For these and all our many blessings

19 Nov

I was all dressed up today and found myself with no place to go.  I was supposed to go to court, but they canceled my cases, so I was left indoors on a gorgeous fall afternoon in an office with no windows.  The District Attorneys have been so busy all week with two murder trials and one shooting (none of them mine – yippee!!)  and that means that I have been stuck in our office fielding every phone call, helping every detective who needed a complaint reviewed and signed (Texas legal trivia du jour: the complaint is the application presented to the JP to have an arrest warrant issued), and entertaining our baby prosecutor, Leland, who has ADD more severe than mine.  I don’t know why he can’t be as happy in his little office as I am, but he is a newlywed and when he’s not busy he dreams of being at home.  When I am not busy at work, I am still busy.  Planning the weekend, making travel plans, paying bills, and today — researching the perfect Thanksgiving menu.

My parents are coming out to the wilds of West Texas for Thanksgiving and Anna’s birthday, which fall on the same day this year (I think that is God’s way of telling me to be thankful for her).  Luckily I have the easiest-to-please parents ever and nobody is expecting a gourmet meal.   Mary Rose actually recommended that I order the Thanksgiving dinner from the deli at HEB, and I suppose I could do that, but nobody loves a big kitchen project more than I do, and since I have some days off work…well, I am going to tackle the American Thanksgiving Dinner.  If not me, WHO?  If not now, WHEN?  Certainly not my mother, and if it were she, NEVER would be soon enough for her.

Last Thanksgiving, my parents whisked me away to Puerto Vallarta so that we could all deny that I was having to spend a big family holiday without Wade, Anna, and Henry.  My family of origin is big on denial.  That’s how I got so screwed up.  Denial and a mother who hates the big holidays.  My dad claims to love the big holidays, but he always has to go make rounds and therefore isn’t home for any of the preparations.  You can file that bit of insight under “actions speak louder than words”.  But enough about my family and our problems.  I was trying to talk about Thanksgiving.

I have never cooked a turkey, but I have cooked a chicken, and in the words of Kinky Friedman, discussing his decision to run for governor of Texas: “How hard can it be?”  Isn’t a turkey just a big chicken?  I could always buy a few rotisserie chickens if my experiment fails.  Maybe I could put one roasted chicken on everybody’s plate and call it a Texas-sized Cornish game hen?  I am all about the back-up plan, and failing that, the spin.  Hey, it’s gotten me this far.

So I am not ready to worry about the turkey yet.  That’s my least favorite Thanksgiving dish anyway.  My very favorite is the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.  My former mother-in-law thinks that is something trailer park people eat, but I digress.  My second favorite traditional Thanksgiving dish would be the green vegetables – green beans, broccoli casserole, followed by the dressing, some cranberry relish accompanied by the cranberry jelly in the can with the ridges still on it, the rolls with super-fancy salted butter, and last, but not least: the pies.  Yum.  What’s not to be thankful for?

I am limiting the desserts to pie.  Fudge, chess, and pecan.  Do you think that’s too much for 6 people?  If so, please come over and help us eat them.  I will tackle those this weekend.  I do make a mean fudge pie.  And the recipe makes two!  Good, because we don’t want to run out.  We will need some coffee to go with all that pie.  And some whipped cream.  I think I am going to be able to use ALL of my kitchen appliances this year.  I can’t wait.

I will wear an apron and listen to some chipper, upbeat music, and I might let all the dogs in, as the children will be away, but they won’t be able to stay in as they will probably all hover underfoot and mess up my serenity.

This is going to be fun.  And if I am exhausted and never want to cook again after I make the pies, I will just order the rest of it from HEB as I was instructed.  But I’m not about to admit defeat before I ever get started.  In the words of Anna: “that is so not my style.”


6 Responses to “For these and all our many blessings”

  1. dad November 19, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    Can’t wait. But I’ve been misrepresented here. It’s not about the “big holidays” per se –It’s about the great food (EATING the food, that is). And the good company. I don’t feel hypocritical here…have I ever proclaimed anything else? My slothfulness at holidays is so transparent, that I don’t think you can rightly say that I’ve attempted to mislead anyone. Now, that’s off my chest.

  2. brightenthecorner November 19, 2010 at 4:56 am #

    hey Daddy, have you ever cooked a turkey? that’s the only part I’m not looking forward to.

    • dad November 19, 2010 at 6:54 am #

      No, never. But Pat M. told me yesterday that she’s cooked 3 in the past few days, practicing. She’d probably gladly give you some tips (453 3817). I printed and shared your Ode to MR with her yesterday evening.

      • brightenthecorner November 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

        She’s the one who spoke the words that have stayed with me forever: “law school is a family affair.”

  3. Kim Mikeska November 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    I’m right there with you! Tonight is phase 1: Design the menu and make the shopping list. I actually made homemade cranberry sauce one year and it was fab! I have no boyfriend, no boyfriend’s child, and no agility classes this weekend so let’s make it a date (of the best kind – man-free!) 🙂

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