Pie and Other Earthly Delights
Before I begin, I would like to set the record straight: I love Thanksgiving. This is a holiday that involves food. That’s it. No gift-giving obligations or loads of decorations or annoying songs. Just food...and of course, you throw in a little football, liquor, and family dysfunction and you’ve got yourself a holiday. Voila’.
My husband and I share responsibilities when we host, from the set-up to stuffing the turkey to the clean up. This year we had thirteen people at our dinner table, five from his side of the family and six from mine. It was a quirky mix.
The day before we picked up our Amish bred turkey; this year was our biggest - twenty two pounds of white and dark meat, free from chemicals, phones, electricity, and the internet. We supplied the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (my husband’s speciality), gravy, green bean casserole, and naturally, pumpkin pie. The rest was assigned. Our bounty was bursting with rolls, wine, corn casserole, more wine, cranberry sauce, and a little more wine.
Laughter and conversation filled the day. Wine glasses were refilled. Dessert was dolled out. Stories were told. A few left. A few stayed. All in all, a success. After the last quests departed, I quietly snuck up to bed, relinquishing the rest of the cleanup to my husband. Sorry, sweetie, but my pillow was luring me with a seductive siren song.
The next day I was utterly and debilitatingly exhausted. I think hosting Thanksgiving so close on the heels of the SF wedding whipped my sorry butt. I ended up plopping myself on the couch to watch sickly sweet Christmas movies, a new holiday tradition of mine, by the way. No Black Friday for me. (I once was physically accosted at an outlet mall in Atlanta over an ugly sweater. That day does not entice me.) Instead I cuddled on the couch with a fire, the kitties, and hours upon hours of thin plot lines which usually included some combination of miscommunication, magic, angels, a benevolent Santa, snarky elves, a sick child, true love between two gorgeous people, and spreading the Christmas spirit everywhere. The people who claim there is a war on Christmas just need to spend a few hours with the Hallmark Channel; they would see it is alive and kicking with miles and miles of twinkle lights and fake snow.
Yesterday we drove out to the nearest Christmas tree farm and immediately found the perfect one. It’s a Frazier fir that is now loaded down white lights and my unique, rustic ornaments. There is an artificial tree in the living room/my writing office and the real one is in the family room. Both cats have found their spots, and all is right with the world.
So, back to the beginning. I do love Thanksgiving, but next year I am passing the torch. I want to travel somewhere, have someone else cook, maybe see one of the boys, or perhaps....a beach. Yes, give me a beach, a turkey sandwich, and a cold beverage. That sounds so very lovely. Happy Holidays.
I am including my stuffing recipe which is really my sister’s mother-in-law’s recipe. It is simple and always delicious.
Sally’s Scrumptious Stuffing
2 sticks butter
turkey liver chopped
2 onions chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 tsp poultry seasoning
2 eggs beaten
2 packets of seasoned stuffing (Pepperidge Farm Sage & Onion is the best.)
Melt butter in pan. Add liver, onion, celery, mushrooms, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning. let cook awhile. Then add beaten egg. Pour over bread crumbs. If it is dry, add chicken stock. You can either stuff your bird (Make sure both meat and stuffing reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.) or put in a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for half an hour.
This recipe is doubled. If you don’t want this quantity, just cut everything in half.