alone, I often cook one-pot meals and do a lot of reheating ;-)

I hope the raccoon got the can off his paw. He probably got it from digging in the trash (do you think?) How are the horses?

We've had a couple of cold days now and again, when I feed the stray cats more, but lately our weather has been very mild and I'm ready to kick it up (or down) a notch ;-)

Have a nice week and take care! Hope you are both doing well health-wise!

Arkansas Patti said...

Sounds positively fattening and wonderful. We do tend to forget as we expand our waist lines that there are so many that don't have even a meal on this day of excess. Nice job thinking of them.
Now I am worried about your raccoon. Let us know if you see him free of can in the future.

running42k said...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday as well. You are amazing for remembering others less fortunate.

No mention of football I notice.

Mrs. Tuna said...

I love the holidays but this year was hard since it was the one year anniversary of my mom's death. Fortunately my best friend took pity on me and let my sister's family and us pile in at her house.

Monster Madness said...

I'm not American but it sounds like a nice holiday :)

ReformingGeek said...

16 people at one table? WOWIE!

I'll sit at the kid's table.

It sounds like you had a great holiday. Now I'm hungry again.

Silly coon.

marciamayo said...

Poor coon. I just had a rat in my closet at school and as our custodian took him away I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. I don't want him back though.

Aging Mommy said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful. I would love a massive dining table but well, I never entertain that many people to justify having one :-) I hope the coon got his paw unstuck

Traci said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving. You were a part of mine this year (for which I am grateful) Mine was lonely, but powerful. I sure didn't get to eat the meal I wanted but there are many Christmas dinners lining up for me. :-)
Thank you for the reminder to give to people (we don't know) these Holidays.

I have to say that table sounds so impressive.I would love to see a picture of it. Those are some of the things I go ga ga over. I hate not having enough room, so I love organizing furniture, and good old sturdy furniture. Not to mention kitchen appliances get me going. Never underestimate the need for a good can-opener or mixer.

Oh and it took me forever to figure out SIL...DUH! It was fun trying to figure it out.