BY JULIE SEYLER
When I was growing up, Thanksgiving always had a pattern. My mother hosted one year, my Aunt Liz the following year, and my Aunt Millie the next year. If it was at Millie’s my father would inevitably grumble how he would never go again because that drive to Long Island was impossible, but of course we went. My male cousins, completely incommunicado, hovered in front of the football games until they were forced to sit at their own “children’s” table.I seem to distinctly remember that the adults, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my parents, were always passionately engaged in political discussions. These were the days of the Vietnam War and Watergate, and the back-and-forth repartee took us from apps to dessert.
Of course, there was a huge turkey (my cousin Leslie and I always hung around the kitchen competing for the best piece of skin while it was being carved) sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, Pepperidge Farm stuffing, canned jelled cranberry sauce and store-bought pies. We were not a creative cooking group, nor a baking family. Not until my cousin Richard met Martha did we finally have a couple of home made pies on the table. And so that is the Thanksgiving in my mind.
I am curious what my mother, sisters and cousins remember about these Thanksgiving day pasts.
But this year, it’s all being turned upside down. Steve and I will be roasting some drumsticks.
Nope, no turkey for us because it’s only the two of us, and according to Steve the smallest turkey is ten pounds and we can’t eat ten pounds of turkey.
You see, we can’t travel this year – not to his sister’s out in Westchester, nor my sister out in Jersey, because of the prosthetic device in my hip. While I’m walking great two weeks after having hip replacement surgery, sitting is a challenge and a two-hour drive with bumper-to-bumper traffic on either the Hutchinson Parkway or the Garden State Parkway just will not work. So Steve and I will improvise with the drumsticks and cranberry sauce (I’ve graduated, that will be made from real cranberries) and yummy sweet potatoes from the Farmer’s Market and stuffing. Steve promised he’d make homemade stuffing. (Hmmm, I’m curious about that one.) And we’ll probably end up with store bought Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch ice cream for dessert. A cozy day where no doubt he’ll be holed up in front of the football games, and I’ll be happily reading my book and thinking about the next blog for The Write Side of 50!