Thanksgiving Rocked! (No, really, it rocked.)
After dearly departed Joe died in 2009, his good buddy Dave offered to cook Thanksgiving dinner at our house with Cole (a tradition Joe and Cole always shared). We gratefully accepted his offer, and from that Thanksgiving on, Cole and Dave have cooked Thanksgiving dinner, while Johnny (Dave’s son) and I take on the role of sous chefs and support their effort.
Early Thanksgiving morning, Dave called and asked for our Starbucks order (you would think he would have written it down by now, wouldn’t you?) and soon after, there was a knock on our door—Dave had arrived with our Starbucks and Thanksgiving 2013 was kicked off! Throughout the morning, the guys measured, chopped, peeled, and stuffed, while I ran back and forth to the grocery store for items left off the grocery lists. This year, I made so many trips to the store that the store manager, after telling me the store was closing early, offered me a key to the front door. Smart ass.
After dashing through the door from a mini marshmallow run, I took a sip of eggnog that was sitting innocently on the counter and immediately started to claw my tongue and spit—it was laced with whiskey. I don’t like whiskey. I looked accusingly at Cole’s partner in prep, “You put whiskey in your eggnog?” Nodding his head, yes, he took a sip from another similar glass of eggnog. “Oh.” I looked at Cole and suggested he find another partner if he was thinking of a life of crime.
Our Thanksgiving rocked on, and by early afternoon, we are ready for our pre- Thanksgiving celebration with my sister-in-law (SIL) and brother-in-law (BIL). We do our best to be thankful for all the food groups on Thanksgiving. SIL and BIL arrived with divine lemon meringue tarts and Champaign (the perfect guests), and I add the Thanksgiving appetizers. After we had devoured the appetizers, one tart and toasted the day, we went outside to scatter a few of Joe’s cremation ashes. Joe loved Thanksgiving. Soon after, it was time to hug our tart bearers goodbye and wave them off as they headed to their real Thanksgiving dinner at my other sister-in-law’s house (she called dibs on them first).
Thanksgiving prep once again took off at full speed as we got ready for Dave’s wife and brother to arrive for dinner (yes, of course we were hungry). The guys mashed potatoes, debated gravy, forked yams, and searched for another can of French’s Fried Onions. They never should have opened the can before they were ready to use it. I put the finishing touches on the table.
This year Cole and I discovered that the small round table we usually dine around was full of surprises. In the past, we switched it with a larger table when we needed more seating, but this year, while we were moving the round table, it pulled apart, in a good way.
Astonished we kept pulling, and the table extended eight feet. Wow! My father-in-law, who remade the table, was so clever. The problem was the missing table leaves were nowhere to be found. Cole and I quickly solved this problem with a Thanksgiving eve Home Depot run, where we had another piece of wood cut to replace the missing table leaves. Once home, we put the table together with the makeshift table leaf, and it worked like a charm. Kind of.
Thanksgiving smells wafted from the kitchen, and our second round of guests were invited to find their places at the table, a task greatly simplified by my beautifully embossed Thanksgiving place cards (be sure to notice them in the video). Mayhem occurred after our guests had taken their seats with their food, and we discovered that adding people and food to the table created an imbalance that caused the table to rock from left to right and back again. Thinking quickly, as one guest hung on tightly to her wine glass, I suggested that we all just pretend to be on a Thanksgiving cruise. Soon we were all singing the theme to The Love Boat as we passed the Texas toast. As cruise director, I skipped wine in the interest of keeping the lit candles upright. We all pulled together, and kept our elbows firmly on the table to prevent the cranberries and gravy from slushing. We admired Cole’s apple swan centerpiece, as the swans appropriately, rocked to and fro. After dinner, I announced in my best cruise director voice that coffee and dessert would be served in the living room.
How was your Thanksgiving?