Happy Black Friday, to those of you who celebrate this day. For the rest of you, welcome to the “it’s ok to start your Christmassing” season!
Yesterday morning, I awoke at my new ‘normal’… 5:20 a.m. and after perusing my email, Facebook & Words With Friends, fell back to sleep. Until 9:30 — and since I’d planned to go to 10:00 Mass, I reenacted one of those classic cartoon ‘moments’ and rose straight up from the bed and bounded into some clothes. After Mass, I came home and went to work on Thanksgiving dinner. With the Parade already on, I set forth in the kitchen, preparing the turkey and getting him (finally) into the oven, followed immediately by the peeling and cutting of Idaho and sweet potatoes. This allowed a few moments of rest with my dinner guest, Mr. Chardonnay.
Eventually, (about an hour after I’d estimated) dinner was done (see pix from yesterday) and enjoyed with my dinner guest, Mr. Chardonnay. Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals of the year. It is only rivaled by Christmas dinner, which, by coincidence, features the EXACT SAME menu.
And yes, although I was alone, I gave thanks. This year, these are the things I was specifically thankful for on Thanksgiving Day.
I was thankful to have this food to eat, some of which was made possible by ‘others’ and some of it was made possible by myself.
I was thankful to have a warm, safe home.
I was VERY thankful for my new, full-time job, which I anticipate liking a lot.
I was thankful for having made it clear for 4 and a half years without losing my home, thanks in part to Fr. Jim for asking me to work in the office 3.5 years ago, and to sticking with “Job 2” for 2.5 years even though the pay was lousy and my knees were threatening to sue me.
I was thankful for my family – my mother, in particular, who is always in my corner. I was thankful for my extended family too – my nieces and their families, my cousins who were gathering with their families around the East coast. I gave thanks for the friends I have, and who I have ‘reconnected’ with via social media.
And lastly, I was thankful for the love of God.
Cleaning the kitchen alone is a daunting task and it is one I do not enter with wild abandon. I don’t enter it with any kind of abandon – well, perhaps total abandon, where I abandon it totally. It was my aim to clean the kitchen – dishes in the dishwasher, leftovers in the fridge, handwashy things hand washed. Then, and ONLY THEN, would I allow myself the much anticipated cranberry-apple pie I’d made the night before. But as my kitchen is already somewhat of a wallow, it was time-consuming doing the leftovers and sorting the dishes and pots. Eventually, everything except the roasting pan and rack were accounted for. They fit (at current) into neither the sink nor the dishwasher and were relegated to the stove top overnight to be washed on Friday (they’re in there now, gurgling away as I type).
I uncovered “the pie”. It looked beautiful. I was hoping it would taste as good. I love pie, but never really learned how to make them. As a result I’ve depended all these years on either a frozen or ‘dairy aisle’ crust, which taste like glue and never cook on the bottom of the pie. So, 2 years ago, I took a giant step into the world of pastry making and tried to make my own. And ya know, it wasn’t bad tasting and it was fully cooked on the bottom! I’d stumbled across the secret and there was no going back. So in addition to peeling & cutting 7 apples the night before, I mixed dough for 2 crusts and rolled them into amoeba like shapes, filled, covered & baked. It really wanted me to taste it that night, but no, it was bedtime and I held back my appetite! But today, Thanksgiving day, I was ready for pie. The innards were cooked just right – with just the right cranberry to apple ratio (it’s a tricky thing to work out!) But the dough… was a little dry. Still tasty mind you, but a tad dry. I guess this means I’ll just have to keep baking pies until I get it right! But that’s another post…:)
By the time I’d cooked, eaten, cleaned up, had dessert, and cleaned up some more, it was 9:30 and my eyelids were getting droopy. This is my new routine. I awaken at the ungodly hour of 5:20 a.m. and my brain is ready to tuck me in at 9:30.
I realized as I lay surrounded by my comfy flannel sheets and soothing music, that I’d not wished my Facebook & blog friends a Happy Thanksgiving (though, I did read all of your FB posts!) So here’s to what’s left of this weekend of excess. Excess eating, excess spending and excess family (for some of you!) As for me, my dinner guest has a twin brother who will be joining me this evening.