I am tired of Thanksgiving. I know, it’s not even here yet; we still have almost two weeks to go, but I’m over it already. I was over it in October, actually, when all of my food magazines came with pictures of turkeys on the front.
Thanksgiving is the dullest holiday on Earth. I know, I know, I am a terrible person. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude, and spending time with those dearest to your heart, and realizing how blessed you are. But when Thanksgiving actually dawns, it’s about slaving for an entire day to produce a meal that’s devoured in 30 minutes and takes 3 times that long to clean up.
Fun? Not so much.
Plus, I don’t even like Thanksgiving food. I’m serious. If I spent the day slaving over, say, shrimp dumplings and kung pao chicken and sesame snow peas and dan dan noodles, I’d be all over that. But no. I’m stuck with traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which is–admit it–a beige meal.
And no, I can’t just serve my dream Asian Feast for Thanksgiving dinner. Because my father, bless his rigid German heart, would cry in his dan dan noodles if I did that. My father lives for Thanksgiving food. You can’t make your daddy cry on Thanksgiving.
A couple of times, in the folly of my youth, I tried to shake up the Thanksgiving menu a little bit. One year, I scratched the creamed pearl onions and made sauteed broccolini and shiitakes. Another year, I jettisoned the waldorf salad in favor of tomatoes Provencal.
And guess what happened? My father ate with gusto, proclaimed the dinner The Best He’d Ever Eaten, gave me a huge hug…and the next day, begged my poor mother to cook the REAL dinner. Which she did. Cursing me every step of the way, although she won’t admit it.
So once again, we are eating the beige Thanksgiving dinner that’s been served since I was crawling on North Dakota linoleum:
-Herb Roasted Turkey: is it just me, but even if you injected old Tom Turkey with an herb infusion, he’d still taste like…umm, a blank canvas? Turkey is a vehicle for gravy. Period.
-Cranberry Relish: homemade, not canned, but still freaking inedible. Cranberries suck. Unless they are infused with sugar and baked in buttery streusel for coffecake. We even spike our cranberry relish with Grand Marnier, which should help (because booze improves everything!), but nope. Still gross.
-Stuffing: WTF is up with people eating soggy bread? Admit it, people! Stuffing is just that: soggy bread. Am I the only person on the planet who would rather eat lima beans than the drek people call stuffing? My mom even makes a crispy version, which everyone loves, except me. Crispy stuffing+gravy=soggy freaking bread!
-Waldorf Salad: ewwww. Mayonnaise and fruit. Seven shades of wrong.
-Creamed Pearl Onions: yes, there’s some Yankee at our table, gratis of my grandfather. He had to have these foul little bulbs, bathed in cream and cheese, every year. And now my father loves them. They slip and slide all over the plate, taunting your fork, and later, after consumption, turn your intestines into Chernobyl. Two hours after creamed onion consumption, you are hazardous waste.
-Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: the only edible part of the meal. Gimme a plate of just that, and I’m okey-dokey.
-Clover-leaf rolls: Gee, we don’t have enough carbs on the table? Apply directly to my thighs, why don’t you?
-Pie: Only suitable for breakfast. The next day. Who really wants pie after that ass-busting meal, anyways? Plus, crust is nasty.
I’m sorry. I’m a crank and a killjoy, so I’ll shut up now. I’m ready to suck it up and cook this slop…gimme a few glasses of wine and I’ll be fine. And when it’s all said and done, I’ll be the first one to express my gratitude. That it’s over. For 364 blessed days.