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Post-Thanksgiving Reckoning

Last year I decided I’d cook for my family for Thanksgiving, and that I wouldn’t fall prey to my tendency to overdo everything involving food. This year, I swore, I’d do it right.

In years past, I’d bitten off more than I could chew, at least more than I could chew comfortably while also holding a glass of wine and intermittently paying attention to a rampaging toddler. I’d tried to cook like my grandmother had, but without the years and years of experience in cooking for crowds.

So last year my wife and I planned everything in advance. It was a well-oiled operation; we made most of the classic dishes the night before, and were in position to finish everything else on the morning before we were to host our parents for a late lunch.

Then I got sick.

Sometime around midnight on the night before Thanksgiving, I started to feel queasy. Shortly thereafter, things went downhill. I barfed on the rug that one of my wife’s former co-workers gave us. It’s a very nice rug; it ties the room together, but it was between me and the bathroom, and I didn’t make it.

So all of the work we’d done to make food for Thanksgiving was wasted, because as you’ll know if you read my wife’s writing, she is a bit of a stickler about germs, and specifically about the sort of germs that causes one to vomit. She was not going to eat anything we’d cooked, and thus nobody else was either.

It was a 24-hour virus, and I recovered by the next day, but the damage was done. Our parents were left without turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, among other things. They were also bereft of our company, which I assume was the more difficult hurdle.

This year, we dodged the bullet. And by “bullet” I mean “horrible stomach bug passed around primarily by adorable small children at whom it is very hard to be angry and who don’t really care when you are angry or maybe that’s just my adorable small child?” In any event, we duplicated the work we did last year for the most part, and things went off without a hitch.

I roasted a turkey, made gravy and mashed potatoes, and Eve made sweet potatoes with bourbon, cranberry sauce with orange and ginger and the pumpkin and black bean soup that for some reason we only eat at Thanksgiving despite the fact that it is awesome and we should eat it more often. She also made two pies and a loaf of home-made bread. I bought the wine, though, and made sure her glass was full for the most part.

And the meal was very good, and our family was happy. That last bit, obviously, is the most important, and it’s also the reason I am very thankful in general and definitely at this time of the year.

I hope your holiday was pleasant as well, and that you were neither trampled on Black Friday nor trampled anyone. 


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