Monday night we heard the first rumblings that changes might be up with Thanksgiving plans. My grandfather was coming back from cardiac rehab on Tuesday, and my aunts had somewhat convinced him that the fuss of a full thanksgiving would be too much stress on him, and wouldn’t he just like a quiet dinner of steak and salad, and him being the easygoing amenable guy said that sounded good. Now, my aunts know that he goes along with whatever someone wants, so pretty much they canceled the existing Thanksgiving plans for whatever reason. So my parents confirm on Tuesday that the holiday as planned was canceled, and last minute, we make new plans. Suddenly, without being fully prepared for it, we’re having Thanksgiving at my place!
Now, my mom likes to do all the cooking, and especially likes to cook for her kids, and make sure we don’t have to worry about anything, but Amanda also likes to cook, and I like to help in the kitchen, and it is too big a meal for one person, so we organize a division of dishes. Fortunately, my parents had the turkey already, and Amanda had a recipe for ham, so it wasn’t too hard to split things up. Wednesday morning we were out on errands and stopped at Donelan’s to pick up a few last minute food items. Amanda made a chocolate and rum custard pie for the next day.
Wednesday late night my parents and brother show up from CT. We gave everyone the tour, and got people settled in for the night.
Thursday we got up and started the feast preparations. Turkey went in the oven, ham went in the crock pot. Vegetables were peeled and prepared, and all the ducks were lined up in a row. In between dishes going in and out of the oven and the stove and the microwave and the crock pot, we played the family game of pinochle. This is something my parents learned long ago in the Navy, and my brother and I learned from them, and I taught to Amanda. We’ve tried teaching other people, but, like bridge, it is a complicated game best played in couples, and it needs a lot of regular practice until you get it down, so mostly, we only get to play with my family.
Still, everything went very smoothly. Dishes went in and out in an easy fashion, there was never not enough room on the stove or in the oven because the timing of things went so well. The immersion blender came out for the potatoes and the gravy, but the hand masher was perfect for the squash. The broccoli and corn were done in the microwave. The onions and potato were boiled, the asparagus steamed. The squash, stuffing, and biscuits were all baked after the turkey came out. The three pies and the cake were all made the day before. The glaze and gravy were smooth, the cranberry sauce came from the can, and the bottle of wine was just enough. The table was set and lovely, and the company was pleasant. Actually one of the easiest Thanksgivings we’ve had in years.
After dinner we put away the ‘leftovers’ and played some more cards, then went to bed. My dad and brother stayed up watching the Star Trek movie marathon. Parts of it anyhow.
Friday we had a breakfast of english muffins and our plethora of home made preserves, and Amanda went to work, while the rest of us hung around, did all the dishes, played some more pinochle (getting my dad in, as he sat out before – it’s a 4 player game), played some Cel Damage on the GameCube, and ate leftovers. My family opted to stay over one more night, and we were happy to have them. My parents were comfortably ensconced in Amanda’s study, and my brother was on the couch in the living room, where one of the cats slept on his feet all night. This is a good thing.
Saturday we had another breakfast with delicious preserves, and again, Amanda had to work. The family got all packed up, and by midday were back on the road to CT.
For a last-minute-180-degree-change-in-plans like that it all turned out to be an excellent time, and I’m glad it happened.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some pie to eat…
Originally published at lebor.net. You can comment here or there.