Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Calm before Chaos



In years past, the way I celebrated Thanksgiving was quietly, at home alone. It was an anti-celebration, actually. My tradition was to make brown rice and veggies, and watch Hugh Grant movies all day long.

This year I have been liberated from my solitary T-day festivities because my roommate's family will all be here. They are a lively group, oh yeah! I could have hunkered down in my room or worked or volunteered for the day at National Geographic, but instead, surprisingly, I decided to join in and take part. I'm even doing a minimal amount of cooking (a simple and very very very buttery "stuffing" and an apple/pear crisp).

The jury is still out on whether or not I'll be able to eat turkey. It has never agreed with my digestive system, even when I was a kid. Magnifying my turkey phobia were the years I worked for Whole Foods, when I spent the last three days before Thanksgiving either in a refrigerated truck, slinging turkeys to runners who delivered them to the people who had ordered them, or dealing face-to-face with exhausted, cranky and occasionally abusive customers. Last minute grocery shopping does not bring out the best in people, believe me. In fact, during my years at Whole Foods, I learned how to say Kill them all in seven languages so that I could, at any moment, turn to the person working next to me and say "Kill. Them. All." in their native language. Delivering these words never failed to improve the mood, not of the customers but certainly for those of us working.

The sharp, distinct memory of all those raw turkeys has faded over time, thank God. This year what I'm afraid I'll be thinking about, when the turkey comes out of the oven, is that video of Sarah Palin with the guy behind her beheading the turkey in the "processing" machine, its legs wiggling as it is murdered. Yikes. If that comes into my mind I might steer around the turkey, have a second serving of green bean casserole instead. Wouldn't you?

Don't know how much time I'll have tomorrow, so in case I don't get around to the blog world, may I wish all those who celebrate it a great Thanksgiving? And to all the rest of you, have a wonderful Thursday!

17 comments:

glnroz said...

Such a great sense of humor. Have a Happy Thanksgiving whichever way you conjure it up.. lol,,

lakeviewer said...

Ah, perspective on the madness before the feast, that wasn't really supposed to be a feast, but a ritual of surviving bad times. You are capturing all of this, actually, soberly, carefully dissecdting the madness of our consumption obsession.

I like Thanksgiving, probably the only holiday that fits my philosophy: cook and share a traditional meal with loved ones.

Everything else has been spoiled, superexposed to the lights and the glam of "more is better" philosophy.

I'll stick to turkey, and lots of sides, varieties of veggies and starch to please different stomachs.

Enjoy your day.

Lynne said...

Happy Thanksgiving Reya!
I'm sticking to turkey and all the fixins' tomorrow!
Just about to go and make my pumpkin pie and port wine cranberry sauce ...

k-brow said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Reya! We always ordered a turkey from Whole Foods. Got one coming in today, too.

I had wondered about what you were going to cook tomorrow. But Hugh, will there be time for Hugh?

Ronda Laveen said...

Our celebration tomorrow will be large too. It has been quiet the last couple of years so I am looking forward to it.

I was laughing so hard at "Kill them all." Those kinds of things make a work day fun and lighter.

When I managed the bowl, I ran Turkey Shoots during Nov and Dec. Pay your $1.50 and strike in the 3-6-9 frames and pick up your bird at the snack bar counter on your way out the door.

Just the process of ordering, the constant trips to the store to bring back what could be stored in the stores freezer and keeping enough on hand brings back the heebie jeebies.

Oh, not to mention the Turkey Scrambler tournament that was trukey-centric that I came up with that was a total hoot. Boy, could I get those birds flying out the door and people throwing $ at me hand over fist for the opportunity. So glad someone else has to take care of all that now.

Ronda Laveen said...

Happy Green Bean day!

ellen abbott said...

We're having perhaps the smallest gathering in history...our history that is. All members of the family are doing small gatherings. So tomorrow our son, DIL and best friend of DIL are coming out to the country house to cook and eat. It will be fun. No turkey as DIL is a vegetarian and son has followed suit. Instead, I'm making a nut loaf.

Reya Mellicker said...

There will DEFINITELY be time for Hugh! In fact I started last night, watched "About a Boy." It is such a good movie.

Ronda, we are thinking about going bowling in the afternoon after the feast. I'll be thinking of you!

Rosaria, thank you!! Thankful for you, too.

Jeninacide said...

Turkey has never agreed with me either- even as a child. My childhood memories from Thanksgiving always ended with me throwing up after dinner!

These days I just steer clear of turkey and enjoy the extra stuffing that was baked in a baking dish- far away from the turkey!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

steven said...

oh reya you're so cool and funny. that second picture is supremely beautiful!!!! i could dive into that mirrored glassiness and swim in it for aeons! mmmmm. happy thanksgiving and heartfelt blessings reya. steven

Elizabeth said...

Happy Thanksgiving REYA!
I just made chestnut and onion stuffing..........
Have a super day
cool 2nd photo

Phoenix said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Reya.

Mrsupole said...

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving Day and a joyful meal. So glad that you are spending it with a boistrous family, there is nothing greater.

God bless.

karen said...

Happy thanksgiving to you! Enjoy the lively time with your roommate's family!Beautiful autumn leaves, as ever..

Linda Sue said...

I'm with you on the turkey thing- Instead ,I got two cornish game hens- I did the entire dinner last week so today I can stay home and have a quiet day. Love the photo of the heap of leaves. Holiday madness takes a bacl seat this year- let's see if I can stick to it...Happy day to you!

spottedwolf said...

Just be grateful the tradition isn't stuffed dog.............

Steve said...

Glad you'll be participating in a Thanksgiving feast! I hope your dishes go well. I read your "Kill them all" story aloud to Dave and we laughed -- it definitely brings to mind our adventures at Shop-Rite on Wednesday. :)