On Wednesday Odd was still broken, and I was adrift … adrift in a lonely sea … alone . . . at loose ends. Ok, damn it! The devil made me do it! I decided to do a little pre-Thanksgiving cooking.
In the way of a little background, ever since dearly departed Joe died, his best buddy (Dave), and his son (Johnny), have come over to our house on Thanksgiving to make the Thanksgiving meal with Cole. The guys do all the cooking, and then, at the appointed hour, Dave’s wife and daughter join us for the meal. I will tell you more about Thanksgiving Day tomorrow — for the time being, let’s go back to me being adrift without Odd the day before Thanksgiving.
Adrifting (if this is not a word, it should be), I decided to make the traditional stuffing ahead of time. We have two stuffings on Thanksgiving — spicy and traditional. It was traditional stuffing in name only because I often changed the recipe a little from year to year, but it always includes bread and sausage. This year I found a delicious-sounding recipe that included wine and two different kinds of bread, along the Jimmy Dean sausage we always use.
Early Wednesday morning I dried the artisan bread, French bread, and corn bread in the oven and then cubed it all to the appropriate bite size. I diced onions and roasted crimini mushrooms, and I added spices, including turmeric, to my bowl. Oh, and I minced parsley! Before I put it all in oven, I made sure to put enough dressing aside to stuff the bird with the following day.
If you think this post is about another cooking failure — wrong, wrong, wrong again, dressing breath! My stuffing came out of the oven golden brown and smelling divine, at about the time my 16-year-old burst in the door from school.
Mom that smells good. What is it?
I made the traditional stuffing for tomorrow.
Oh, I had a little time and just thought I would help out.
Mom, Uncle Dave and I always make the dressing to stuff the bird.
Well, I know, but you can still stuff the bird. Look, I made extra bird stuffing. (I am sensing a problem….call it Mom’s Intuition)
(Teenage whine) Mom, you are doing everything for Thanksgiving.
Cole, I made one dressing. There is still a lot of cooking left to do — spicy dressing, mashed potatoes, turnips, green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts, corn, cranberry sauce, carrots, a couple of drips … (reasoning with a teen? worth a try…)
Mom, you made the stuffing. It’s an important part of Thanksgiving. (reasoning with a teen always a bad idea)
Would you like to try my stuffing? (the old sway with a taste negotiation technique. It smelled really good, and I knew my teen foodie couldn’t resist a taste.)
MOM! You completely changed the dressing! (The angst in his voice was heart wrenching)
(Consoling mom voice) No, honey, I just added a couple of things. Really, the basic ingredients are the same.
Mom, this dressing is completely different. I have never eaten this dressing before in my life. This is not traditional stuffing. It has apples and mushrooms. You did not use Wonder bread, and (taking another bite) I think you added the spice turmeric. This is not our traditional dressing.
(How can I argue with a kid who can identify the spice turmeric when I had never heard of it before? I couldn’t.)
FINE. GO to the store NOW and buy a loaf of Wonder Bread and make the TRADITIONAL stuffing tomorrow with Dave.
No, Mom, it’s fine. This stuffing is ok. It’s just not traditional dressing, and Uncle Dave and I didn’t make it; but it’s ok.
(Reality has set in. It is the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Parking space will be non-existent, long lines … awww. )
GO … TO … STORE. Wonder Bread. NOW! (I’m not falling for the old “It’s ok Mom, we can eat your stuffing” trick when I’m still hearing about last year’s lopsided Christmas tree)
Twenty minutes later he came home with his loaf of Wonder Bread and made his final point.
Mom you have known me my whole life, right?
Well then, you should know that I hate change. I was the kid who refused to change chairs in first and second grade, remember.
Then why in the world would you think that you could just drop a new stuffing into Thanksgiving.
Lost my mind I guess. I was adrift.
Today we were rehashing Thanksgiving when I asked Cole which Thanksgiving food was his favorite. He put his arm around me and said, “Traditional stuffing.”
Non-traditional dressing: $12
Traditional dressing: $5
Not ruining Thanksgiving: priceless.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? Odd Loves Company!
P.S. Yes the Odd Header is odd and not in a good way. Working on it. Life is just full of “always somethings” but fortunately this “something” should be easy to fix.