Yesterday I did what my sister Bec calls my first last shop for our Thanksgiving dinner. You know, the grocery shop where you carefully prepared your list, absolutely certain that there’s not a single thing you’ve forgotten.
Yesterday morning, I even recited to Bill all of the items various people are bringing to our dinner, asking him to see if I’m forgetting some important Thanksgiving food group – you know, the sweet potatoes or the gravy or the whipped cream for the pies. He pretended to listen, but I soon saw his eyes begin to glaze over. So I released him to go back to reading his morning news and will hold him wholly responsible if we don’t have jellied cranberries. (We do.)
So, of course, I’m absolutely certain that I have everything, but I won’t. And there I will be on Wednesday looking forlornly at the empty shelves and wishing I had remembered that one secret spice that makes the difference in the pie or the mashed potatoes.
At the store, I got behind a 30-something man and his daughter who looked about 8. His basket was overflowing with All Things Thanksgiving Dinner. But as I nosily perused his basket (I had already read the front page of the National Enquirer and knew that Tom Cruise is choosing Scientology over his daughter Suri), I began noticing things like bags of fresh cranberries, and organic milk and cream, and bags of fresh carrots and fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary and mint. There was a fresh pie pumpkin and a bag of Brussel sprouts and some fresh kale and a bag of apples.
Not a can of green beans or mushroom soup to be had. No cans of corn for the corn casserole. No pork sausage for the dressing.
Most notably, NO TURKEY. Since thinking about being a vegetarian on Thanksgiving makes me too sad, I am going to imagine that he had a fresh organic turkey that has been fed nothing but acorns, hickory nuts and crabapples on order from a farmer in nearby Brighton, and he and his daughter were stopping there next (well, after they go home and put away the organic milk and cream).
I began thinking of that poor man getting up at dawn Thanksgiving Day and preparing a pumpkin pie from scratch without benefit of a Libby’s can or its recipe. I imagine the hassles involved in shredding the Brussel sprouts and browning the pancetta. And then there is the whole picking the pinfeathers from the fresh organic turkey. He will NOT be watching the Macy’s Day parade.
Jen sent me this following text a few days ago: I am watching Giada’s Thanksgiving show. She says the side dishes need to be fun and playful as that will make them conversation starters at the table. She ended her text with an appropriate disgusted emoji.
Fun and playful? Every Thanksgiving of my life, I have had a green bean casserole. You know, canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup, French fried onions. If you’re feeling really devilish, you can add a dash of soy sauce. This year I outsourced the vegetable to one of my guests and didn’t specify what kind of vegetable. If there is no green bean casserole, that will cause me not a moment of angst.
And I certainly hope that the conversation at our dinner table will be more interesting than a playful kumquat side dish.
Oops. Just remembered that I forgot to buy evaporated milk for my pumpkin pie. Time for my second last shop.
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