November 25, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Do you like Thanksgiving?

For a long time I did, then for a long time I didn't. The concept of a holiday centered around nothing but huge quantities of food appeals to me. Growing up Thanksgiving was indeed a feast put on by my grandma. When the Thanksgiving torch was passed to her daughters, my mother and Her Sister, things didn’t seem as grandiose. To spare you the details of how things went horribly wrong, let me just say Thanksgiving went from a well-orchestrated and perfectly executed meal put on by my grandmother to a disjointed pot-luck attempt at a feast between four cooks. The food was plentiful, but it just didn’t seem right coming from so many different cooks. Some may think a variety of cooks would make for a diverse and delicious meal. I thought it was a mishmash of culinary styles that led to a relatively unremarkable, albeit large meal.

As disenchanted as I was over the fact that my grandma had to die and end all of that Thanksgiving wonderfulness, I have to say the pot-luck thing we had going was much better than what I was in for when I began having Thanksgiving dinner with Boyfriend’s parents, Faux Ma and Faux Pa.

Faux Ma always pleased the men in her life with her cooking. As an outsider I didn’t know stuffing was supposed to be so dry it crumbled off the table spoon from which it was served. I didn’t know green beans were to be served with relish tongs. I didn’t know there was such a thing as tomato jello, otherwise known as aspic. Ass pick. Opaque red jello-like salad containing brown flecks of something served on a bed of lettuce, which also had to be eaten up because one must not waste food even though it’s really meant to be a garnish. I didn’t know mashed potatoes were supposed to crack when you put your fork into them. I didn’t know a Thanksgiving meal could be served without pumpkin pie with pumpkin fluff as a substitute - a pumpkin-flavored Cool Whip dessert so vile it made the dusty turkey seem delicious. I didn’t know the saving grace to Thanksgiving dinner was gravy, the only form of moisture in the entire meal.

Suffice it to say I grew to miss the pot-luck meal my family made tradition.

It’s easy to criticize another’s attempt to put on a holiday meal, even though I don’t exaggerate in the least in my description of Faux Ma’s meal. Now I must put my money where my mouth is. This year Faux Ma is too sick and feeble to put on the meal, so the burden of delectable lies with me. Of course I’m nervous. It’s not that I feel pressure to please my guests because obviously they’re perfectly happy with ass pick and pumpkin fluff. What makes me nervous is measuring up to my own expectations.

So I’ve decided to channel my dead grandma. Thursday morning I’ll meditate and concentrate and do all those other things people do to channel the dead. She’ll inhabit my body and guide me to cooking the best Thanksgiving meal I’ve had in years. There will be real pumpkin pie and no fleck-laden gelatined tomato soup. The potatoes, stuffing, and turkey will be moist and delicious. For a good measure I’ll channel my other dead grandma and make her sweet, buttery dinner rolls. Being so possessed by these grandmothers I’ll dance around the kitchen singing Everything Is Beautiful and end every sentence with the question “and-so?” I can’t go wrong with my two grandmas in the kitchen with me, inhabiting my very essence.

Wish me luck. With my channeling skills I’ll probably come up with Colonel Sanders and Orville Redenbacher and serve nothing but extra crispy popcorn.

Oh well, better than ass pick.

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