Saturday, November 17, 2007

Embracing autumn and preparing to give thanks.

It's finally starting to look and feel like fall here in Virginia. The leaves are turning all over campus, and it's so gorgeous that I had to go out and take pictures. This week I also started researching recipes, and yesterday I went shopping for the ingredients for Thanksgiving Dinner. One of my roomies, Todd, is sticking around for the holiday, so he agreed to pitch in some cash for the feast.

I had been thinking about spending the Holiday in NYC. I like helping a mission in the city make thousands of diners. I love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love how cheerful everyone in the city is that day.

Then I decided not to. Bus fare plus going our for dinners and drinks would add up to a chunk of cash quickly. I would end up spending a big hunk of break on a bus.

Also, I'd end up with a crick in my neck for the next week. If I don't get an inflatable travel neck pillow for Christmas, I'm going to buy myself one. I don't care how dorky they look. If they work as well as the online reviews suggest, it'll be worth it. Until I get myself one, however, no more uber-long bus rides. Also, I'm going to be spending a week in January staying with my friends and I don't want to wear out my welcome.

Instead I decided to stay home, get some studying done and make my first Thanksgiving Dinner! When I was a girl, my mom told me a funny story of her first Thanksgiving, and it always stuck in my head. Yesterday, I had her tell me the story again.

"It takes forever to thaw a turkey. Give it four days in the refrigerator."

"Seriously? I was going to start on Tuesday, and I thought I was overdoing it."

"Yeah, that's how much time they say it takes, but it's never enough. I always end up trying to thaw it in water in the sink. My first Thanksgiving, I didn't give it enough time to thaw, and I missed one of the bags of organs. There's a high bag and a low bag.

"What do you mean? High and low?"

"One is stuffed in the neck cavity, and the other is in the... the anal cavity, I guess? I found one, but not the other. So not only was the turkey frozen, it had this frozen bag of parts inside."

Mom also had a tough audience. Dad's younger brothers were picky eaters, and Mom had made squash. The boys wanted corn. There was no corn. Mom was already upset because of the turkey. She proclaimed, "You will eat what I made or you won't eat!" Poor Mommy.

I'm just glad I made her retell the story, or I would have had a frozen bird, too. And I knew about the "low bag," but not the "high bag."

Thanks for helping me out, Mommy. That is the whole point. It gives me something to do on a holiday away from my family and friends and gives me a low-stakes opportunity to to perfect my Thanksgiving-Dinner-making skills. If any of you have a great Worst Thanksgiving Dinner story, please post it in the comments section. Help others learn from your life experience.

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