Here’s a Thanksgiving post written as my writing kept me company for the day. I could put this in a notebook. I could write this on paper and ritually offer it in some fire. I could leave it in my mind. But why not store it on the web where I can recall it and find it from anywhere?
Whether you read the rest or not, Happy Thanksgiving – of all the holidays celebrated in the US, this is the one I think the world should celebrate because it is amongst the heights of our cultural contributions. Maybe it makes up for our reality shows.
Thankful for, and in no order except chronological:
- A full propane tank; well, 80%, but they always have to leave 20%; and 80% should get me through the winter and spring.
- My skills, talents, experiences, the gifts that living has brought.
- Health, of various types
- Wine, How many grapes went into any bottle? Amazing.
- Tea, simple pleasures
- Bacon, decadence
- Thanks to all of the plants and animals that have sustained my life. I wouldn’t be here without you.
- Good furniture bought to last that’s with me decades later, like this stout kitchen table patina-ed with past feasts.
- Hardwood floors that are easy to clean and fun to dance on, ah, the memories and the expectations.
- The power is on, not a given on the island.
- Drewslist, and of course Drew Kampion.
- My house, my home, good roof, walls, floor, heat, light, plumbing, shelter.
- My view, the world, and specifically the Olympics, Puget Sound, and Cultus Bay.
- Nature. Yep.
- My ancestors, for their efforts and their struggles and their perseverance.
- I’m glad I like to cook and I’m glad I like my cooking.
- Friends and family, in thoughts, at least.
- Patrons and readers, otherwise why do it; well, I guess I might do a bit for myself.
- Customers and clients, glad and happy to help and a source of true joy.
- Earth, Sun, Moon, ancestry at the galactic level.
- Frugality, an appreciation for the value of all that surrounds me.
- Clothes that last and are comfortable.
- Self-esteem, self-made.
- Dancing, I dance I smile, and my partners tend to smile too.
- Books, those I read and those I write. Imagine all of the work that went into a library.
- Movies, modern books because story is story.
- My various communities: liberal and conservative, conventional and un-, young and old, men and women, right-brain and left-brain and ambi-brain.
- Faith, hope, serendipity, synchronicity, and optimism and enthusiasm.
- And this little space heater that’s taking the chill off now that the cooking is done.
And thanks to ritual.
Thanksgiving – a chronology of a ritual
Welcome to my ritual. I somewhat mimic a bit of what my mom and her sister prepared for the big Thanksgiving dinners of my childhood. I’ve enjoyed holidays at others’ houses, but since I moved away from home I’ve found that this ritual reminds me of home and family. It is a simple thing, yet valuable, and I’m always glad that I respect it.
- Begin daily morning commiserations – skip that – think about the logistics of cooking – skip that – get up and go for a run and make some endorphins.
- Stretch while watching Hannah Hart’s, “My Drunk Kitchen: Thanksgiving for Juan” (Juan = one, get it?).
- Make tea.
- Plug in an epic movie for background (LOTR) Cue up Fellowship of the Ring.
- Remember, it is a feast; use the whole onion – without the skin of course.
- Prepare for hours of dishwashing.
- Carhartt bib overalls, better than any apron for a day of serious kitchen time.
- Stuffing stuffed. Turkey in the oven.
- Take a break to play a game. (Which crashed, maybe Civ III isn’t compatible with OSX 10.6.8)
- Ok, time to grab a bottle from the collection so it can be properly chilled. A 2005 Trimbach (any relation?) Reisling, which I’ll leave outside because it is about 42 degrees and just about right.
- Fill a main course cooking hiatus (turkey takes three hours, potatoes and stuffing take one) with making frosting for dessert. Hmm, frosting.
- Lick beaters and bowl.
- Wash dishes.
- Play a game.
- Put weeks of work away so I’m not distracted by my various projects.
- Well, that uncovered a bill or two. I’ll look at them after the first, or second, glass of wine.
- Back to my tea and a game.
- Nearing noon. Potatoes must be peeled.
- Two Towers time.
- A peek in the oven and the bird is browning nicely.
- Boil those potatoes.
- Open that wine.
- Potatoes mashed.
- Veggies steamed (with herbs from the yard and some blue cheese.)
- Stuffing out of the oven.
- Turkey out of the oven (and an eleven pound turkey is heavy.)
- Carving, er, chunking of the turkey
- Lay it out, plate it up, eat, drink, enjoy.
- Wine isn’t supposed to age in the bottle, but this is some strong wine.
- Nap? Why, thank you, I think I will.
- Hey, I forgot dessert! Hey, I remembered dessert!
- Squeeged the steam from the windows so I could see outside.
- OK, time to dive into a pile of pots, pans, and scrubbing.
- Thanksgiving kitchen sculpture
- More tea!
- The stock is already simmering, and it isn’t even dinnertime.
- Leftovers stored in the fridge.
- Culinary plans in mind.
- Make a salad with, surprise, fried chicken instead of turkey. The local and excellent grocery, The Star Store, has fried chicken half off after 5pm. I was there yesterday and took advantage of the excellent deal.
- Yet a different surprise, a request for art as a gift, effectively a commission. I’m intrigued. Yes, I’ll see what I can do.
Is the chronology complete? No, but I’m not going to wait until I lay in bed before hitting the upload button. I hope you have things to be thankful for, and the chance to enjoy them.
And with that, I thank you.