The Worst Thanksgiving Ever

Unlike New England or even Jolly Old England, here in California we generally have two seasons: Green and Brown. Right now we’re between the two. Cold, dry days but not enough rain for our season of green to commence.

Last night my husband said to me “this was the worst Thanksgiving ever.” Considering that he generally has to be dragged to holiday celebrations and makes faces when I invite guests over to share “his” turkey, it provoked a sharp response from me. “You bloody hypocrite!” But in truth I’ve always known he doth protest too much. If he doesn’t get at least five requests for his famed Mac and Cheese recipe at holiday events, his year is ruined. Last year my best friend’s children fought over the leftovers and he spent the whole next day typing meticulous instructions (three pages long) to email to them all. He was a happy man.

Joel’s pumpkin pie – he makes three of them at Thanksgiving.

This year, although he wasn’t “forced” to share his pumpkin pie, he realized maybe it’s not so much fun to eat it all by himself. A good lesson as that’s what the holiday is supposed to represent. Not the massive gathering of family during which deep seated resentments are bound to leave at least one family member hurt. Or hosting large gatherings that leave you cleaning the house for days afterward. But just simply sharing.

Speaking of families, the “children” of my Red Squill (seen above at its most glorious) continue to sprout at her withered base.

The eldest is above and below the youngest.

I know it’s greedy but I’m hoping she will have many more children who will somehow survive the coming winter and rise again in late August 2021.

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