I decided to skip Thanksgiving this year, not quite sure why. Perhaps I thought I would have the willpower to watch it unfold on Facebook without getting physically involved.
Last year, with an 8 week old newborn I had the same mindset (and a solid excuse.) As I stalked photos of my friends and skyped with my family I felt twitchy (more likely from lack of sleep and sore boobs.) Undeniably though, something was missing. By Saturday I had obtained a couple turkey steaks, potatoes, instant stuffing and this gravy that comes in a microwaveable bag. First year in the new house with our new baby. I was going to start the tradition even if it killed me (and even if I had to nurse at the dinner table.)
I didn’t realize it would be a tradition of me trying to ignore one of the last great holidays. There are lots more excuses this year: We don’t have enough room in our house, Christmas is coming and I’m completely unorganized, it will be lots of work and I’m just flippin worn out.
Honestly now that I think about it- maybe it’s just plain ole homesickness. Que head in sand.
My American genes must be stronger than I realized.
When I went food shopping Wednesday (see just like I would have if I were back home!) after days of scraping by on ‘cupboard surprises’ due to Lavinia being sick- we were filling up our shopping cart. I spotted cranberry sauce on display- yay American products! Though I’m meant to be on a budget- I grabbed a jar without looking at its price tag. Nostalgia- gets me every time, a marketers dream.
And since I’m on a supermarket-chain, meat-boycott I purchased a little free-range chicken at the Butcher with no real plans for it. See what my subliminal mind was doing there?
I also happened to have a large, organic pumpkin left over from our Aussie Farmer’s Direct veggie box. I could not possibly let another one go to waste just because my freezer is already full of pumpkin puree (Christmas prep, maybe I’m not as disorganized as I thought.) See how all the elements of the perfect Faux Thanksgiving are coming together?
I even had stuffing mix in the cupboard (from last year) and contemplated using it because the expiration date is still one more year from now (that can’t be healthy, stuffing mix which has a shelf life of two years.) Give yourself permission to take a shortcut I told myself….use the boxed stuffing or skip it altogether. But it’s been open for A WHOLE YEAR. So no. My toasted one inch cubed breadcrumbs had just come out of the oven. You can’t have Fakesgiving without homemade stuffing!!!
Could I help myself? No. I could not.
Tired as hell, my 14-month-old, teething baby finally went down for a nap. The house was a mess, laundry needed to be done and I my hair had not seen shampoo since the weekend. Yet… let me make the most delicious gosh darn pumpkin pie you have ever seen.
No whipped cream or ice cream. What ever shall I do? How bout just whip up some coconut cream with vanilla extract and honey. I’m as gangsta as Martha Stewart.
By the time Matt arrived home from work I was spent. And a tad crabby. But you know what? Those smells coming out of the oven and the anticipation of that gorgeous pie….perked me right up. The wine helped too.
It’s a little sad that I cooked the meal all by myself but at the end of the day it was worth it. I’m thankful for giving Thanksgiving its proper place in our family.