Monday, November 9, 2009

I'll show you moderation!

Today, while I was babysitting my neighbor’s son and daughter, the four-year-old girl brought me the 2009 Target Christmas Toy Catalog (with Over 500 Gift Ideas, Plus Coupons to Clip!) and began to show me what she wanted for Christmas.

“I want this kitchen,” she began, starting on page three. “And this Barbie, and this toy dog,” she continued, pointing to every other item on the page. She continued to flip the pages, listing each toy she saw as an item on her Christmas wish list.

I stopped her on page seven. “Amy, that’s like five hundred dollars!” I exclaimed.

“I know!” she replied excitedly before turning her attention back to the catalog. “I also want this, and this, and this,” she pointed. Every new toy that caught her eye was added to the list.

Now for the fun, witty correlation between this charming anecdote and my life: this is exactly the way I am behaving as I plan my Thanksgiving menu. I may cause my oven to explode this season. Best case scenario, I may only triple our gas budget for the month.

Let me explain. I love Thanksgiving. I thrill to see Halloween decorations in the stores because this is the first sign of its coming. But compared to Thanksgiving, Halloween is like the ugly stepsister who tried on the glass slipper before Cinderella came down the stairs and happily-ever-after-ended the story. Halloween is the “turn off your cell phones and enjoy the show” moment of the holidays, while Thanksgiving is when the show really begins. Thanksgiving is all but heaven – fall, football, family, a day off work, and a chance to unabashedly express the greatest American love of all: food. No need to hide it on Thanksgiving. We love food, and Thanksgiving is all. about. food.

(I think there might be another reason we celebrate this holiday, but it escapes me… I want to say it’s “thoughtfulness”? No, that’s not it. “Thoroughness”? No, I don’t think so. Maybe it’s “thankfulness”. Hmm. I also have this vague idea about boats and Indians and… something. I’ll figure it out one of these days.)

Anyway. So. Back to the food. This year will be the first year that we’re spending Thanksgiving with my family, and I am thrilled to be having more than two guests for dinner! I am so thrilled, in fact, that I am going to attempt one of the greatest culinary achievements ever:

I am going to pull a Sandy

This means I am going to try to follow in the footsteps of Brian’s mother, who every year serves up a menu so extensive and abundant that it is the stuff of family folklore. It means that there are so many dishes on the table that at the end of the meal, there aren't more than a couple spoonfuls gone from each. It’s the standard to which Brian measured the potential of each wifely candidate, and it may just be that I was chosen because he believed I could one day do the same thing. And after three Thanksgivings together, I am going to try. Oh, it’ll be risky - this I know. It may be presumptuous and even downright crazy. But by golly, I am going to try.

So like Amy, I am flipping through my cookbooks and my bookmarks and my magazines, poring over recipes for the meal. “I’m going to make this, and this, and this,” I say, with wild abandon. And as I stack the recipes, I make a pile so massive it catches Brian’s eye as he walks by the table. “Maegan, that’s going to cost like five hundred dollars!” And I look up in excitement and say, “I know!”

Maegan’s 2009 Thanksgiving Menu. So Far.
Herb Brined Turkey Breast and Boneless Braised Legs
Classic Roasted Turkey with Hearty Raisin Stuffing and Roasted Pan Vegetables
Pan Gravy
Cornbread Pecan Stuffing
Cranberry Cherry Chutney
Cranberry Orange Relish with Apple
Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Streusel Casserole
Baked Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Wild Rice
Baked Spinach and Gruyere
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Dinner Rolls
Buttermilk Biscuits
Cheese Bread
Honey Butter

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll
Cinnamon Apple Pie with Ice Cream
Cranberry Cheesecake
Pumpkin Pie
Pound Cake
Fudge Brownie Torte
Whipped Cream
Raspberry sauce

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Maegan! Sounds like you're having the town for dinner! You should probably start cooking now. :-) Wish I could come. Sounds delightful.
    Lisa J.