THANKSGIVING! I love Thanksgiving. It is like the slightly weird eccentric cousin of the holidays. You don’t need him there but you sure are glad he came. It isn’t so forced. You just need a couple people and some yams and boom, we have holiday success.
I have spent Thanksgiving with my friends, with just my brother, at a large family gathering, in several different cities and at work. It is the only holiday I never felt disappointed afterwards. I am sure this is deeply rooted in my love of cooking and visiting. Is there a more perfect holiday than one solely dedicated to the cooking large amounts of food and over consuming?
Some people train for marathons, I train for Thanksgiving. This is my Iron Man. There is no adrenaline high better than getting 10 dishes all out at the same time, pouring a nice glass of wine and watching everyone surround the table and fill their plates with no shame. No exchange of gifts, just food, drinks and laughter. Can’t afford a big dish? Bring a can of cranberry sauce, no one cares! They will just pile some of that on top of their food mountain and head on to find a proper “gorge yourself” location. Any other day of the year I would be disgusted by all these foods mashed together and the sounds of eating surrounding me. Not this day, this day it is the sights and sounds of success.
I love opening the door to a friend teetering a covered dish in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. There is no better sight to see at your front door. I won’t waver on hosting Thanksgiving. I need this to get through the rest of the holidays. After I hosted my first one I knew this was my drug of choice. Declaring that it would never be anywhere else was the best decision I could have made.
This year has been one of some great success and some really low points. Lately my stress and anxiety has found me in a pretty dark place. Life disappointments, friends and work have been rough this year. I knew it was bad when I declared I wouldn’t do Thanksgiving this year. My divorce didn’t even cause that to happen. Feeling an overwhelming sense of self-doubt and hurt from people I thought cared for me like I cared for them I started to get to me. Who really wants to spend Thanksgiving with me anyway? Breaking up with Thanksgiving was more painful than any other relationship I have ever ended.
Well Thanksgiving had other plans. Seems my Soul Mate Holiday wasn’t letting me go that easy. As I am burying my sorrows in a Sunday BBQ plate ( I am form the South, proper BBQ is like prozac to me) my phone rings and a dear friend from New Orleans was on the other end. I barely get “hello” out and her beautifully forceful voice says, “What are doing for Thanksgiving?” I went to tell her, “nothing this year” but I couldn’t get myself to say it. I mumbled something about not being sure and it was like she didn’t hear it or didn’t want to.
“We should have one in the late afternoon with friends.”
“That is my Thanksgiving, its what I do every year” I said.
“Great Ill set up the group text.“
Before I knew it my phone was blowing up, “I’ll bring the appetizers.” “I”ll make that pot dish everyone loves.” “Can I bring my sister?”
Just like that it was back. Thanksgiving was back. My true love wasn’t letting me quit on us.
It was like the first day we met all over again. All the tingly feelings were back. I couldn’t stop myself. I started texting. The responses proved I had been wrong in losing my hope on this holiday.
“Great! I was so sad because I have no family for Thanksgiving this year.” “I’ll be there. I”ll bring my spinach dish.”
Thanksgiving I am sorry I gave up on you. This year I would like to give all my thanks to you. Thanks for reminding me why I love to cook and how you fill my house full of love and laughter. You did it again, you sneaky sneaky bastard. You knew I couldn’t ever say no to feeding people I care about.
Adele your are my Thanksgiving Angel. I might even let you bring the Cheese Whiz and strippers.
This recipe is a crowd favorite. It was the child of having two turkeys one year. Who needs two whole turkeys? So I ripped that sucker apart and made this turkey roulade and turkey rice and gravy. It is now required at all Thanksgivings and whole turkey has disappeared from the menu. If you happen to also make rice and gravy, pour some of that beautiful gravy over that roulade.
*I will post the turkey rice and gravy, just not now because y’all, I got people coming and its Tuesday. I am at least a week behind on my Thanksgiving schedule. (If you really want to try it go to my pork roast rice and gravy recipe and where it says pork sub turkey)