The fourth Thursday of November is definitely the bestest holiday. Food, Family, Friends and Football. Four of the five F's. I most fondly remember the Thanksgivings of yesteryear. The big, old family reunions, which I looked forward to, until about five seconds after I hit the driveway, then it all comes back… why I left home. And they always made me sit at that stupid fold-up cardboard kids' table. Never got to graduate to the wooden table because none of them would die. Darn medical advances.
There are enough kids in Mrs. G's family these days that we got moved to the big table a coupla years ago. It's a blessing - less of a reach to nephew Sean's famous "three pounds each of butter and cheese, a quart of sour cream and a potato" mashed potatoes! To die for! Literally. And dressing. And yams. And...
Thirteen-bean salad. No, I wish I were making this up. I had no idea there were 13 different types of edible beans. I had no desire to eat them all at one sitting. I certainly would not have chosen to be in a houseful of 23 other people who had eaten 13 types of edible beans. "Crack a window, Billy. Well, break it then." Candle flames turning blue all over the house. "Methane is our friend."
The evening ends with two matriarchs locked in a mortal death clinch, bumping bellies on the back porch with 100 mm. menthols dangling from their mouths while their spouses trade wild, drunken blows on the driveway and the kids pelt them with greasy poultry bones from behind raked piles of leaves. Aah, memories. And that was way back in 2009. Some traditions never die. This year, I'm bringing the Dupamouche.
"Mystery dishes" at Thanksgiving are a tradition. So are screw-ups. Mrs. G's niece Tracy is most famous for making a pumpkin pie without removing the paper from the pie crust. She has a photo of that on a T-shirt and wears it every year whilst looking busy by rearranging things in the kitchen and waiting for her husband to bring dinner from the supermarket he owns.