Nov 29

Leftovers ON Thanksgiving

We decided to switch it up a bit this year for Thanksgiving. For several years, we have debated cooking the full blown meal for just the two of us. After all, how long can one really eat leftovers?

The problem is that we really like the Thanksgiving meal and all the fixings. We like the leftovers, too.  Post turkey day goodies like turkey sandwiches, bourbon sweet potatoes, green beans, Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, gravy and the stuffing of the year. (We reconfigure stuffing each year because there are soooo many kinds we like.) Then there are the pies.  We don’t eat a lot of pie at other times of the year. I don’t really know why; but I guess that’s what makes them extra special at Thanksgiving.

Maybe we are just getting lazy. We start worrying about the shopping, planning, scheduling, pre-cooking, and baking; we get tired, really tired.  Then there is the cleaning and packing up food! Everyone knows what I am talking about. 

Yet, the smell of roasting turkey enticed us. How could we celebrate and still have a restful holiday? At the last minute we decided to do the cooking but this year we would eat on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We cheated a bit by purchasing pies at our local pie houses. That’s right, two different places to get our favorites from each. The mini pies were just perfect for our plans. After arriving home from the grocery store and work on Wednesday, we cooked it all! It tasted amazing and the new puppy got to taste his first turkey. Exhausted, and delishishly full, we had another late night bite of pie because we could.

Thanksgiving morning we had nothing to do except wish friends and family a great holiday. With a whole free day ahead of us, we decided to drive to Mt. Hood. The Cascade Mountains had just a hint of holiday snow. Happy families with kids and dogs made snowmen, threw snowballs, sledded down the hills, and hiked under brilliant blue skies.  I watched and wondered what I could write about this day. Then we got hungry. You can imagine what was in our ice chest.

If you have never had a cold turkey sandwich with cranberry mustard mayonnaise in the snow, you are missing a great food experience. Cold vegetables became our side “salad” and sweet potatoes are pretty great cold, too.  Well chilled white wine at the snowy picnic – absolutely!  The meal was made complete by a repeat performance of those pies.  Pumpkin, coconut cream, chocolate pecan and apple-berry each tasted better than the day before.

Mt. Hood Oregon

Mt. Hood Oregon

Then I noticed something. The happy families were eating, too. We may not have been so unusual after all. Even the kid eating the peanut butter sandwich was probably happier than he would have been at home waiting for a huge meal. As we started our return home, the spectacular mountain was behind us. The snow had begun to reflect the coral colored late afternoon sunlight. I realized then what I wanted to write. Thanksgiving wasn’t about all the stress and work. It didn’t matter if it was on Wednesday or Thursday. It was about creating a family memory.  I have no idea what Thanksgiving 2, 3 or 10 years ago was like.  I will, however, keep fond memories of turkey day 2015.

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