The Virus Diary: Thanksgiving

 

How strange was your Thanksgiving this year?  Let me say straight out that I hope it WAS strange and more importantly SAFE.  This year Thanksgiving didn't really feel like Thanksgiving.  However in the year of Covid-19 that's how it SHOULD be.  It's a year where traditions should be broken for safety sake and maybe new traditions should begin.

In my eyes, Thanksgiving started yesterday afternoon.  "School" was over and work ended a little early (though I never can shut down when I'm technically supposed to.)  I had spent a time the day before making a pumpkin bread with maple cream cheese filling (supposed to be vegan, but I used regular cream cheese).  Normally this would have been served at my holiday table, but since the table was just going to be three of us this year, I sliced it up and put it in containers to share.  My one aunt was going to be in the area, so she dropped by for a brief outdoor visit (even though it was warmish it looked like rain) and I gave her a container of goodness.  It isn't Thanksgiving dinner, but it IS something that I made with love that I can share.  

I took another container of the shame to another "aunt" in town.  While I was out, I had to run to get more milk because I had committed to making a pumpkin "style" pie dessert but didn't have enough milk in the house!  Ugh!  The last thing ANYONE wants to do on the day BEFORE Thanksgiving is

head to a grocery store.  I drove by the closest one and the lot was a mess.  (This lot is almost always manageable.)  Instead I ended up at...CVS!  Yes, they sell milk and it wasn't too unreasonably priced.  More importantly I was in and out quickly so that I could get home and make it.

The pie tin I used, I *think* is larger than the 9 inches recommended in the directions because the crust that I attempted to make was really thin and did NOT make it up the sides of the pan.  It barely covered the bottom.  Then I spent a good 20 or so minutes looking for the "manual" hand mixer which I couldn't find.  So then I searched for the mini-electric one I had only to mind the motorized part, but NOT the whisk.  Maybe someone was trying to give me a message that I was ignoring?  Was about to give up and just stir, when I finally DID find the hand mixer and got everything nicely mixed and into the refrigerator to set.  (Spoiler alert:  It never really did set the way it should have and looked NOTHING like the photo.  I'm not saying it wasn't good; I'm just saying it wasn't picture perfect or anywhere close!)

I was not about to give up my domestic goddess stage and forged on to make another pumpkin bread with maple cream cheese filling for my in laws.  Which took another hour or so out of my afternoon.  There was no way I was cooking Wednesday night and as is our pseudo tradition we picked up pizza for dinner.  (I was also my outdated school spirit wear because that's what we USED to do when my son was little and I was and am desperately trying to recapture the family magic/feel that we used to have when my son was under 10 and in the happy kid stage and not the surly teen phase.)

The evening wrapped up with several glasses of wine and a phone call to friend I used to work with (following my own suggestion:  https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/11/11222020-what-to-be-thankful-for.html.) while my son and his girlfriend hung out in our living room watching tv and playing with Story Elf.  (How many years have I had this and it's FINALLY really paying off!)

Thanksgiving day proper I actually SLEPT in.  Well, for me I slept in; getting up around 6 and heading downstairs for coffee and "my" CBS This Morning.  (You didn't think a holiday was going to keep me from my morning ritual!)  I was joined my hubby and we enjoyed a quiet morning of coffee and pumpkin bread while watching the news, the modified parade (personal favorites included the Native American blessing, the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps marching band, and the traditional conclusion with the Rockettes doing a seemingly "easy" looking routine that I am sure was anything but with those hats and masks) and playing Scrabble.  (He kicked my butt; as usual.)  My son joined us briefly for breakfast before running off for breakfast #2 at the girlfriend's house. (Dressed to the nines as I knew he would be.) 

Our Thanksgiving mid-day meal was somewhat simple and less stressful.  I did insist that we eat in the dining room.  Of course I never changed the dining room table cloth from Halloween to Thanksgiving so we had jack-o-lanterns staring at us instead of autumnal leaves, but...  We had some traditional foods:  whole berry cranberry sauce (thanks to a friend who had an extra can for me; it's got to be whole berry), wild rice, crescent rolls, and brussel sprouts (just for me...the boys don't "get" the goodness that they are).  Non traditional was the protein portion of our meal.  We cannot have turkey due to my food allergies, so we usually have a roast, but that just seemed like too much trouble for 3 people, so...

Don't knock it until you've tried it.  I found it to be quite good (and so did hubby...I'm not sure about the surly teen.)  While it was a lovely meal, it did lack something.  While it was a special meal and we continued our tradition of saying that we were thankful for, we did miss having our extended family.

What we didn't miss (particularly my husband) was the clean-up.  With only three people it was pretty quick and easy.  We took a break and played some more Scrabble, checked in with family who were not at our table this year before digging into coffee and dessert.

The annual tradition of after meal laundry was kept.  (Some things can never change!) I also put up my Dept. 56 Little Town of Bethlehem in the dining room, but the holiday house transition will take place over the next several days as they usually do.  Hanukkah is only two weeks away and Christmas four.  It's time to try and get into the spirit...and prepare for new traditions.  

Be thankful and keep safe.

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