Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving ’09

Anya from Buffy said it best about Thanksgiving: “To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It’s a ritual sacrifice. With pie.” Hope your ritual sacrifice was tasty!

My Thanksgiving ’09 was… anti-climactic. Mom had spent the beginning of the week down with my brother and family, since my nephew’s baby sitter was unavailable. They drove back up together Thursday morning, arriving around noonish.

I spent the morning feeling very sick to my stomach… which is, sadly, nothing new. Though I am a lot better than I was before I had my gallbladder removed, I still get these awful periods of sickness.

We went to dinner at Cracker Barrel about 2 p.m., pulling up to the restaurant right behind an ambulance. That’s never a good sign. Neither is having to step around the EMTs and the poor gentleman lying in the floor of the gift shop after suffering a seizure. That sounds horrible, I know, but they were trying to get us all out of the doorway so they could take him out.

The dinner was just ‘meh’ this year. I usually enjoy Cracker Barrel’s Thanksgiving dinner, but this year, not so much. Probably because I was tired, stressed and feeling sick.

Brother and sis-in-law left shortly after we returned home, leaving nephew behind to spend the weekend. I foresee locking myself in my room or the computer room a lot this weekend. I dearly love my nephew, but I can only take toddlers in small doses.

After Ben went to bed, I bullied my parents into watching Star Trek, because I really loved that movie. Unfortunately, we only got a half hour into it before my friends from Knoxville called and I spent an hour with them on the phone. Not that I minded, but I don’t know if I can get my parents to finish watching it now. I think I ought to give up trying to get them to watch stuff that I really like and is important to me.

Because it’s all about me, world! You hear that? All about me!

…or not.

I also started reading Twilight. I’m very proud of myself. Five chapters in and I’ve already resisted throwing the book across the room at least twice. I’m still trying to understand the appeal.

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A Thanksgiving conundrum

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s one of the four days of the year I can cash in my calorie coupons and feast until I feel as stuffed as the turkey on the table. (The other three being Christmas, my birthday and the day after Lent ends, because after 40 days of no chocolate, it’s hard to control myself.)

But on Thanksgiving, it’s all about the turkey. And the dressing. And the sweet potato casserole. And all the other delicious sides Cracker Barrel has to offer. Going out for Thanksgiving dinner has become a tradition for my family. All the delicious food — none of the cleanup.

However, Thanksgiving does pose one small problem for me — how to get all that yummy food on one plate without any of it touching. Yes, I am an adult. But I don’t like my food to touch on the plate. Even though I know it all ends up in the same place, I just can’t stand the flavors mixing before it gets there.
There are a few exceptions, of course. Gravy can go on the turkey and dressing, but I have to construct a dam of stuffing to keep it from getting into the green beans. Sweet potato casserole is delicious — but not when smeared on the ham. And the cranberry sauce is the worst contaminant on the plate. I loathe the stuff, and anything that comes into contact with it must be immediately quarantined from the rest of the plate. Sure, I could ask for it to be left off, but then my dad wouldn’t be able to protect my dinner by nobly offering to eat it for me.

I could, I suppose, ask that everything be brought out to me on separate plates, but five adults and one toddler make for an already crowded table. Not to mention all the extra dishes that would have to be washed. So I just have to make the most of what I’ve got to keep my food separated for maximum enjoyment.

My dilemma is not just limited to Thanksgiving — it’s a problem I face every single day. Corn cannot mix with mashed potatoes. General Tso’s chicken should not come into contact with fried wontons. Spaghetti and salad? Forget it. I’ll need a separate bowl for the salad. Just the idea that I might get spaghetti sauce in my salad — even though I may have tomatoes in my salad — gives me the willies.

While in the process of writing this column, I started wondering if I’m the only adult permanently stuck in childhood mentality when it comes to food on a plate. Surely not! So I decided to use a highly scientific process in order to poll my peers. I posed the question on Facebook. And according to my friends on Facebook, I’m the only picky eater not only in this state but in half a dozen others and two countries as well. Even my friend’s 16-year-old daughter chimed in to say that everything tasted better with gravy on it.

Even the children are showing me up!

Fortunately, my coworkers bailed me out from feeling alone in my pickiness. Heather Mullinix and Missy Wattenbarger both agree with me that food should never, ever touch on a plate. We all agree that if we could develop a line of nice-looking divided plates made of china or some kind of stoneware, we could probably make a fortune catering to other picky adult eaters. Because I’m sure we’re not the only grown-ups in America who believe baked beans should not come into contact with your hamburger — despite the results of my Facebook poll.

So this Thanksgiving, as I’m separating the food on my plate, I’ll give my thanks for the meal on the table, the health of my family, and for parents who understand my culinary peculiarities and know to put my peas in a bowl when we have hamburger lasagna.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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