My husband has been in China for a long week, and we spent the previous month traveling or being traveled to. While I academically knew it was upon us, I hadn’t quite assimilated the fact that Thanksgiving is Thursday. Husband returns Wednesday evening and I got to thinking … what do I really want to do about this holiday full of food I don’t really like?
Let’s be honest, here. Most turkey is dry, sweet potatoes too sweet, rolls from Costco, stuffing to mushy, green jello salad just way too green … you get the idea. (And no, that isn’t what I grew up with. We always had delicious food, but I’ve never really been a Thanksgiving dinner kind of girl.) I know food doesn’t have to be this way, and when I’m in charge or visiting the homestead, it’s not. But this is where the major problem arises … I don’t have any desire after two weeks of limited sleep (my toddler is up 3-4 times a night) and solo parenting to put together a gorgeous meal of delightful yummies. I would love to make pies, squishy wheat rolls, garlicky sweet potatoes, and a lovely free-range turkey (which I have even already ordered). But I don’t think I would love to do it this week.
But here, we solve the dilemma (a good story should always have a good ending). My friend called this afternoon to find out our Thanksgiving plans. I mentioned the usual invites that are never actually extended but expected, and she suggested we eat out. She is a genius, GENIUS. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind (and for good reason). Can you really do that on such an iconic “gather-round-the-family-dining-room-table-and-eat-until-you-are-sick” holiday?
I grew up where the extras were usually just that, extra. With seven kids at home, you couldn’t be surprised, so the luxury of taking the whole kit-and-caboodle out for turkey (which, these days, is dirt cheap to buy at the market) would have cost a small fortune. It also wasn’t really an option 20 years ago for good people. Good people ate Thanksgiving dinner at home with family. It was just what you did. And it definitely built character and good family traditions, and I think some day we will incorporate that into our family traditions. But there are only three of us so far, and one of us only weighs as much as some families’ turkeys.
The answer to the first question is: Yes we can (It seems to be the theme for 2008, so I’ll run with it). So, now the only remaining question is where to go? I will probably be checking out THESE options.
Don’t be too jealous when I’m enjoying a movie Thursday night with not a dish to clean and a fridge devoid of leftovers.