Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holiday Traditions

I think I've recently stumbled across the perimeter of wisdom concerning why (where I heartily agree with the holiday) I'm beginning to think Thanksgiving is a pain in the arse. It's not for lack of gratitude. It's instead, lack of tradition.

My family isn't big on Thanksgiving. Ever since my grandmother stopped hosting Thanksgiving (in the mid '70's) - My family hasn't really had a fail-safe plan. This opens the door for pandemonium and a lot of "What are you doing?" "Where are you going?" "Who are you with?" and the like. Years ago, to escape, my parents started travelling to their favorite vacation spot and volunteering at a homeless shelter. For awhile, I loved spending Turkey Day in New York (and eating at Frescoes... who still make me wonder what they put in their mashed potatoes to make them so amazingly good)... Some years I'd cook for my family or friends... Last year, I spent the most amazing day with Dave and his father (You can read about it here )...

This year, my parents asked if I wanted to go do the homeless shelter thing with them this year - then they changed their mind... Dave's father said he wanted to go back to the Old Country Buffet - and where I'm so sorry for poor Dave, I can't accompany him on this adventure TWICE, so I've settled for eating out with my parents on Thursday and cooking dinner for Dave on Friday. I know. It's confusing.

But - for the record, I'm grateful - For example, tonight (after spending three or four GRUELING days at work), I ran to the grocery store for evaporated milk, pumpkin pie spice, and allspice (I"ll explain why in a minute). The store was mad-packed. I mean, lines out the wha-zoo... (even the self-checkout lines, which aren't really all that helpful or efficient, or fast) were jammed). I chose carefully and stood in a line behind two other people - both with carts stocked to the hilt. I grinned sheepishly and held my pidly purchases up, "I'm kind of an idiot..."

The first man smiled at me, "Do you want to go first? You only have a few things!"

"Really? You don't mind?" I turned to the woman directly in front, "Do you mind?"

"Not if you buy me coffee someday!"

Deal. I was in and out in a flash.

The reason I had to re-stock was that on Wednesday night (after working till 9 pm) I decided I had to cheer myself up by making Pumpkin pie. Now, I've had my share of kitchen disasters - mostly due to breaking glass and finding myself stranded in the middle of my kitchen with no shoes on - but I've made some really fine pies in my day.

Not this one. I made a significant salt error. I knew it as soon as I put the pie in the oven, too. I tasted some of the batter on the wooden spoon. Spiced salt lick... I baked it anyway - just in case my oven had magical sodium-reducing powers...

Nope. It's just your garden variety oven, in case you're wondering. So I tossed the whole pie. I took this photo for you - just so you understand that I can laugh about it.

Needless to say, I was out of evaporated milk, with necessitated another trip to the grocery store -

Which made me think - maybe shopping in mad-crowds is my Thanksgiving tradition. Maybe screwing up food is something I reserve for the holidays (remind me to tell you about my guacamole soup, my Christmas Mashed Potatoes, and some concoction I whipped up one December that was so icky that my dog wouldn't eat it...)

I guess it's better than fighting with my relatives!



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