I’m thankful for Jeff, Buster, and Huey, of course. And health for all of the above.
I’m thankful that everyone in the household has a good job.
I’m thankful to have my mother-in-law and brother-in-law here to celebrate with us, and even more thankful that she keeps kosher, which means she can’t eat food cooked in my pans or off of my dishes, which means we have an excuse to get the entire Thanksgiving meal as take-out from the kosher caterer, which means my cooking involves heating things up for a half-hour in a 350 oven, and Jeff’s clean-up involves quantities of saran wrap and a trash-sack. And the food is surprisingly good, too!
I’m thankful that my step-son is independent enough to want to celebrate Thanksgiving with his friends in Arizona, and that he’s confident enough to be willing to cook the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce, and that he’s smart enough to call me and his mom for plenty of help. And that he’s really proud of himself – he should be. His First Turkey! It’s a big moment!
I’m thankful that we’ve ticked off all of the possible natural disasters for this area that do not involve 1) divine wrath, including bizarre plagues, or 2) collision with celestial objects. Whatever it is, tornadoes, floods, ice, blizzards, earthquakes, and hurricanes, we’ve done it already this year. We can afford to be jaded at this point. I am also thankful that I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this semester, because the floods, ice, hurricanes, and blizzards all came concentrated in one semester.
I’m thankful that the freak late-November warm-up means I get to keep riding Huey because there is no ice on the ground, and makes it easier for the work crews to finish cleaning up after the last natural disaster before the next one hits. And it means that they’re almost done fixing the road for the next-to-last natural disaster, and that will be done before it’s Plow Time. And it means that so far, I haven’t had to drive home from work in a snowstorm, for which I am also thankful. And it also means we’re going through less heating oil, which is good too.
I’m thankful to be living in a town where the Official Response to the Occupy movement was for the mayor to provide the protest with a conveniently-located port-a-can and to broker a deal with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship downtown to let the Occupy people camp on the lawn so that the cops wouldn’t wind up in that awkward position of having to waive the rules about camping in the city parks for the protestors when they don’t waive them for the vagrants and junkies.
But what I’m most thankful for, at this present time, is that when the trunk latch on Jeff’s car broke late yesterday afternoon with his mom’s and brother’s luggage in it, including my MIL’s medications, and wouldn’t open at all, and he had to take it to the dealership at 4pm on the day before Thanksgiving, that they were open, and that the guy was willing to help, and that when the first four things he tried did didn’t work, he had a fifth thing to try that did so they were able to get the luggage and drugs out…what I am thankful for is that this didn’t happen with Huey’s blanket in there, perfuming the carpet and padding, and the rest of the car. It’s good that my MIL has her blood-pressure pills, but it’s even better that I won’t have to Hear About It every time the repaired trunk opens and wafts a blast of Eau du Horse into my husband’s face. He’s a good sport, and has a generous heart, but, like everyone, he has his Limits.
*Thinks I am not thankful for: the shitty economy and the fat cats who ruined it, the large number of my friends and acquaintances who don’t have jobs or who are underemployed, the damage to the climate that caused the freak-warm-up that has also destroyed any prospect of skiing in the next 10 days, and the birds that have been camping in the juniper tree behind the house and crapping non-stop on my car. At least, I’m not thankful that they chose my tree.
In honor of the day, here is a truly incredible, very easy cranberry sauce. If it wasn’t rude to serve things at a holiday dinner that you know other people can’t eat, I’d be making it right now. As it is, I’ll just make it later in the week:
1 C water
1 C (packed) dark brown sugar
12 oz package cranberries
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 t Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Combine 1 cup water and brown sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries. Simmer until berries burst, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in thyme, mustard and salt. Cool completely. Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2.5 cups. You’ll never eat that crap from the can again.