Friday, November 23, 2012

Successes, Failures, Skills, and Controversy

Time for a few reflections on Thanksgiving 2012.

Most Controversial Thanksgiving Decision - Small and Simple.

Usually we are with the cousins, go out of town, have a family over, etc.  This year, it was just immediate family and my parents.  Still 9 people, but for us small.  And I kept it simple.  This year I did not:

* Brine the turkey
* Comb the woods for fall foliage and make fall arrangements
* Create place cards
* Come up with a new Thanksgiving centerpiece
* Make any recipe with more than 3 steps

I said it was a year for small and simple.  Some of my cherished offspring said it was a year for boring.  I said the one who bakes the turkey makes the decision.  Case closed.

Most Successful New Recipe Attempt - The Pie That Will Make You Cry (Pioneer Woman)

My husband loooooves pecan pie.  And since I have never made one, I have been somehow deceived into thinking they were hard.  Huh?  Enter Pioneer Woman and her new and improved, best in the world Pie That Will Make You Cry.  Wow.  Easy and delicious.  No fail!!  If he asks, however, please tell my husband I slaved, agonized, and walked the thin line of sanity to bring him this triumphant creation.

Most Unsuccessful New Recipe Attempt - Carrots Grand Marnier

Aaargh!  I have looked at these in a favorite cookbook for years and was convinced that this would be the crowning glory of my Thanksgiving table . . . Carrots Grand Marnier.  Actually they were chewy, sticky, and slightly dehydrated . . . looking more like I had made them over a campfire on the Appalachian Trail than a crowning glory to my Thanksgiving table!!  My parents and my husband both took generous spoonfuls because they are over 40 and have been well trained that when there's a new recipe on the table, you better take some and put a smile on your face while chewing.  My aforesaid cherished offspring passed them quickly to the next pair of hands looking as though they were momentarily distracted by a passing cat out the front window and it somehow slipped their minds that a bowl of carrots was in front of them.  My cherished offspring are, obviously, under 40 and have apparently not been well trained about new dishes, taking, smiling, and chewing.

Most Unusual Thanksgiving-Related Activity - Hand Turkeys

Several days before Thanksgiving found two 18 year-old seniors in high school at the kitchen table, inexplicably making "hand turkeys."  They said it was to earn extra credit in senior English.  I once again wondered about the use of my tax dollars.

Youngest Daughter was delighted to have some company on an art project.  And she went on to create hand turkeys for each member of the household . . . which is what being 9 on a holiday is all about!!

Best Newly-Acquired Skill - Peeling!!

This Thanksgiving, Youngest Daughter learned that nine year-olds can peel fruits and vegetables and not remove a layer of skin.  She did a marvelous job, and I congratulated myself on introducing another helper into my kitchen.  Next year we'll tackle the art of the roux . . . or maybe the flambe'.

Thanksgiving 2012 - Like most Thanksgivings, this year was made up of recipe failures, recipe successes, new skills acquired, old skills polished up, decisions that made some delighted and others frustrated, lots of good food and time spent together.  The yin and yang of life and living together that make up family and remind us of all the reasons to be . . .


1 comment:

  1. You are so your comments and details of your nonfuss Thanksgiving! Small and Simple...sometimes the best way! Love the look of that pecan pie! Good attempt on the carrots my friend!
    I wonder what Christmas will bring???? Any new recipes? xoxo