Behold - my Great Grandmother's china, and the "secret ingredient" in pretty much everything I make on Thanksgiving. Not really super secret, since I wear two bottles in gun holsters on my apron all day.
I once attended a Thanksgiving dinner where the guests applauded the turkey and the woman who cooked it. Let me say that again in case you were reading quickly. When this woman set the turkey on the table, before anyone had even tasted it, the people looking at it CLAPPED THEIR HANDS IN DELIGHT. Because they were hungry? Because they could already tell it would be the best meal of their lives? Because it had a little flashing sign over it that said “APPLAUSE”? Nope. Just because she managed to put a big bird in an oven and take it out again. I distinctly remember this particular thanksgiving because 1) the turkey was wretchedly dry, and 2) I was asked to bring rolls.
Yeah, you heard me. As in anyone in-the-know knows, rolls are the suckiest assignment there is for Thanksgiving. Next to ‘sodas.’ By assigning rolls, you’re basically saying, “Listen dear, we know you can’t cook worth a damn, and rather than eating whatever crap you’re going to dump out of a can and sprinkle fried onions on, please, for the love of our safe digestion, bring rolls.” You cannot mess up rolls. It’s the assignment you give your in-laws' youngest son’s girlfriend, or the tottering drunk from work who you’re only inviting to be nice. To assign rolls to anyone capable of operating a microwave is ginormously insulting.
Note – if you have been assigned rolls for more than one year in a row and are now reading this and thinking you’ve been insulted by your friends and family, I’m sure that I’m terribly wrong just in your case only and you probably are the most fabulous roll-bringer ever, and THAT is why they keep having you bring the rolls. They like you a lot and trust you. Really.
The thanksgiving of the applause vs. roll-bringing was the very thanksgiving I swore to never leave the house again on thankgiving day. I also swore that our thanksgivings should be a relative-free zone, friends only! But that is mostly because our relatives want nothing to do with us on thanksgiving since I only assign them to bring rolls.
Our friends, on the other hand, can be trusted to bring good attitudes and sturdy drinking shoes, therefore, they may come without limitation. The week before turkey day, I shop and plan and make at least three spreadsheets with the exact timing required to pull off a meal for 20+…mostly just because I like spreadsheets, but also because I am pretty sure, with me telling everyone what to do nothing will go wrong. So far so good.
Instead of thunderous applause at the very sight of me using the oven without burning myself or poultry, my reward is people happy to return year after year to enjoy the day with us. And for that, I am thankful. If you were here this year, I'm glad. If you weren't, please show up next year, I'll pour you a mimosa and serve you a roll.
As a side note, I met the Big Dude on a thanksgiving day many years ago, another thing I am thankful for, and since, we've spent every single thanksgiving together.
Twelve years of marriage
Four wedding rings (super sorry about that losing/breaking thing I do)
And One Dude. Happy thanksgiving to you.