First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating tomorrow!
I love Thanksgiving. I really do. I'm not crazy about the shopping part, but I love cooking the meal and I love to dress up the table and of course...I love to eat.
But I still have to mentally prepare for the arrival of my extended family. It begins with me understanding that no one will offer to bring anything, but that when they arrive, they'll offer to "help". In O'Neil Speak, that means that they want to make the gravy but nothing else. Then great numbers of people stand around the stove to supervise the stirring and random tossing of the flour. There will be cries of "That's too much salt!" or "Well, I don't do it that way," or "Turn up the heat," or "Turn down the heat." Whether two of them come - or six - or eight - it's always the same. And they create a huge mess in my kitchen.
Well, the joke's on them this year, because I've already made the gravy. I fried up a couple turkey wings and made my usual pan gravy and I guarantee you they'll be flummoxed. I'll put them to work buttering the rolls instead and then they can all argue about the proper way to butter rolls. And they can't make too much of a mess.
Oh, I need to back up a little bit. My MIL will bring her candied yams and no one will eat them. The dinner conversation will go exactly the same as it has gone for the past 27 years:
MIL: Doesn't anyone want my sweet potatoes?
Family: Murmur, murmur, murmur.
MIL: Gosh, doesn't anyone like candied sweet potatoes?
(side note - I like them, but hers are truly awful)
Family: Tense silence.
MIL: David, won't you eat some candied sweet potatoes?
My husband: No.
MIL: Why not?
My husband: I've never eaten your candied sweet potatoes. I don't like candied sweet potatoes.
MIL: You won't even try them.
My husband: I don't want them. I have never eaten one in my entire life.
MIL: Well gee whiz, nobody's eating my sweet potatoes.
And just because I'm in a holiday kind of mood, I'll stop there. But trust me...that was the short version. It'll continue on, even as we're clearing the dishes and putting things away. And it'll ratchet up again when we're making plates to send home with people, because once again, everyone will decline the offer to take home candied sweet potatoes.
Ah family. Gotta love them! And 25 years from now, I can't wait to read what my daughter-in-law is writing about me in her blog! I will fully appreciate the justice of the situation.
Have a lovely day tomorrow, everyone!