Thanksgiving is one of the uniquely American holidays and one totally devoted to food. Ok, to food and to giving thanks. I have had more than my share of sit-com worthy Thanksgiving dinners since I have been married.
The first was on my honeymoon while visiting my brother-in-law in San Francisco where four people who couldn’t boil water prepared the meal and the two people who could cook (my new husband and I) were relegated to washing dishes, while boiling water on the stove because the hot water heater broke. More recently, we have spent major holidays with another of my husbands brothers and his family, in large gathering that includes relatives, friends, and even the occasional enemy. On more than one of those Thanksgivings the very fancy oven has ceased working an hour into cooking with no one noticing. I literally walked in one year five hours after the 26 pound turkey went into the oven and asked why I couldn’t smell the turkey and was met with confused stares. Yep, raw turkey. No one noticed because they subscribed to the turn the light on and check the tin foil covered bird rather than opening the oven door every once in a while and basting. Saved by the turkey fryer!
The thing I have learned in 24 years of married Thanksgivings is that what you expect out of Thanksgiving dinner is deeply personal and probably relates to what you grew up with. If you attend a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by people who grew up eating differently from you, different things will appear on your plate. You may or may not like that. You may or may not feel compelled to cook your own Thanksgiving dinner on the day following just so you have it your way, and with the requisite leftovers for sandwich making. (Enjoy it people – this may be your last Post-Thanksgiving with your Wonder Bread!)
So, keep an open mind if you are not hosting, cook one for yourself if you want to, and be sure to appreciate all that you have. I know I do.