It’s semi-organized chaos at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, with emphasis on the semi-.
Not quite as crazy as at Christmas, but crazy enough. We never know quite how many people we’ll have–twenty plus or minus—because strays are always welcome and we never quite know who wants a crazy family Thanksgiving.
Is anything changing up this year? Will Sabrina remember the games? Will we forget potatoes like the year we made it to Browns Valley market in the nick of time? Will the mixer from Grandpa Delbert still work this year? Grandchildren sleep on surfaces all over the house. The older adults get bedrooms…if we’re lucky. I still make the cranberry relish my Grandma Myrtle made long ago with a meat grinder, though I use a Cuisinart. You change traditions and the menu only at at your peril. Once Mama figured she could let the peas go. Ariel complained. Really. Peas!!
You know how at airports have take-off and landing slots for flights? We have a similar system for oven and refrigerator allocation. Overflow from the refrigerator goes to the garage, which is cooler. Although not as cold as the outdoor sleeping porch at Great-Grandma Ethel’s, which took overflow in previous generations.
The turkey gets priority for oven space. If we’re lucky Mama has done pies earlier. Stuffing can go in early, but the Sweet Potatoes—which Sabrina does—and creamed onions—the most labor-intensive dish in the history of the world—need oven space at the very last second.
It’s a good thing that Sabrina and David are math teachers because figuring out how to get all the pans in the oven, and if they will fit, is definitely an advanced math problem.
And are there even enough pans? I brought pie pans for my cheesecakes this time because I wasn’t quite sure.
But I’ve always had an escape valve…do I need an extra pan? Or a Cuisinart? Or oven space? Or even five minutes peace? Simple. Pop over to my in-laws house a few minutes away.
My in-laws died five months ago. Both of them. Their house gone a couple of months later. I have her cheesecake pan but forgot to grab it.
Those crazy Thanksgiving traditions…I’m thankful for all of them. Sometimes you wish things were different than they are. Maybe even a little less crazy. And then when they do change…well, you wish they were how they used to be.