"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
Hard as it may be to believe, Tasty Tuesdays was not the result of my natural inclinations. Yes, the mask of my foody obsession must at last be removed, to my shame and chagrin. I loathed cooking as a teenager. Loathed. The kitchen was my bane, the electric mixer my sworn enemy. It wasn’t until around 2 years ago that I learned to enjoy the creativity of blending spices, flavors, and colors. Part of this might be owed to my earliest attempt (and subsequent failure) at cooking Thanksgiving dinner when I was 16.
It was like a train wreck from start to finish. My mom was working through the holiday and my dad wasn’t about to set foot in the kitchen. It fell to my aunt and I to make the meal. And we were afraid…very afraid. Neither of us felt gifted in a domestic way and making chocolate chip cookies was an undertaking on a good day! But we rolled up our sleeves and set to work because there was a turkey to be made and a bazillion course meal to be put on the table.
It was bad. You think I’m exaggerating? The ready-made biscuits that we merely needed to bake in the oven were the texture and size of hockey pucks, the turkey was drier than the Sahara desert, the green beans rivaled a bog in cold sogginess, the mashed potatoes had more lumps than a Black Eyed Peas song, the stuffing was burnt and doughy at once, and after all of that we didn’t have the heart to try making pumpkin pie.
The damage to my psyche after this horror of an inedible feast has stayed with me. The scars remain and so I must admit that not since then have I undertaken to make a whole Thanksgiving dinner, nor a turkey for that matter. I settle for enjoying the wonderful cooking of my grandma and aunts and consider myself a designated bringer of pre-made dessert (because a baker I am not) and wine. Cross your fingers for me, dear readers, for this year I venture into the kitchen once again. We have two dinners planned with family and friends over the long weekend and I’ve inexplicably volunteered to bring an appetizer to one and a salad to the other. I think I can, I think I can… With my cooking confidence given the chance to grow over the past few years I am hopeful that the Thanksgiving Disaster of 2003 will not be repeated. But just in case, let’s keep this little history of my culinary failures between you and me. Poor J isn’t ready for the truth of what he’s getting himself into. 😉
On a more serious note: As I get ready to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends, my heart goes out to my brothers who are each away (one in Afghanistan) from family during this holiday and I pray that can celebrate whole-heartedly with their brothers-in-arms. I think of the people I met in Israel who are living under fire and threat of war and hope for their continued safety and peace. And for those struggling here in the U.S. due to the economy and the hurricane, I pray for a warm, safe place to be surrounded by loved ones and enjoy this day. And with that, I wish you all safe, wonderful, and very happy Thanksgiving.
To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. ~Victor Hugo