It is two days and counting down to Thanksgiving Day. I am so ready for this holiday…well I am emotionally and mentally ready—-I have quite a long list of physical things I still have to do before 8 of us sit down around the old oak table on Thursday.
Yesterday I really got into it by making over 5 dozen pieces of the traditional requirement in this house—-lefse. I use Lucia Schroeder’s lefse contest winning recipe from Barnesville’s Potato Days in 2000…it is such a snap and it rolls like a dream for those lefse makers among readers. Then I had abounding energy even after that long session with the griddle and the floury kitchen counter and I made over 5 dozen dinner rolls in the late afternoon. I have to add that I did not make all that lefse alone—my good friend Fran comes over and helps every year before Thanksgiving and again before Christmas. Lefse making is definitely a two or three person enterprise…one to roll, one to fry, one to package the lefse after it cools.
But now let’s talk turkey. Our turkey this year consists of one large turkey breast roast and a very fine looking roasting chicken, grown totally naturally. We are a band of white meat lovers so most of the time having a turkey dinner means we are eating turkey breast roast. But there are a few who enjoy a drumstick or a thigh, so therefore, the roasting chicken. We will have a fine feast on Thursday, thanks to others bringing in some of the dinner—pies, a vegetable casserole, fresh fruit and veggies., sparkling grape juices. I also bought some sparkling blueberry juice at Trader Joe’s and I am eager to taste a new thing on Thursday. I will take care of the Hot Food—-the turkey and chicken, the gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a small bowl of Glorified Rice…I just have to have a taste of that marvelous "white food" with a few red cherries on top of the bowl. After all , Mary Englebreit says that "Life is just a chair of bowlies" so why not have a couple of marascinos on Thanksgiving Day? ( I love the small book by Suzanne Nelson and Janet Martin which is a warmly humorous look at Catholics and Lutherans, titled "They Glorified Mary, We Glorified Rice" )
I sent a friend a Thanksgiving card this week in anticipation of Thursday. It was a Crabby Maxine card and the main message was that we are going to eat enough on Thursday to sink the Mayflower. Then those who consume a lot of turkey(males) can go to the TV set’s offerings of football games and drift off into a tryptophan-grogged nap. Turkey is the food highest in the natural substance, tryptophan, a definite sleep aid without having to get a prescription.
I have to pass on something from "Heartbeats"—a page in Mary Englebreit’s Home Companion magazine for Novermber: "What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November, when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" (Erma Bombeck, American humorist 1927-1996)) "There is one day when all we Americans go back to the old home….and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to. Thanksgivng Day is purely American." (O. Henry, American writer 1862-1910) "An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day" (Irv Kupcinet, Chicago journalist 1912-2003) "Then there was the lady who was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn’t find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, ‘Do these turkeys get any bigger?’ ‘No, Ma’am’ the boy replied, ‘they’re dead.’ " (Butterball Turkey Helpline)
When we sit down around our tables on Thursday with family and friends, there will be a lot of good food to eat. But the best thing about those tables will be that the Love that surrounds the table is much more important than the food that is on it.