Bah Humbug

th-5Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday, however I am looking forward to joining with friends and commiserating over what the f**k has happened to this country. Instead of Happy Thanksgiving we will be having a Grave Misgivings bash, drinking margaritas and eating turkey mole.

When I was young Thanksgiving meant sharing a room with my sister when either one or the other set of grandparents came to visit.  I wish I could say it was jolly fun to spend time in that small house with my grandparents but all four firmly believed children were to be seen and not heard and they insisted on making weird shit which we were expected to eat.

th-4 For Grandma J from Massachusetts the feast would not be complete without oyster stuffing and green bean casserole. I’m sure there are many fine cooks out there who work wonders with those two dishes but alas my Grandma J believed that any recipe could be improved by Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and dried onion flakes.

For Grandma M from North Dakota it was mincemeat pie and ambrosia salad.  I like fruit and I like coconut but her ambrosia salad was made with canned fruit and coconut that I swear had been sitting in syrup for years. And mincemeat pie, really?  Does anyone really like mincemeat pie?th-6

And we had to eat everything that had been piled on our plates otherwise we weren’t getting away from the dining room table.  The idea, hammered into our heads, was to be happy we had something to eat and weren’t starving like all those children in China. Seems an odd way to make children grateful, to force mincemeat pie down their throats.

I have to admit that as a child I also hated pumpkin pie. What a nasty little unpatriotic brat I was!  But I’ve changed my tune. After many years of experimentation my husband’s figured out how make pumpkin pies that don’t taste like wallpaper paste and they smell divine.  He generally makes three pies – one to take to friends and the other two to eat all by himself with a scoop of cookie dough ice cream.  He could eat pumpkin pie all day long and all year long without any qualms but luckily he doesn’t.

Joel's pumpkin pie - he makes three of them at Thanksgiving and doesn't share.

Joel’s pumpkin pie – he makes three of them at Thanksgiving and doesn’t always share.

Food isn’t the only issue I have with Thanksgiving. Its proximity to Christmas is the other.  Oh boy, time to really start stressing as the season to buy, buy, buy rolls over us like a big, black cloud.

But I don’t want to end this post on a negative note.  I am a thankful person – well fed, a roof over my head, healthy children and I’m doing what I love: sharing thoughts, stories and photos with other bloggers from around the world.img_2394

28 thoughts on “Bah Humbug

  1. Funny and beautiful thoughts, Jan.

    I have a 1950s cookbook that requires mushroom soup in everything. Okay, it’s a Cambell’s cookbook, but other books are just as enthusiastic about what you can do with, say, mushroom soup and lime Jello (let’s get past that one quickly), which also can be enhanced by the crisply crumbly onion things and 1/4 head of iceberg lettuce.

    Me, I could go for one of Joel’s pies. Can you convince him to make four?

  2. I hope this year goes OK, Jan. Margaritas sound good to me. Love your stories of the past. I grew up with no grandmas, and both of my grandpas died when I was pretty young–one was actually buried on Thanksgiving Day– so it was never really a joyous holiday in our house either. One side of our family was super dysfunctional and the other all lived pretty far away. Funny, but I don’t think about that stuff too much, but now that I’m doing just that, I’m realizing why I don’t look really forward to Thanksgiving each year!

    • I have some lovely memories of my grandparents – and I’m glad that I had them – but they were very traditional and food was just something you ate to survive, not something to enjoy! Hope you and your family have a warm and loving T-day.

  3. Mmmmm piiiiiiiieeeeeeee!

    Not mincemeat though. Just no. Fortunately, one grandmother was such a bad cook, she never brought anything to add to dinner unless it was store-bought. The other grandmother couldn’t read, didn’t understand English but everything she made tasted wonderful. Either one we got, it was a pretty good meal. And, both lived close enough to be taken home after desert.

  4. Now I’ve come to pumpkin pie late but like recent converts to Catholicism I’ve come with a blind passion, almost an evangelical fervour. Hallelujah and pass the plate!!

  5. I’m a firm believer that one can be grateful WHILE grousing 🙂
    I don’t know what our Thanksgiving will be like this year, lotsa different people, but all good ones!
    I love mincemeat pie, but I am weird and like most things.
    Have a happy one!

  6. I love Thanksgiving mainly for the fact that there is no gifting aside from wine involved and it becomes a four day weekend for me. Then again so I also like to eat, so there is that. Oh and I do love the smells of pie cooling, so there’s that too. Right, and the excuse to take a nap at two while my kids are occupied with their cousins. Okay so maybe we have different opinions about the day, but it sounds like you are going to at least be surrounded by good company.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  7. I looooooooove mincemeat. Here in the UK, we have Mince Pies They come six to a box and are usually served with brandy butter or brandy cream. However, they only seem to be available from October until just after New Year. I’d eat them all year long of I could.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jan. Have a great day. 🍗🍸

    • Thanks Hugh! The Pilgrims were trying to recreate a recipe they brought over from England but somehow didn’t get it right!! I’ll have to remember to try mincemeat over there in the UK – brandy butter sounds yummy. (certainly we never got brandy butter!)

      • Ahh, so mincemeat in the States is different to that in the UK?
        You need to start asking your local stores to stock brandy butter. I usually heat mince pies in the microwave and then add a good dollop of brandy butter. Heaven. 😇

  8. Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday either–something about all that food and feeling pressured to eat it. I thought I could easily give up Thanksgiving until last year when both of our adult children didn’t come home. It was our son’s turn to spend the holiday with his in-laws and our daughter and her boyfriend went to Istanbul (!!!). My husband and I spent the quite holiday with another couple and I was surprised how depressed I felt.
    I like mincemeat pie. Pumpkin pie is a favorite, but must be covered with a mountain of whipped cream.
    Son and his wife are here this year. Daughter and boyfriend are in Nicaragua. Friends will be coming over. Life is good. We are thankful.

    • My parents divorced when I was eighteen and so when my children were growing up we were guilt torn between three celebrations – my father’s, my mother’s and my husband’s parents. It was exhausting. So I don’t sweat the holidays or get depressed if I’m alone or my children want to go to Hawaii. I can always see them some other time. Being thankful is after all not about a turkey. And yes I found out many people like mincemeat pie!! Whoops!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Regardless of what’s on the menu, hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful … for me that translates into (1) everyone is in a good mood, (2) there’s lots of laughter, and (3) the food is edible 🙂

  10. I’m also a bit protective about the pumpkin pies I make. I’m on guard duty when there’s one in the fridge, although anyone’s allowed to take some if there’s no whipped cream. I also remember being forced to eat food I didn’t like as a kid, something that’s probably really not that bad if your family can actually cook haha.

    • I can see making children at least try different dishes, especially if they’re healthy but I doubt ambrosia and mincemeat pie are high in anything but calories!

  11. I’m okay with Thanksgiving because it’s a good excuse to stuff one’s face. I managed a one o’clock and a seven o-clock dinner this year 😉 My bah humbug factor comes in in these weeks of lead up to Christmas. It’s not the most wonderful time of the year in my opinion, not even close.

  12. I like pumpkin pie and also, mincemeat pie. My Mom used a lot of raisins, apple and yummy stuff but did add a small amount of meat with its juices. 🙂
    Jan, I like reading your thoughts while reading your posts. Your candor is like a breath of fresh air.

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