Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Unwelcome Guests

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. As far as holidays go it just doesn't get any better, and a large part of the reason for this is due to what's missing. There is no two month long assault on the senses brought on by snippets of carols you once loved but now leave you wanting to pull your hair out. Not once will you catch a whiff of fake cinnamon scent as you walk down the aisles of stores. The ubiquitous Santa hats haven't yet sprouted on otherwise intelligent people's heads. And best of all? No gifts = no pressure!

So, without the pressures and irritations other "holidays that shall remain unnamed" offer, this one pretty much boils down to food and family, two of my favorite things. Food preparation is still in its early stages, but so far I have managed to procure fresh cranberries to make sauce and the yams to make our famous brown sugar and butter yam dish. (Okay, it might only be famous in our immediate family.) My extremely smart daughter-in-law Anita managed to get her name on two of the apples pies a local group of elderly Lithuanian women bake every year as a fund raiser. We can only have this dessert because my dad won't be here. He won't touch anything that comes from a kitchen he is not personally acquainted with. The rest of us are not so picky, and if these pies live up to their reputation all I can say is bless you, you lovely Lithuanian ladies!

Potatoes will be purchases at the Kamloops Farmer's Market Saturday. Sadly, so will the Brussels sprouts. In one of my bleaker gardening moments this past summer I planted three Brussels sprouts plants, only to discover a month later they had been labeled incorrectly and were actually cauliflowers.

Last on the list, but first in terms of importance, is The Turkey. On order is an organic free range bird, guaranteed to have never been exposed to hormones, antibiotics or video games. I made the switch years ago to fresh as opposed to frozen turkeys and will never go back. More recent is the move into the birds that apparently cost more per pound to raise than my children did. Oh well. If it is any consolation at least I know it has been raised in a humane manner right up to the moment its head departed its body.

So here's the thing. There are some guests I absolutely do not want at my table this Thanksgiving. You might think you need them for companionship and comfort. You might think your life isn't complete without their presence. In fact, you might even experience feelings of abandonment and rejection if you can't have them by your side at the dinner table. Call me unfeeling and cruel if you will, but on this I will not bend.

No cell phones. Period. No exceptions. I don't want to hear whatever awful ring tone of the week you have chosen cutting over me as I ask someone to please pass the turkey. I don't want you table texting either. You know what I am talking about- the hand held under the table, eyes darting between the actual real live person talking to you and the phone in your hand. And no, you can't just put your phone on vibrate and call it good. I don't want to see multiple phones skittering across the dinner table like the ghost of turkeys past is after them.


  1. Your menu sounds wonderful. The yam dish would gain even more fame if you were to share the recipe! You're right, this is a great time for Thanksgiving. It would be nice if the US switched Columbus Day and Thanksgiving on our national calendar. On the bright side, the Smithsonian's highest single-day visitation is always the Friday after Thanksgiving in November. That's always a nice reminder that not everyone is standing in line outside Best Buy.

  2. You are hilarious! And that turkey sounds so yummy. I'm feeling sick now thinking of the poor bird that's sitting in my freezer... who knows where it was raised, what it ingested, and how it was killed. Oh, dear.. Thanksgiving may be bittersweet this year! ;) I may have to do better next year.

  3. Re your comment: Thank you, Kristie! That would be fun--and it's the best offer I've had in a long time. Hopefully you'll be able to snap a few food photos so I can imagine how it all tastes. =)