It’s that time of year and all the Whos Down in Whoville are gearing up for the reign of holiday terror. Mayhem. Madness. Chaos Panic Disorder. My work is just beginning. For those of us with OCD the holidays are just a Xanax away.
We start the trifecta with Thanksgiving. Now this is a tricky one for me. My mother is DAR. For those of you who LOL, have BFFs and cats who haz cheezburgers this acronym might be a bit mysterious, so I’ll explain. It’s Daughters of the American Revolution. To be one you must trace your ancestry directly back to the Mayflower. Wasps R us. Here’s where my gene pool gets interesting. My father’s people are Mohawk. My grandfather left the reservation as a young man and up on the Reserve my sisters and I are all registered Mohawks. I’m humming along with Cher on a chorus of Half Breed.
With this particular set of DNA I’m required to either love or hate the holiday. I chose love. What’s not to love about a holiday that was prescient of a marriage that blew up 200 hundred years later? That said I always make the biggest turkey I can get my paws on. Who cares if we’re only 10 or 12 at the table? A thirty-pound bird please. It’s all about the leftovers.
I am a Rice a Roni and Hamburger Helper refugee. Having grown up in a family where stuffing was stove top and veggies meant the Green Giant was joining us at the table, I’ve become a Thanksgiving rebel. Since I’ve become the master of my own domain, there will be nothing at my table that even resembles a Dough Boy.
I love stuffing. The kids and I always break a couple of the best pullman loaves Grandaisy bakes into chunks two nights before. Add a couple handfuls of sage plucked from my herb garden mixed with all the other savories and that’s my idea of carb heaven. For me, breaking of the pullman bread is always the real start to the holiday season. As my now hulking son used to say “Yum Yum Hum a Dum.” Don’t ask me why, it was just something he always said when I was cooking and either the impending holidays or my hormones are making me all squishy today.
What’s better than fresh cranberry sauce? Not much. I love that sound of berries popping free of their skins and the resultant spatter that looks like a forensic dream. Saucy-goodness all over my stove.
Potatoes. An homage to the other half of my kids ethnic makeup. We went off the reservation and added some Irish DNA with this generation.
Brussel sprouts with pancetta. Pork makes everything better.
Cauliflower. My daughter and Jane have been known to get into cat fights over the last floret. Strange for a child who once abhorred her veggies. For Jane? No biggie. I’ll miss her at my table this year.
This year my cauliflower queen, Scarlett, takes over the pumpkin bread baking, in addition to her repetoire of pies. A few years back she challenged a friend of ours to a pie bake-off and she kicked his ass. She’s made pie her bitch.
All of this is created to the backdrop of the Westminster dog show. Fuck those stupid balloons; give me a Portuguese Waterdog any day.
When we were kids, my mother used to make a big deal about the Macy’s Parade. Living in Hicksville USA, New York and Macy’s was about as real to me as Oz. We obediently watched with her, but the voice in my head was always running the you-can’t-get-there-from-here loop and a two block long Underdog wasn’t doing it for me. The bands that played and marched simultaneously didn’t seem at all special to me. They were no ice-capades.
So for this family, it’s all about perky Pekinese and drooping bassets with the occasional mud football game tossed in if someone else is organizing.