The American Thanksgiving holiday: there’s a lot to like about this day of belt-loosening gluttony. All the world ’round has harvest festivals of some slice or another that’re trussed in tradition and stuffed with myth and baked to a golden brown glory mostly by the women of the household. Ours is no exception, as we like our edible myths here. The reality, though, is that it is a lot of work, especially for this hausfrau.
My call to the butcher’s wife a month ago had me crestfallen at her guffaw of laughter. “Sorry, sweetie, we closed our calendar for turkey processing three weeks ago!” she snickered. Sigh. See, I have not one turkey to do in, but two, actually three; one for selling, one for eating…the other, well, she’ll just be “dinner on the hoof” until we feel like eating her. And my father in law emailed recently to say “can’t I just buy you a bird for the day? I mean, I don’t like the idea of eating something that I’ve talked to every time I come over to your house,” which made me laugh. (“Don’t talk to them then,” was my response.) So it looks like I will need to take a day off to actually butcher the birds.
It’s okay, really. Every year, I shuck another side dish; by this point, well, the side dishes are spare (three) and the desserts are singular (pie). Soup course, salad course, cheese course, check; everything else though? It gets baked in the masonry oven this year. And yes: I made sure to size the oven door to fit a 25-pound, rack-lifted, home-grown bird in a roasting pan. Functional design does matter, after all.
I wish all of you a great harvest holiday…and may we all be thankful for, and appreciative of, what we have.