And some not so great, and some funny and some…
My mom and I made the turkey for Thanksgiving this year. We cooked it in a bag because it is so juicy and yummy this way (not to mention super easy). I just had to post this picture because it looked so perdy (that is fancy way of saying pretty)!
Here is our spread in front of the trailer (maybe you need to refer back to my previous blogs if you are confused to how my family really is).
Oh, I forgot to mention, this year we did Thanksgiving with my brother’s family at Campland at the Bay. The kids had a blast and the weather was beautiful. I guess this is why we live in So Cal (why we pay the big bucks to live here). My sister-in-law is a wonderful cook and I was a little worried about how we were going to keep everything warm but it turned out great. On the drive home from I started thinking about all the things I am thankful for. It also made me think of some of my Thanksgivings I have had in the past.
When I was a kid we would go to NaNa’s and PaPa’s for Thanksgiving. It was just Mom, Dad, Derek, Nana and Papa (and their stupid dog Tillie that always tried to bite us but my grandparents said it was just “nippy”) and it was the most B-O-R-I-N-G day ever. We would sit around and watch the news while we waited for dinner. We would eat (pretty much in silence) and then the highlight of the night was taking Tillie for a walk around the neighborhood. When we came back we would watch some boring TV, like 60 Minutes or something (fun for a 10 year old), eat pie and then we got to go home. We had cousins in Texas that we never knew (until we were adults) and we had our San Diego cousins, Amber and Kyle, who always went to their other grandparents because Thanksgiving at the Bolton house had tons of cousins and was a blast (I always saw the pictures and heard the stories and secretly wished I had a big, fun family like that).
I don’t want to crush my mom (she will read this and feel bad that she didn’t provide a riveting Thanksgiving experience for her children) so I do have to tell you I have some good Thanksgiving memories. One was who could spot the star on top of Rattle Snake Mountain first (the Hammond family lives on top of the Mountain and has been putting up this giant star as long as I have been alive). I still look forward to seeing that star every Thanksgiving night.
When I was married (the practice wedding, remember) the first time, Thanksgiving was always interesting to say the least. I can’t remember having married Thanksgiving at my families house but I remember the “other” family clearly. I wish I had video of it because it is some of my most funny (I didn’t exactly say fun) memories. This is how it usually went down (if you are part of my ex’s family, I don’t mean any disrespect, but your Thanksgiving was quite a bit differently than my family!).
They had asked me to bring mac-n-cheese and mashed potatoes. I was super young and not a cook so I thought Kraft and instant potatoes was just fine. The problem was DJ (my ex) never told me other wise. We would throw whatever in a 9×13 pan and call it ready. Thanksgiving was usually at my mother in-law’s but the most memorable year was at Dj’s aunt’s one bedroom apartment. Did I tell you his mom had 14 brother’s and sisters (yep, all of us in about 700 sq ft)?
So, we would get there (on time) and all the kids were outside playing in the parking lot and his auntie was getting the bird out of the oven. I remember hearing his cousin talking to the lady next door (everyone in the complex was invited) about how Miss Shar (the neighbor) was bringing the greens and how she better not have gotten them out of a can. They were so funny talking about how Miss Shar was trying to pull off that she had made the greens (shooot, no greens came out of a can!). Then they went on about how she probably makes instant mashed potatoes too (at this point I wanted to die, how was I supposed to know that was a no-no?). I just smiled.
So, it was the uncle’s job to bring the soda (he worked for Coca-Cola, I was going to say he worked for Coke but I don’t want you to think they were druggies or something, they are good people) but the problem was he was ALWAYS late. I am talking hours late. Why would you have someone bring the drinks who wasn’t going to get there until dessert? Needless to say, we drank tap water. When the turkey was out of the oven and everyone was ready to eat, we said grace and started to fill our plates. Oops, I also forgot to tell you that we ate with plastic utensils and that we only had spoons that year (who’s turn was it to bring the silverware?) Another problem was, no one actually carved the turkey. They had set the turkey on a tv tray in the kitchen and people would come over and rip a little piece off with their fingers (weird!) When in Rome.
The food was delicious and I just rolled with it (way different from my growing up with PaPa and NaNa, at least NaNa had silverware) but the cornbread was a different story. Every year my mother in law would bring the cornbread. I am not a fan of cornbread but I will try anything once. Once was enough, I think her cornbread would work better as a hokey puck or maybe one of those things you throw in the air and use for shooting practice (what are those things called? Skeet?).
Pretty soon the neighbors made their way in and filled up their plates. There were about 30 people in this little apartment and everyone was talking (loudly) and having a great time. Grandma was watching TV (with the subtitles on so she could know what was going on because it was so loud) and one of the Uncles was telling a story. The cousins were going on about how good my mashed potatoes and mac n cheese was (ya right, I know what they were saying about Miss Shar’s greens) and by this time, I was done with my food. This is when Miss Shar announced she had to leave and thank you for everything. They all smiled and told her good-bye and as soon as the door closed the trash talking started again. Can you believe Miss Shar made those greens from a can? Shooooot!
About this time the uncle and his current girl friend showed up with the soda! Yea, just in time for pie. I have to say they made awesome sweet potato and pecan pie. We ate pie and it was time for the braiding and hair styling to begin (yep, you heard me right)! So, while people were still eating, the baby cousins (probably about 10-12 years olds) would sit down and start braiding each other’s hair. Right during dinner (not something I was used to). One of them grabbed me and sat me down on the floor and started in on the styling (not all braids for me, she had something fancy in store). By the time I was done my hair was a greasy mess and the little one was so proud of herself! I had to sport that hair do for the rest of the night. After dinner we all went outside to the courtyard to hang out (the neighbors starring at my hair). The aunties came out and started making their plans for the night, where they were going clubbing downtown and what celebrities were in town (I guess they ran into Luther Vandross one year). They were trying to get us to go with them but you had to see my hair to know why I couldn’t go anywhere. I had to get home and wash my hair. I can remember my ex saying he was meeting them up at the club that night, and I should go too (ya right, like he wanted me to go, it would ruin his game with the ladies). I just remember wanting to stay home and start decorating the tree. So that is what I did, by myself, while he was out doing whatever he did. Pretty interesting Thanksgiving huh?
Another one I can remember is when the Phastgirls (our name for ourselves…Pretty Hot and Seriously Tempting- not easy, loose or slutty, just fast) decided to do a dinner of our own. Problem was, none of us could cook. We all met up at Arlet’s house. Monica bought a turkey breast from the deli and put it in the microwave and forgot to take it out of the plastic container. I think we had some nice hors d’oeuvre and lots of wine. When it came down to it, the wine was good and we laughed our butts off about the turkey and had a great time! We made sundaes for dessert.
So that is my walk down memory lane. I have to say I am truly blessed and I would not change any of my Thanksgivings for anything. I am surrounded by wonderful people who I love and love me. I hope I can give my children some wonderful Thanksgivings (hopefully not as boring as Nana and Papa style) and teach them to be content and thankful with what we have.
Another day in my life.