Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Give Thanks

For me Thanksgiving signals the onset of many things. Uncomfortable memories of trash turkeys, slices of pumpkin pie for breakfast, picking out all the sausage from the stuffing, leaving the mushy bread leftovers for the next poor sap who rummages through the fridge.

It means the table is set amidst the aubergine walls, carved urns and brass planters of my parents’ antique shop (only on special occasions of course). Tapered candles, lavender in small copper pots, classical stylings billowing through the downstairs speakers. It means the cheese and salumi plates, shrimp cocktail and many, many whiskey sours as guests arrive bearing viscous pearl onions and cranberry concoctions.

It means early Christmas gifts from my French great-aunt, whose taste is so impeccable and expensive that a clutch or scarf from her, when worn with anything of my own choosing or purchase power, looks incredibly out of place and semi-ostentatious.

It means rolling to the sofa before the sun’s rays even set, too full to continue on as bottles uncork and talk turns to politics.

This year we’re keeping it small, as it’s just the four of us because my father won’t be able to eat the meal. He’s stuck slurping a goo for weeks after his surgery. We’re paring down the menu and putting away the clippings I’ve amassed months ago so not to rub salt in the wound and to keep it kind, not bloated. No crispy peas with crumbled bacon, no multiple desserts and absolutely no drinking other than a glass of burgundy. It’s small, it’s simple. Because for Christmas we have hopes of a blowout, when everyone’s on the mend. Browned bits of butter, extra garlic and cream in the mashed potatoes. Warm apple cake and oozing vanilla bean ice cream. Small spoons in softened brown sugar and salt cellars. Everyone’s invited. The more the merrier.

This year, it’s just us. And for that, we are so thankful. We’re celebrating it by not indulging in excess for once.

I couldn’t be more excited.

7 comments:

c-47 said...

I thought my thanksgiving this year was going to be the best. What with its 8+hr smoked turkey, maple glazed brussel sprouts, 3 different pies etc... But I think you win. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family

Miss Scarlet said...

Aw, even though it will be a little less than you're used to, I bet you have a wonderful T Day:)

D.T. said...

And I'm thankful you're such a terrific writer with a knack of describing food so perfectly! My God, I'm salivating over here and I just finished having breakfast! I know I cant be that hungry...but I am! Seriously. And it's so nice to hear that all you need is your family to realize how thankful you are, because everything you really need, you already have, and whatever you don't have will come to you when you're ready to receive it. Very wise...

Jennifer said...

It sounds like the perfect day of Thanksgiving imagineable.

Jennifer said...

The *most* perfect, even.

Serena said...

Small is good. It sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

-Josie and Toby