I LOVE Thanksgiving.Not only do I crave an excuse to spend hours in the kitchen, but I love the traditions. My husband and I have already had our annual kvetching about the menu. He’s a traditionalist: turkey, plain mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream and Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce from a can… “What else could you possibly need? “ I’m a vegetarian so the whole turkey thing doesn’t excite me… and if I’m going to spend a day cooking I like to try something different … or as my husband says, “You’re serving company things no one has ever eaten… ever.” So along with the traditional fare we’ve had chestnut soup served in mini pumpkins, salmon soufflé in turkey molds, sweet potato biscuits , roasted vegetables (my brother in law quipped that the roasted turnips looked like shrunken heads so whenever anyone ate one the table erupted into gales of cannibalistic laughter) and sushi rolls. After 25 years of marriage we’ve worked out our differences about the menu… I just cook EVERYTHING and we have more food than imaginable. But out of respect for holiday traditions I vow to never even consider a tofurkey.
This year will be especially memorable as both sons will be home from college. It’ll be the first time in months we’ve all sat together at a table for a meal. I also know that my youngest just can’t wait to get home-- because as soon as the pie is served he’ll borrow the car keys and head out to spend as much of the holiday weekend as possible with all his friends, whom he hasn’t seen in months.
Did you know Thanksgiving is the #1 holiday for drunk driving? Not New Year's... Thanksgiving! We all know that teen drivers are at higher risk for drunk driving accidents and fatalities, but once the kids have gone off to school parents hesitate to lay down the ‘house rules’ as their teen heads out the door, since at school no one is there to nag them.
So as I hand over the car keys I will, as always, have the ‘no drugs/no drinking’ talk and hug my son and tell him I love him; he’ll roll his eyes and I’m sure the first words to his friends will be , “I can't believe my mother…” Hopefully they’ll all laugh and relate similar experiences.
So let’s be thankful we’re all together… and also safe and accident free.
So I'm committed to upholding traditions; I'll greet guests with a sushi roll appetizer (or something equally non-traditional), take the family picture early in the day and fill up the gas tank to make it easier for those home from college to escape, and won't hesitate to 'have the no drugs/no drinking talk' and give a hug.