Friday, November 28, 2008

Still Thankful.

I had wonderful intentions of posting something very clever yesterday but I was so busy with all my prepping and cooking and hosting and trying new dishes and successfully making turkey gravy with no pan drippings that I didn't get around to it. I'm sure you're devastated. That being said, we had a fantastic day. My cousin Sarah and her boyfriend Adam came into town from Annapolis and a couple from our squadron joined us with their two kids.

The first highlight of turkey day '08 was Sarah's contribution: an Afghani pumpkin dish that she's been wanting to try (I believe her quote was something along the lines of, "I figured I'm in college and can bring something totally strange.") So it was sauteed and roasted pumpkin topped with a tomato meat sauce and garlic yogurt. I'll give you a second to process that. She made most of it ahead of time, but after making the meat sauce, she and Adam decided that it might be better over pasta so they had that part for dinner the night before they got here. That left us with the pumpkin (sauteed and roasted here) and the yogurt sauce. The sauce was so garlicky that when Sarah took the lid off of it to stir it, the entire kitchen immediately smelled like it was inside a garlic press. Fast forward to the chaotic few minutes prior to sitting down for dinner (you know, the time where EVERYONE is in your kitchen, looking for something to help you with and you really want to say, "then just get out of my space for two seconds and sit down at the table where dinner will begin momentarily" but to do so would be rude so you just bob and weave your way around the crowd) and Adam was tasked with getting the sauce out for the pumpkin. I'm not sure what happened except that all of a sudden there was yogurt sauce everywhere. It went down the cabinets and onto the floor in an interesting spray pattern and everyone kind of just froze. We might have been a little paralyzed by the smell, but we also were torn between shock and hilarity. We salvaged a few tablespoons out of the bowl and I think everyone was very sporting in trying it. I'll admit, I only ate the pumpkin because somehow the raging garlic didn't scream Thanksgiving to me. Maybe next time.

Highlight #2 was that Olivia (our friend) called last week to say they'd be happy to bring their turkey fryer over and deep fry our main dish. That was an easy call! Not only did it free up the oven and, therefore, make all my meal-timing issues much less challenging, but man oh man it was so tasty. And Mag did all the work. He offered to let me or Jeff carve, but I opted out knowing that we would merely hack it apart and he seemed to be confident in the task. I failed to take a picture of our lovely Thanksgiving table (8.5 years into our marriage and we finally used all our china, including the gravy boat!) complete with the PILE of turkey on the platter in the middle but it was a sight to behold. We had dish after dish of yummy food and then we had stacks and stacks of leftovers. But isn't that the best part? We just gorged ourselves again for lunch today.

And as I was divvying up all the leftovers last night, I realized how very much we have. Not just in food, but in shelter and friends and family and love and comfort and just all the things that make for a very satisfying life. And I thought of all the people who might be hungry or cold or lonely or wondering what tomorrow will bring and it made me realize that I am truly blessed in the most fundamental ways. And while I am grateful that a singular Thursday in November makes me focus on the good, my real hope is that on a random Tuesday in February I can see those blessings in the same light.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am currently thankful for a full belly, a comfy chair and a sleeping toddler. I'm off to nap.

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