Happy thanksgiving my friends. I write this from Albany, NY, home of...my brother Lee and family. My mom is here too.
Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories:
-As a kid, all the family would congregate at 333 Dawson in Glendora, California for a huge feast at Grandpa Oscar's. Often the kids' table is the sucky place to be, the red-headed step child of tables. But in this case it was the ONLY place to be. We were set up in the 3 season porch and left to our own devices. Every finger was covered in black olives and mayhem and knock knock jokes and armpit farts ruled the day. Oscar could magically cook a 30lb turkey in 3 hours, there was jello without nuts, at least 5 flavors of pie. I could count on endless games with Onry & Robinhood.
-When we were a little older and the Mc's had moved to Utah, we rotated Thanksgivings with our sisteresque cousins the Bodens. Mom always made turkeys out of mesh & candy corn. I do it now with my guys. Best lesson learned from GiGi? Don't mix your pie flavors.
-Our first year in Phoenix, Grandma Jean & Grandpa Larry came from Denver & Scott & Kerry from SLC. I awoke on Thanksgiving morning to find half the contents of my fridge on the counter and when I opened the fridge, EVERY BOWL I owned was in there, filled to the brim with jello. Strawberry jello with walnuts and cranberries and shredded carrots and cans of fruit coctail. It was my worst nightmare but I could not stop laughing. This has happened to me every holiday we do with Grandma Jean. She needs her some jello.
-Another Grandma Jean memory: one year we flew out there on Thanksgiving. We arrive and are served stale blueberry muffins she has shoved in her purse from her last trip to the Country Buffet. No turkey. No mashed potatoes. Just stale muffin.
-The year we were in China was a wonderful feast. There was no turkey readily available (turkey in Chinese is "fire chicken" btw) so one of our students whose parents had a meat business told us they could locate a turkey. They showed up with gizzards and maybe a wing. Luckily we had also roasted chickens. My family always had lemon merangue but there's no lemons in Northern China. So we made an orange merangue pie. Dave and I were so sore after making that pie. We had to whip the duck egg whites by hand for AGES to get it stiff as we were without an electric mixer. Our British friends hosted the event and had a huge banner up that read: "Merry Thanksgiving all Ye Colonists!"
-As my brother Lee is in Abany, we get together for holidays from time to time. Lee & I always make the mashed potatoes and gravy and always say the same bad puns every year. Our all time favorite: as I start cooking the drippings in the pan, Lee announces that I will "rue the day." After that all the jokes are just gravy until we start to talk turkey.
Happy holidays and if you're not in a turkey coma by tonite, you did something wrong.