After Thanksgiving dinner, the adults gathered in the living room to exchange reminiscences, while the children went into the family room to play. Suddenly our hostess noticed that an elderly relative was missing. “Where’s Aunt Dorothy?” she asked.
From across the room came a masculine drawl, “Oh, she’s with the kids, bridging the generation gap.”
Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven
to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot
and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a
severe squall or cold shoulder.
During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of
a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation
of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift
across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery
spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.
A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued
for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the
beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and
taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34F in the
Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat
sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can
be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered
soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup
develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low
as the only wish left will be the bone.
ONE WOMAN'S THANKSGIVING
Thank you, Maxine.
Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised.
Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes: Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows offlaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.
Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea.
The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.
Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a
hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assures me it is a turkey.
We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.
As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.
We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.
Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread. Oh, and one reminder for the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese Sauce stains.
Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice: take it or leave it.
No, Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won't come next year either.
I am thankful.
~Barbara A. Tyler