Monday, November 23, 2009

A Thanksgiving Confessional

Last year, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my entire family and much of my extended family. This year, I'll be cooking for four.

My reaction to this is mixed. I've never cooked turkey and the works for such a limited group, so I'm hoping the whole exercise will be easier in small batches. At the very least, it will be less cumbersome.

On the other hand, it'll be odd to sit down for our big dinner with only four people at the table. Fortunately, though I'll be missing my two married children and their spouses (who will give thanks with the in-laws on Thursday so they can hang with us for Christmas), the four people I will be sitting down with are primo. And hungry. And gratifyingly grateful. (Not just in general, but for the food...a quality those of us with fairly obvious cooking deficits value highly.) It's true. They're just not that proven by the fact that the one and only time we went out––to a posh Thanksgiving buffet dinner at the Fairmont Hotel downtown––they actually complained that they missed "Mom's food." Music to my ears.

Of course, I could have invited a bunch of people over for dinner, and I did think about doing that. But to tell the truth, I couldn't handle the performance anxiety. You see, I never invite non-family members to Thanksgiving dinner. Not because it wouldn't be fun. Not because I wouldn't enjoy them. Not even because I'm too clannish. But actually because my cooking is as notoriously unpredictable as my oven. In fact, we make a pretty good team. Especially if you find culinary disasters amusing. (My specialty.), I will not be visiting my turkey and fixin's upon anyone but my own family...this year or any year. My kitchen services will have to be limited to less important meals and occasions. I'm fine for Sunday dinner or Family Home Evening BBQ's. Even my traditional Christmas fare is pretty foolproof. But Thanksgiving? (shudder) Nope. That is one can of worms (olives? cranberry dressing?) that I'm just not willing to open.

There you have it. My full confession. It is what it is. Easy does it. And I'm taking it one year at a time. Because, when it comes to cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I'm a white knuckler. Completely turkoraphobic.

And I'm not even working on it.



Darlene said...

Oh Sue, I wish we could be with you. We will miss you dreadfully as we will be eating probably about eight o'clock in the evening due to the fact that
Geoff and Sheena are having dinner with her family and Nancy wants to wait until they come home before we eat our fish and two vegetables--no rolls, turkey or pumpkin pie due to this rigid diet they are still on.

Just for the record in case anyone reads this----Sue is a great cook, TRULY. I say this because I have eaten many meals at her house and just because her new ovens are just as bad as her old ones, I am possitive that if she had a decent one her rolls and pies would turn out just as great as mine. This is to say nothing about her wonderful grapefruit stuff, delectible fruit salad, carmeled yams, mashed potatoes, and yes, the girl can make great gravy.

It will be an interesting dinner for you, Sue and I am sure it will be great fun, and totally satisfying.

Sue said...

"Sue is a great cook, TRULY"

Spoken like a true mom.

"I say this because I have eaten many meals at her house and just because her new ovens are just as bad as her old ones, I am positive that if she had a decent one her rolls and pies would turn out just as great as mine."

Dream on, Mom. No one's rolls and pies turn out like yours...most especially mine.

But I love you for thinking so...And we will miss you dreadfully, too. and the rest of the usual crowd will be with us for Christmas. And THAT is going to be OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD.


KC Mom said...

I'll let you in on a secret of mine...we go out for Thanksgiving!!! We've enjoyed some amazing dinners in the city and no clean up! I have a hard time making a predictable Thanksgiving dinner myself. They are always fine, just not what I thought they'd be. I hate the clean up. It takes me days to set up and cook...we eat in 15 minutes and then I clean the mess for the next 3 days. I never get help. I prefer paying someone else to slave for me, rather then be a martyr. I know it's selfish, but I'd rather enjoy my loved ones then be frantic.
Have fun with your small family!

karen said...

We're having a small group too. Most of our kiddies are far away right now, and my parents like to eat out with my brother, so we grab those who will come, and this year we have 3 guests! It's not as loud and holiday-ish as a large group, but it IS easier to concentrate on, and really enjoy, a small group. Plus, my house is small. A small group makes perfect sense. I'll think of you cooking away, while I am doing the same! Happy Thanksgiving!

Janis said...

Sue, I'm sure you make a delicious Thanksgiving dinner! The first year Steve and I were married we went to one house for dinner and the other for dessert. My mother in law decided that would never happen again, and 20 years later still has both families on Thanksgiving Day. Crazy!!! I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day, and having your grandkids for Christmas will be the best!

Karen said...

I believe you Sue - it makes us more spirit sisters than before. I usually host the dinner becuase I have good places to sit 30 or 40 people and the kids can be loud in the basement! I cook the turkey - in a bag - in a foil pan I can throw out. My Mother in Law usually shows up in time to make the gravy, EVERYTHING elso is doled out to others!! Somehow they do not trust me. I don't even have a trickey oven - I am just more likely to burn it than not!!

This year we are going to Disneyland instead. I hear they sell turkey legs in Frontier land so we will get our fix.

Love ya ;)

Carolyn said...

My husband invited two Chinese students from his PhD program to our house this year. So not only do I have to perform...this is their first Thanksgiving!

I think I am going to cop out and take everyone to my in-laws and just bring the rolls and the pies. (The stuff I usually don't mess up.)

I feel your pain in the potatoes. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful dinner.

Jill said...

Sounds like a great Thanksgiving to me. That's what I love about can be different every year.

Em said...

what?! you're not inviting the entire single's ward over??? and i thought you were christian;-) j/k i know you get my jokes sue! we are eating with 14 total. wishing it was just with 4...

Karen Sue said...

I know I'll have to get some cleaning in before the food is served, just don't quite know when. Probably when I really want to be sewing.

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