This year my mother declared that she was “past her cooking years.” My sister works in the food service industry. So naturally, it was decided Thanksgiving would be at my house. Normally, this sort of event would send me into a tailspin, but really I was kinda glad to have it at my home.
After 13 Thanksgivings together, I decided it was time to pull out the wedding china. I figure Baby Daddy is probably sticking around at this point, so we might as well celebrate our wedded bliss, such that it is. We actually had to pull the stickers off of some of the dishes and wash them. They truly had NEVER been used. It’s also really not a joke that I used pots I didn’t even know I owned to make this meal. That’s how little cooking goes on in my house. We’re more of food heaters as opposed to cookers.
In my hands, chicken tastes like chicken and beef tastes like beef, but there’s not much to brag about. However, I make one thing really well: Mamaw’s dressing. She’s not even my Mamaw, she’s Baby Daddy’s Mamaw. She passed before I ever met Baby Daddy, so the recipe was handed down to me with a great deal of reverence. I respect the heck out of the women in Baby Daddy’s family and would never dare disrespect something as sacred as their food. That’s why I always make sure this is done properly.
Step 1: Boil a chicken. Actually, that’s how almost all of Mamaw’s recipes begin. This would be Reason 1 I rarely break out these recipes. Reason 2 is they all require a fair amount of prep: chopping veggies, making biscuits from scratch, actually visiting aisles in the grocery store that don’t have doors on the front of the them. That’s why it was a bit shocking to see food so fresh as to still have a FLY in the package. Really Kroger?!
Because I really wanted to feel like an overachiever, I decided to make silly cookie turkeys. This dumb plan sent me to two stores before friends on Twitter helped me locate candy corn. How can it be that hard to find candy corn two days before Thanksgiving?! (I would also like to take a moment to point out the startlingly precise location they were able to give for where the candy corn was located in the store. I’m not naming names, but it’s possible someone has a sugar problem.) Poor Monkey Boy tried really hard to keep his hands off. He kept walking by them and greeting them while he waited for lunch. “Hi, turkeys. I’m gonna eat you later.” Eventually, the temptation was just too great and he snatched the beak off of one.
The family was reasonably well-behaved. No one had to call the law. (This has not been out of the question in years past when more relatives were still being invited. These are the same relatives who sent us home with fleas a few years back. We didn’t eat the leftovers that year. We were pretty horrified we’d eaten the food the first time.) No one threw a fit, except children under the age of 6, and, if you can prevent that, then you know where the good sedatives are stashed. My sister and I rolled our eyes at our mom several times, but since we’ve been doing that since puberty, I don’t think it even registers with her anymore.
The only real glitch was the delay in service. For some inexplicable reason, someone (almost certainly me) turned the oven off in the middle of cooking. I know, totally brilliant move. So our poor children were about to eat their arms off waiting for lunch to be served. I offered them snacks, but when my niece realized that all of our food was sorta healthy, she opted to draw pictures of people eating and asked God why she didn’t get an aunt who stocked fruit roll ups in her pantry?
We had a good day. We have a lot to be grateful for. Mostly, I’m grateful we all came away from a Thanksgiving almost insect free.