Suburban Snapshots

It's Not Like I'm Serving
Frozen Pot Pies

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm not posting a list of things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving, though it is lengthy and names just about everyone who's been a part of my life this year. Instead, I have a confession.

This year, I ordered my Thanksgiving dinner.

That's right, all of it. From the turkey to the cranberries to the pie. "What next?" you might be thinking, "A personal assistant?" But no. This year we had no idea what we'd do for Thanksgiving. My mom will be marching in the Macy's parade (as a safari clown, and despite standing in front of the TV through every tiresome dance routine, there will be no glimpse of her, and she probably won't have the opportunity to ask Anderson Cooper to flex for her or to see how tall Matt Lauer is in real life) which means she won't be cooking.

We try to stay local to get the most out of the long weekend and also because neither of us is particularly fond of spending eleven hours in the car for a four-hour trip (true story). Steve suggested that instead of hoping my sister's relatives would take us in and send us home with conveniently packaged leftovers, we host dinner ourselves. I was raised to believe that if there aren't fifteen people crammed around an eight-person table, if you can actually hear the conversation you're involved in, it's not a holiday.

I invited our neighborhood friends and any relatives whose plans might still be up in the air -- in my family, there's a good chance that plans are up in the air until someone's actually carving a turkey. And it turns out we'll have a nice group of six adults, three kids, and a small after-party to finish up our case of Two-Buck Chuck.

At first I wanted to attempt the fifty-mile Thanksgiving, where any food we ate would be raised or farmed within fifty miles of our town. Then I wanted an organic turkey, but that seemed silly when I also wanted my grandmother's stuffing, which uses an entire tube of Jimmy Dean sausage. And there has to be pasta and sauce.

Then a friend told me that a restaurant up the road was packaging entire dinners to go. I looked at my collection of pots, all of which were in the sink, opened my tiny, vegetarian oven, peered into my fridge, full but stocked only with questionable Rubbermaid containers and expired salad dressings, and I made the call.

I'll still prepare the pasta and meatballs myself, so even with someone else doing most of the cooking the mess in my kitchen will be authentic, and the gathering at my table will be raucous and joyful.

Happy Thanksgiving to every one of you and your families.

blog comments powered by Disqus