I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving weekend. I’m not complaining though, I’m excited.
Thanksgiving is a holiday I can get behind because it involves stuffing, and you can’t fault a holiday that includes the world’s best side dish.
Stuffing to me is what cheese is to you folks that can eat and enjoy dairy products. You’ll eat cheese with anything. That’s me and stuffing.
I want stuffing with everything. Salad laced with stuffing. French fries and stuffing. Hot dogs topped with stuffing. Soup with stuffing on the side. Stuffing sandwiches. All the stuffing.
I want a stuffing scented candle. Oh, and a stuffing scented car deodorizer. A dryer sheet? Yes. Give me that sage, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and poultry seasoning magic. That’s what happiness smells like.
Keep your turnip. Hold your squash. And please, keep your dairy-free mashed potatoes away from my stuffing. They both get equal billing on the plate, but only two foods are allowed to encounter my stuffing directly: turkey and gravy. That’s it. Don’t even joke about peas and corn. Just stop.
Food touching is a legit issue for me. I am old enough now to stop apologizing for it or accept chastising remarks about it. Stuffing will absorb the flavours of the foods that touch it, and I simply must protect the delicate sensibilities of my stuffing.
The Carpenter mocks me relentlessly for this, but he is one of those “it all goes down the hatch” people, which, I have to say, makes him temporarily unattractive.
His dinner plate looks like a crime scene in a horror film where the vegetables were armed, and the turkey lost the fight. A heap of real cranberries gets plopped on his plate wherever it lands, because he doesn’t care where it lands.
Get this, he adds pickled beets to his plate. It’s disturbing. That sweet juice seeps into everything, even the gravy. It turns the potatoes red. Stuff oozes together. And he just shovels it into his mouth like … Okay, I have to stop, I’m making myself gag.
My mom makes stuffing with apples because she is the best stuffing-making mom. You should see the restraint it takes for me to practice good table manners when her stuffing is on the table.
I watch that bowl get passed around. I privately note who takes more than they should. I judge them, but I stay calm, waiting my turn.
My mom is passing down the holiday meal traditions to my daughter and I, letting us partake in the meal preparations.
I’m sure it’s difficult for her to relinquish the reins when it’s evident that her skill for cooking, décor and beautiful holiday meal presentations skipped two generations. Ah, but we have fun.
This is what I’m thankful for: the time, the experience, and the way it feels to be a part of making a meal where we are reminded that we have much to be thankful for, and we appreciate it. Like stuffing, with apples. Good tunes. Good memories made. We are grateful.
Whatever this weekend brings you, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving, too.