I know, Thanksgiving is a family holiday. But… there are those of us not at large family gatherings this year. And I want to offer a hug to those of us who are doing that on purpose, because sometimes, the best thing you can do with certain families is stay far, far away from them.
I don’t do turkey for Thanksgiving, though I salute those who do. I do spaghetti.
Yes, there are reasons. The names will be omitted to protect the guilty, and innocent bystanders.
Picture having a young male relative, living on his own with his second girlfriend and proud of it, absolutely convinced that he has better taste than all his relatives and should demonstrate same by pulling off the turkey dinner to end all turkey dinners. He will invite them all, and show them all, and all shall bow before his crispy fowl, beans of green, and mashed potatoes garlanded with gravy!
Except he forgot that cardinal rule of testing windshields at high velocity: THAW BIRD FIRST.
Picture yourself being the one stuck by other adults into corralling the younger crowd of relatives, all of whom arrived around 10-11 AM – as in, before lunch – and all of whom get progressively and quite reasonably more ill-tempered as the day goes on, and on, and eventually it’s 7 PM and no food is arriving.
I will mercifully blot out the grisly details. Let’s just say that the kids behaved with more reason and decorum than the adults, the grudges spawned still echo to this day, and leave it at that.
So for a day of thanks, I make spaghetti. It’s simple, I can cut up and freeze or otherwise store most of the ingredients in advance, and I know if I’ve got reasonable amounts of tomatoes, spices, and ground meat on hand, I can have it ready in 2.5 hours or less. Simple, tasty, no massive arguments.
(Also after Thanksgiving turkey is often on sale, and we need all the budget help we can get.)
Here’s to a good meal in peace!