I bet most Americans don't realize it's actually a religious holiday set aside to give thanks specifically to God and that it isn't just about the Pilgrims and the Indians. Although these two historical events merge into what our current day Thanksgiving holiday is about.
|The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth (oil on canvas, 1914), by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe(1850–1936).|
I love Thanksgiving. It's a time when family and friends come together and celebrate all of our blessings by sharing the bounty from our own tables with each other. Our "gift" is whatever we bring to the table - food, love, friendship.
We had a quiet celebration this year at my mom and dad's house. Only one of my four sisters was able to come with her family. We had the usual turkey, potatoes, rolls, yams, dressing, vegetables, and pies. We ate until we felt like we would pop.
We had a few hiccups, but managed to pull it all off. I came home from work on Wednesday and started my baking. I made my first batch of rolls, using my bread maker to save me the time of having to make the dough. But then the paddle broke in my bread machine. My husband tried to fix it, but didn't have the right part so I decided to wait until Thanksgiving morning and do the other two pans the "long" way. My "grouchy" meter was steadily climbing, but I kept it in check.
I made my pie crusts and started to work on the pudding filling for my cream pies. I made pudding from a box for my banana cream pies, but wanted to make the pudding from scratch for my coconut cream pie. I put the first few ingredients in and kept thinking something didn't look right, but ignored it and kept going. It didn't seem to be thickening like it usually does. I added my egg yolks. Still not thickening. Turned off the heat and added my vanilla, butter, and coconut. Hmm. Not good. It still hadn't thickened. "Oh well," I thought. I'll put it in the fridge and see if it sets up by morning. I had one box of Jello pudding left so I went ahead and mixed it up and added some coconut just in case my homemade pudding didn't set.
I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and it finally dawned on me. I used corn syrup instead of corn starch. I keep them right next to each other in the cupboard. I must have been thinking I was making candy or something. I knew it didn't seem right when I put the corn syrup in, but I was too tired to catch it. Thankfully I had made the extra box of store bought pudding up instead and just used that for my pie.
So I got up and made my bread dough the hard way and put my pies together while the dough was rising. My final contribution was the mashed potatoes so I got those peeled and cooking. We got to my mom's house and she said that her pecan pie didn't set up right for some reason and one of the two turkey's she cooked was over done. It just wasn't a flawless Thanksgiving feast. Between the two of us, we had food issues all over the place. Plus, my husband was sick with a migraine and not feeling well at all so he couldn't really help me.
But when it was all said and done, the food was good. We laughed. We ate. We laughed. We ate. We went and visited some more family and then went and played games with friends. It was a perfect day (except for my husband being sick and going home early). We came home to a dirty kitchen, but full bellies. I crawled into bed and crashed without even thinking a second thought about all the dirty dishes. Thanksgiving is a lot of work for moms. But we do it because it's what we do and we love our families.
And now it's Friday morning. I have one glorious day off work. And the trash truck just pulled up. Everyone is asleep and I'm sitting here in my pajamas writing this post. Nobody remembered to take the trash down across the cattle guard. I just got back from running after the trash man to stop and wait for me to haul it down there. It was quite a sight. I just rolled out of bed so I'm not very "cute". I slipped on my husband's coat and my son's size 11 shoes (because that was what was by the door) and clumsily took the trash dumpster down while the trash man watched me. (If he was a gentleman he would have gotten out of his truck and come and helped me...) Oh well. At least I was awake and my trash got dumped. It's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm still feeling grateful - even if it's just that I was awake and didn't miss the trash truck and have to wait a whole week with a full trash dumpster before he came again. I would have been a little more grateful if he would have helped me though. Just saying.