Monday, November 19, 2007

Turkey a la King

I was talking to my mom today about our plans for Turkey Day this Thursday, or should I say, lack of plans for Turkey day. We are having one set of grandparents over for the main meal at 1:00pm, and then the other set is stopping by on their way back home to East Texas. That grandma was very concerned that she would be disrupting our afternoon plans.

The only common denominator about Thanksgiving in our house regarding "plans" tended to be getting dressed up to eat. I'm pretty sure the time changes, the relatives change, and what we do during the day changes as well. Some years we've gone to see a movie, one year we were on a cruise, football is generally on, and we sit at the table long enough for Grandma Ann to force feed a fifth course of food into my dad.

I always watch those crescent roll commercials with the New England family in their sweaters as they joyously pass the rolls and watch as Father Dear carves the turkey. I've never once seen a whole turkey at our table. We're buffet people. The dishes of food do not end up on the table until Grandma Ann is lamenting once again that no one has eaten anything - crescent rolls aside. I asked last year if we could have the turkey on the table. The response, "Why?" The turkey did not make it to the table except in slices on our plates.

What was I saying? Ah yes, tradition is going out the window this year. That in itself is not that odd since our traditional food does not seem to make it on anyone else's table. The influences of my dad's family were seen on his mothers table with German Home-made noodles (not sure what makes them German except that my German great-grandmother made them), rolls, turkey and wet dressing, cranberry mold from the can chocolate pie, key lime pie, and pecan pie. The other grandparent's, table (mom's family) held turkey with dry and wet dressing, white rice, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, asparagus, sometimes that interesting mixture of fruit and whipped cream or something like that (something my siblings and I would never eat), and some other things I can't remember, (did I say rolls? we like bread) and then coffee, and maybe pecan and pumpkin pie and ice cream. No table was complete without that great American condiment, ketchup. My brother, sister, and I have have all put ketchup on our turkey at some point and come to the conclusion that (drum roll)...we're not big turkey fans.

So this year? Fillet Mignon, mashed potatoes (who would have thought?), some form of bread, some form of vegetables, and we are currently debating the desert. Whatever the case, I'm thankful for my family and our own varied form of random traditions...that for at least just this one time, do not include turkey.

"The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE!" - A Christmas Story.

Thank you God for this food.


val & mom said...

what about the pearl onions? -v & m

Hilary said...

Ginger!!! I'm so glad you found me! I need your new address. As always, reading what you write makes me smile. Where are you in Arizona? We're leaving on Friday for a week in Senegal, and so excited! Email me if you can, I'd love to hear more how you're doing.