Crowds, Ketchup, and Other Thanksgiving Traditions

Well, I made the mistake of going in the grocery store today.  I was out of Nutella, so I was going to run in – What?  You laugh at my trip to the store just for Nutella?  You obviously haven’t had Nutella.  And you obviously haven’t tried it on fat free pretzels. 

Like I was saying, I was just going to run in, pick up a jar and get out without seeing anyone I knew. 

That didn’t happen.

What was I thinking, going to the grocery store two days before Thanksgiving?

Made me think of the time I was living in Austin and my parents drove down to spend the holiday with me.  On the day before Thanksgiving I took them to Central Market.  Grocery carts were backed up on every row like traffic on the LBJ loop around Dallas. 

That was also the year I decided we needed to have Cornish game hens instead of turkey.  They were cute, but there were no leftovers.

I’ve always thought Thanksgiving should be special.

When I was younger I went through this phase where I wanted to use my mother’s china and silver and crystal stemware for Thanksgiving dinner.  I wanted it to be an elegant meal like all the television commercials.  Like a Norman Rockwell painting.  

Where the tablecloth wasn’t plastic.

Where the whole family dressed in something besides sweats. 

And there was absolutely no ketchup bottle on the table. 

But when you cook for two days in preparation, and it takes nearly as long to clean it all up, it’s easier to use the every day stuff.  To wear comfortable clothes.  

And just let the boys have their ketchup. 

Many Thanksgiving dinners were shared around this table with my parents and my cousins, Joe, sitting next to me, and D.Wayne and Andy sitting on the opposite side of the table. Andy would be the one posing as though his finger was in his nose. We have a lot of family pictures like that. My aunt and uncle are missing from this picture, perhaps because of work that weekend, back in the late eighties. This picture reminds us of how unfortunate it was that permed hair was ever popular.

Thanks to my cousin, the past few years we’ve been going out for Thanksgiving dinner, to an elegant buffet that’s fit for royalty. 

Where nobody asks for ketchup.  

As good as the food is, though, I miss my aunt’s dressing and my mother’s pecan pie.  But the trade off of ‘no leftovers’ for ‘no clean up’ is nice. 

And all that really matters is who’s around the table.


One Comment Add yours

  1. julie says:

    So glad that I got to see when you just ran in to buy Nutella.

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