Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks a Latte!

Last week, my sisters and I sat down to make the menu for Thanksgiving dinner. A decade ago, if you'd asked me how many things I'd volunteer to make, I may have signed up for my mother's orange salad, which consists of cottage cheese, orange jell-o, mandarin oranges and cool-whip. That torch has passed to the baby of the family, I'm proud to say.

This year, I made sweet potato casserole (wicked good and not a marshmallow in sight!), green beans sauteed with slivered almonds, stuffing, mashed potatoes (with cream and butter, of course), rolls and five pies. I have to say, I've found my space. I loved being in the kitchen all morning, making sure that everything was timed so that it all came out hot, at the same time, and without fear of botulism or salmonella. Perhaps the best was that everyone else was so happy to not have to cook that they were more than willing to entertain my own little crumb snatchers.

My sister prepared the 24-pound turkey and transported it to my parents' house without incident, whisked some awesome gravy from drippings and roux and we all had a wonderful, stress-free holiday. For those of you who know my family, that in itself is nearly a miracle.

At the end of the day, my sister and I were marvelling that we'd survived a holiday at which three of the four sisters were present, and nobody, I mean nobody leaked a single tear. I had an a-ha moment as I was hugging Myrtle good-bye...Marmy didn't spend a second in the kitchen!

My love of cooking was discovered on my own, not because I was encouraged to stand next to my mom as she patiently watched me scoop flour and whisk eggs. Germs, messes and other mistakes could abound if sticky-handed children put their fingers in her pie. We knew that she would appreciate a big dinner that she didn't have to prepare or plan, but about ten years ago, she never would have let her kids take over the kitchen for a day and trust that all would be well in the end.

So, this year, I'm thankful for the pharmaceutical company that developed Zoloft. Because controlled OCD is a beautiful thing. Oh, and that I was able to be in the loving clutches of my big ole family, instead of 3,000 miles away.