While our family has had many traditions over the years, some going by the wayside after my parents were gone, one is still alive and well. So as we travel to Phoenix for this year's repast, I shall keep this one last motherly tradition up and running. It is actually a tradition for all holidays and family meals that my mother began once I started taking over the family holiday festivities. The day begins with a nice breakfast (ok so far). As I begin the turkey prep, I open a bottle of wine (I'm going to need it....it is purely medicinal). BINGO! The first salvo is launched. "I never put anything under the skin of MY turkey." Ahhhhh, Mom's Thanksgiving Day had begun. Next, Hubby Dearest asks if anyone would like a holiday toddy. Since I've already begun, I decline, but Mom pipes up, "Yes, Dear, but make mine light, I'm on medication, you know. Just a little Southern Comfort and 7-Up, please.". Comin' right up, your highness. Never moving from her perch at the kitchen table, she sees me beginning to work with the giblets for the dressing and gravy. "I always washed my giblets and used the neck, too, you know." Yes, ma'am, already done. I'm sipping away at my wine by now. "I don't cook my parsnips that way, and you bought way too many this year." "I like left over, cold parsnips, Mom." Sip, sip, sip. "Are we having any nibbles before we eat? I could use a cracker or two." Hubby Dearest to the rescue. "Cheese would be nice on these fancy crackers. Don't you ever use just saltines?" Hubby once again to the rescue. Sip, sip, sip. "My glass is empty, just one more light one, please." Hubby Dearest, her new manservant, is off and running again. Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle.
Ok, all the prep work is done, turkey is cooking, Mom is sipping away at #3 (light ones, you know), and I finally have time to sit down. I'm looking for the hard stuff now! I might be a bit wobbly, but I am not done yet. "Isn't there something you should be doing rather than sitting down here with us?" "Well, yes Mom, I probably shouldn't take time to talk to my family on such a busy holiday." (I wanted to ask if it would be ok if I ate with the family, but I resisted the urge.) Gulp, gulp, gulp.
Time for dinner has arrived. There are more exchanges about my preparation techniques, but I'll skip over those. "Who wants wine with dinner?" "I'll take a small glass" Mom answers. One of the kids begins to pour the wine for all of us. Mom requests "Just a bit more, honey."
Hubby Dearest has carved the turkey beautifully and is ready to present it to us for our dining pleasure. "How did you carve the breast, it looks funny." Just give me the damned bottle with a straw and let me have it!!!!!
Now, this year, with The Perfect Child preparing Thanksgiving for her father and me, I get to be the mom at the kitchen table "assisting" HER preparations. "Thanks, hon, just a small glass for me, I'm on a diet." Sip, sip, sip. In spite of the frustration and craziness, I do sometimes miss being yelled at for using chicken broth instead of cream in my mashed potatoes, 2% milk instead of 1/2 & 1/2 in the gravy, and for leaving the wings in the kitchen instead of on the serving plate. I just wish both of my parents, and Hubby Dearest's, as well, could see what great kids we've turned out. I think they would finally approve of something we've done. I know we are certainly pleased with our "work". :)
A very, very Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.