Thanksgiving is just two days away. Lin is hosting this year and we've been discussing the dinner and its preparation for the past month. The supermarkets and stores are stocked with all the traditional foods and accompaniments and advertising to the hilt. There's lots to do to serve a special holiday dinner for 12 people without getting verklempt and all stressed out. The anticipation is half the fun. The other half is actually pulling it off without a hitch.
We're not quite sure the 23 pound turkey (11kg, yikes!) is going to fit in the oven, but we'll figure that out. Heck, I go through that every year on the boat with a turkey less than half that size. I usually end up taking my tape to the store with me to measure in advance. Our local wild turkeys have been scarce lately. They must have gotten the memo.
It's not just preparing and serving dinner itself, of course. It's the tablecloth and napkins, seating arrangements, flowers, candles and wine. It's washing all the special, rarely used china, polishing the silver and shining up the crystal. Everything needs to be just right. Setting a beautiful table makes the meal all that more enjoyable. It's creating a menu that's sure to please everyone at the table, even the curmudgeons. It's shopping here and shopping there to make sure we have all the ingredients … enough butter, enough cream, enough cranberries … and still forgetting something that was or was not on the grocery list, but is critical to the perfect feast. It's talking David into running back to the crowded store early on Thanksgiving morning to get the forgotten item and waiting patiently in line with all the other men who are doing exactly the same thing.
We've not celebrated Thanksgiving in the States for many years. We're usually on our boat and have friends aboard or go to someone else's boat for a feast. Sometimes we can't find cranberries or cranberry sauce and sometimes we can't even find a whole turkey and settle for drumsticks.
We've spent Thanksgiving in South America, New Zealand and Australia and introduced many people to our traditional Thanksgiving dinner custom. One Thanksgiving was spent at sea en route from Uruguay to South Africa. We had canned turkey and all the fixin's to remember the celebration … despite lumpy seas and rain in the South Atlantic. It's a celebration for us wherever we are.
So, here's this year's menu …
Honkin' big roast turkey with savory stuffing and lots of gravy
Fresh green peas
Carrots with turnip (rutabaga or Swedes for the folks down under)
Freshly made cranberry sauce
Hot Parker House rolls
Pinot grigio / Cabernet sauvignon
What have we forgotten? How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year?
Dessert is a whole different story. More on that later.
Not from the USA? Alone on Thanksgiving? No problem … we'll set a place for you at our table.