Let’s Talk with Diane A.S Stuckart

A Very Happy Un-Thanksgiving
By Diane A.S Stuckart

If you think about it, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday. It’s non-denominational, family-oriented, not limited to a particular social/economic/ethnic group, requires no presents be exchanged, and traditionally encompasses a full four days of celebration (read, time off from the day job). Of course, the whole meal-turned-major banquet thing goes without saying, and few people can argue with the holiday’s gratitude theme. So who would dream of saying the Turkey Day version of bah, humbug when that 4th Thursday in November rolls around each year.

Uh, me?

No, don’t worry, I don’t hate Thanksgiving. It’s just never been that big of a holiday for me. Growing up, I looked forward to those yummy foods you only get on that day. But we lived a good six hours from the closest grandparents, so it was only occasionally that we celebrated with relatives. And when I grew up and got married, it was rare that I had family near enough to warrant making the drive back home in winter weather. Plus we don’t have kids, so there never was a pressing excuse for an annual visit home or for hosting a big feast on behalf of offspring.

Now that I live in Florida, it’s only me and the hubster in this part of the world, with a good two-days’ drive to either his relatives or mine. And for a few years recently I also had a book deadline looming right around that same time. With a book on the line, putting together a groaning table of food wasn’t a priority.

Frankly, come Thanksgiving Day I’d just as soon skip the whole shebang and go to a restaurant. But the husband has a thing about cooking a turkey, and as he does all the work he usually wins that battle. One year, though, I did convince him to take an evening cruise tour from West Palm Beach to gamble in international waters and eat Thanksgiving dinner out in the Atlantic. Unfortunately, the ship’s chefs weren’t quite up to the task of handling the crowd, meaning that the turkey we were served was on the raw side. And meaning I got a big “told you so” from the spousal unit for deviating from the usual plan.

Sooo…this year we’ll go the usual cook it a home route again. I hear there is supposed to be a deliberate COVID-generated shortage of oversized frozen turkeys for sale this year (small gatherings, you know), which at least will prevent the husband from hauling home a 20-pounder for the two of us. And I will do my best to be thankful for all the good things in my life despite the debacle that was 2020.

How will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year…with family and friends, and safely traveling and distancing? Or are you something of a “bah, hum-turkey” person like me?

Comments

  1. Like Lois, we ordered dinner for four … and it was delicious on night one; a little boring when I made a turkey sandwich for breakfast on Friday; ate sides for lunch; and served turkey for dinner (J. was only willing to eat one set of leftovers-hence dinner); I was going to serve it again for dinner tonight as a turkey caesar salad, but I don’t know if I can bear it.

    • dianestuckart says

      LOL, that’s when turkey tortilla soup comes into play! Make it and freeze it for later. I’ve got a little sliced turkey left but we took a break last night and had fajitas.

  2. maggietoussaint says

    As the only vegetarian/pescatarian in my birth family, I don’t partake of the roasted turkey. This year, I brought broccoli with white sauce, a huge tossed salad with lots of veggies and a pear, and peppermint pie. My brother had boiled some shrimp, so that I also ate, along with the homemade cranberry sauce (on the shrimp). I am also gluten-free, so I looked at all the casseroles (bean, squash, and dressing) and all I saw was gluten. Passed on that stuff and the turkey. But there was more than enough for all, we social distanced, and we had lots of great conversation, something I’ve been longing for, apparently. I sure hope that Covid vaccine makes an appearance soon. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    • dianestuckart says

      Maggie, your non-turkey dishes still sound excellent. Glad you had a lovely holiday with family.

    • dianestuckart says

      and, Maggie, you must enlighten us. What is peppermint pie??

      • maggietoussaint says

        It is pure yumminess. Start with an Oreo pie crust. Then there’s cream cheese and whipped cream blended together, with bits if smashed candy canes stirred in. Top with Cool Whip or puffs of whipped cream and it is to die for! If we weren’t so full from everything else, we would’ve eaten the whole pie in one sitting. I came across the recipe and thought I’d try it this year. We usually love to get those peppermint milkshakes at Chick Filet-A in December, and I hoped that the pie would be a good subsitute in our stay-at-home world. Peppermint Pie will have a place in all of our holiday meals from now on and maybe some other occasions!

        • dianestuckart says

          Wowza! Sounds great. I’m right now binge-ing on Publix’s annual Peppermint Stick ice Cream, myself, but I think I’ll save this pie recipe. Thanks!

  3. I love the traditional Thanksgiving feast. I could eat it a number of times during the year. The leftovers are even better. When we do a whole turkey, I make soup out of the carcass. Sometimes we’ll do a boneless turkey breast if it’s just the two of us. The one time we went out for a restaurant meal wasn’t great. I have to tone down on the desserts, though. Pumpkin pie is a must but then we need to take walks in the next few days to wear off the calories.

    • Ha! I think all the cleanup burns plenty of calories. We did the turkey breast thing this year and have to say it just wasn’t the same. Next year it will be a full (but small!) turkey. I love to make turkey tortilla soup from the leftovers…in fact, it’s even better than the TG meal!

  4. Just the two of us this year. Baking turkey thighs accompanied by mashed potatoes, roasted Brussel sprouts, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

  5. cherylhollon says

    We’re gathering with our in-town family in the same way we’ve managed from the beginning of the pandemic — Outdoors, separated, masked, and food served on paper plates. Count your blessings and be thankful.

  6. This will be the first time in 15 years I’ll actually get to celebrate Thanksgiving instead of working it. (Thankful to have a new supervisor who splits up holidays equally.) So other years the holiday was an afterthought, or often skipped all together. This year I can have a big meal with my family, hang out, watch the parade, really finally enjoy a holiday like everybody else. Sounds dumb, but it’s very exciting for me.

    • That’s awesome! Hope you and the family have a fabulous time (and boo on those supervisors who play favorites). One good thing about the pandemic is that most stores that were going to be open Thursday are shut down, meaning folks can be with their family and friends like they should be. 🙂

  7. Spending my Thanksgiving alone with Mr. Quarantine. I have lots of books and food in the freezer. Making poppy seed chicken and rice with apple salad. Gonna miss my Mom, and the rest of the family. My gift to them is staying away until time to get a test.

    • Sounds like it will be a nice meal with Mr. Q, but sorry you’ll be missing the family. 🙁 But better safe for now. And we’re fortunate to have options like Zoom these days. 🙂

  8. Becky Prazak says

    Spending it at home instead of my neighbors 24 years. I ordered dinner from my local grocery store that had all the fixings. Much easier and safer given the year

  9. It’s just the two of us this year. We ordered dinner for 4 (they weren’t offering for 2) from one of our local restaurants. However, because we had to pick everything up yesterday, we started eating turkey and all the fixings last night. We’ll repeat the repast tonight, Friday night, AND Saturday night because that dinner for 4 was enough food to serve at least 8!