Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

I just realized that the underwear post was my 100th post. Seems fitting, I would say. But anyway, HUZZAH. If I were very good at this whole thing, I would have a fun, commemorative giveaway or something. But I'm total crap, and we all agree on that. So let's just keep it simple.

I am off today, so I am sitting at home, considering all the housework I need to do and wearing my night gown. The kids are not up yet, even Big Al who has decided that she will refuse to go to sleep if you even THINK of trying to get her to before midnight. Seriously. I struggled with her last night, and we finally both fell asleep in a hapless heap at around 12:30. She is still asleep in there, and I swear, when I looked at her this morning I wanted to be mad at her for her exploits. Because not only did she stay up that late, but she rolled around to nurse A LOT. Homegirl must be getting a tooth. Anyway, because of it, I am still sleepy. And my boobs hurt. But then I looked at her this morning--her mouth was open and a little spot of drool was on the corner of her chin, the dark hair she got from her father was mussed and fuzzy and her pajama shirt was pulled up around her chest--and I thought, "What an amazing little creature." Not in an ooey-gooey, helicopter mom kind of way, but in a total awe of just how much I enjoy her. Just being with her--in her presence. And how much I enjoy the other kids. Despite Sam mooning me about 3 times last night and Gabby getting into this giggle fit and starting to talk in a weird voice that no one could understand and just getting terribly annoying. I am incredibly thankful just to have them in my lives--just to know them. Much less to be their mom. And sometimes I consider a life where I wear La Perla lingerie and have the time to just sit down and read a magazine every once in a while, and I wonder what it would be like. But today, and really everyday, I am oh so thankful and almost giddy at the thought of spending the rest of my life caring for and loving them.

So now that I've made you completely sick, I'll tell you what I am planning for Thanksgiving dinner. I make dinner every year--have since I was 20 years old--for just our family. We invite others sometimes (this year I have invited my mother and father in law and my grandmother), but basically it is just for us. I make it come hell or high water because it is that important for us all to just sit around and eat together and give thanks and enjoy each other. It is not a formal affair--the kids and my husband wear their comfiest clothes and I use our same place settings that I use every single other day of the year, albeit with bigger plates. I did buy a table cloth this year at Target but mostly because I didn't want to have to scrape and coddle the dining room table where SOMEONE who shall remain nameless has made a mess of things at her particular spot. I make everything from scratch, and the only rule is that dinner is done when I get it done--I refuse to put a time on it. So I fix some snacks early in the day and let everyone graze a bit until I get it out on the table.

Here is this year's menu:
Snacks: chips with caramelized onion dip, stuffed mushrooms
Roast turkey with gravy
Cornbread dressing (yes, I live in the south, and it is dressing, not stuffing, and there is no sausage. That is just crazy talk. And I make my cornbread in a cast iron skillet, which is the only way that it should be made and there is NO SUGAR. Lord, you Yankees and your sugary cornbread...gettin' me all riled up...)
Mashed potatoes (if you have ever met my son, you know that his favorite story to tell about himself is when he ate a whole pot of mashed potatoes himself on Thanksgiving. He was 1 and it was adorable and if I close my eyes, I can still see his fat little face inhaling the potatoes.)
Sweet potato casserole (with both marshmallows and pecans because I can't decide)
Creamed corn (what we call "Skoby's Corn" because the recipe is from a restaurant that used to be in Kingsport, TN and was amazingly good. It is basically creamed corn made with half and half and a whole lot of fresh ground pepper.)
Spinach with gruyere (this is my first year making this, and it is a substitute for mac and cheese, which I have always made. I feel like our tastes have grown a bit, so I am trying it out. It is from last year's Real Simple magazine.)
Sherried green beans with wild mushrooms
Honey yeast rolls with honey butter
Bourbon cranberry sauce
Desserts: Pumpkin Pie with maple whipped cream and sugared pecans
Cherry Cheesecake

So that's it. It seemed like more food when I was making the list--now that I see it typed out, I'm wondering if I shouldn't add something. Oh well. I am super excited because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it is also the "kick off" to the baking season which culminates (I feel) at Valentine's Day. My birthday is in there too, and I always make myself a wonderful, chocolate-y cake. This year, I want to keep an eye on my weight so it is going to be tougher, but I am still excited about all of the goodies to share with others.

What are your holiday traditions? Do you cook or go to eat with other family members? I am actually going to another Thanksgiving celebration tonight and then another on Saturday at my MIL's. I have to say that I am looking forward to my own the most though! Is your meal a formal affair or do you eat in elastic waist pants?

If you follow me on Twitter (@pbpickledginger), you will probably get to see a few pics as I put everything together. My husband always takes pictures of me cooking on Thanksgiving, and they are so fun, so this year I am going to ask him to put them on Twitter (A side note--probably one of my favorite pictures of myself EVER was taken on my first Thanksgiving that I made. I am holding the uncooked turkey and smiling this huge grin and you can see my tiny apartment kitchen and on the counter, there is a cookbook and a copy of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. Sam is holding on to my ankle. That pretty much sums that part of life up better than anything ever could.). This might elicit and eye roll, but I'm sure he'll do it because I always make him sweet potatoes and put both marshmallows and pecans on them because he can't decide either.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Most years we stay home, although we have gone to visit family in the past. This year it's my mom, my brother, my aunt, and myself at Mom's house. I'm going to a friend's party on Friday, and I'll be going up to Peoria to visit family on Saturday. Tofurky Day menu will consist of turkey for the omnis and some kind of fake meat for me. We'll also have mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing, Asian cole slaw, sweet potatoes (only with salt), green beans almondine, cranberry sauce (or relish, if I can find some today), crescent rolls, and assorted desserts. Enjoy your holiday!

    (And despite being raised in Tennessee, I've always preferred my cornbread a little sweet. Perhaps it's because of the Yankee parents...)