Thanksgiving Dreamin’

LeeAnnRubsam.com

My husband had a deprived childhood. Never once in all his growing up years did his family sit down to a Thanksgiving turkey. You see, he and his twin brother were the little tykes who stayed home with Mom, while Dad and the older brothers were all off in the woods tracking Bambi every Thanksgiving. 

Still, Paul has pleasant memories of their peculiar holiday tradition: Spaghettios. Yes, you read that right. The left-behind part of the family gave their thanks with the help of spaghetti in a can. Mom dressed it up real fancy by adding ground beef and kidney beans. She and the boys thought it was a fabulous treat, because it was the only time of year they got to eat noodles of any sort. Dad hated noodles and forbade them at his table, while Mom craved pasta 364 days out of the year.

Why am I telling you about it? Because I find Paul’s childhood tradition inspiring. I am beginning to raise my family’s conscious level to the radical concept of Thanksgiving without the turkey and all the fixin’s. I hate cooking, and the day I hate cooking the most is Thanksgiving.

One of these years I will push past all the accepted traditions and plop spaghetti down in front of their faces — with baby carrots still in the bag as a side dish. I will not do the noodles-mummified-in-a-can version. I loathe Spaghettios and all of its cousins. No, the spaghetti will come out of a box and the sauce out of a jar.  And I will not adulterate our entree with kidney beans. They make me think of  their namesake body part, and that is not appetizing.

I will serve up our meal on a tablecloth-less table, and the spaghetti and its accompanying sauce will appear in their original cooking pots, not fancy bowls.  The silver will stay in its box and remain tarnished if it wants to, while we eat with the everyday flatware.  I will still bake pie-out-of-a-box to ensure that there will be no mutiny. And we will ALL enjoy ourselves immensely — especially the cook, who will not spend hours after the repast fighting food coma while painstakingly picking all the remaining meat off that poor gobbler’s bones and preparing stock for soup. 

Lest you think I will shock all my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and cousins ten-times-removed who expect the real traditional deal out of me, I must explain that the family gathering has shrunk down to four of us.  My mom will always get her turkey dinner if I have to buy it in a Swanson TV dinner box for her.  And we’ll work into this gradually. I am a long-range planner and can salivate over a revolutionary new concept for a decade before I actually put it into execution.  The rest of my family will be all right with the idea once they’ve heard about it a few times. My teenager doesn’t like turkey or any of the fixin’s anyway.  She endures until the moment of pie arrives.  My husband may miss the turkey and dressing, but when I remind him of how his mom used to do it, the pleasant memories of his childhood will carry the day.

I think it will work. And I may be doing the women of America a humongous favor just by writing this. The Internet is a powerful tool for raising up an army of radical thinkers, you know. I could create a grass roots  uprising of middle-aged women all over the country who never before had it cross their minds that they do not have to be slaves of  Thanksgiving dinner the way their mamas were.  The trend will eventually snowball to where grocers cannot keep enough pasta and Ragu on their shelves to satisfy the public demand at Thanksgiving time. All the turkey farms will be converted to fields of Roma tomatoes.

Yes, I like the idea.  Anybody with me? 

LeeAnnRubsam.com  

Thanksgiving Shopping

leeannrubsam.com

Today I must do the annual Thanksgiving Day grocery shopping.  I am not fond of shopping in any form, nor am I fond of cooking turkey and all the fixings.  I am a mac-and-cheese kind of cook, so Thanksgiving, the annual obligatory family dinner necessary to appease my mother, is not nearly as much fun as going to the dentist.  More on the cooking part next time.

My husband likes shopping in all its forms, so he takes care of the groceries the other fifty-one weeks of the year.  But shopping the food sales for Thanksgiving takes a special finesse that he does not possess.  I have an ability to get deals beyond our wildest imaginations.  Grocery store robbery is one of the few areas of life in which I excel.

In years gone by, I practiced my art on a weekly basis, even looking forward to the adventure of the excursion.  I was the customer the grocery clerks loved to hate.  I got frowns when they saw me coming, which deeply hurt my sensitive feelings, but not enough to make me change my ways.  It had a lot to do with combining sale items with double couponing and leaving the store with arms loaded down with multiple bags and a total bill of $4.63.  When my favorite place went out of business, I vowed to go straight and never ruin a grocery store again, but the temptation proved too much for me, so my husband took over the shopping.

Thanksgiving, though, is different.   The stores are all begging to be plundered for that event, so I oblige them to keep them happy.  Alas, I can no longer get away with a cartful for $4.63, but I might find a way to abscond with a turkey for that, along with a $1.00 apple pie and a free tub of Cool Whip.

leeannrubsam.com

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