Friday, November 23, 2007

We’re Gathered Together...

Thanksgiving is a bit of a struggle for me because I do miss my extended family and it is not practical for us to try to plan a vacation at the end of November to go back to California. Unfortunately, somehow along the line, we failed to create our own “family tradition” for the holiday after we moved here. For many years we spent Thanksgiving with a lovely family we know, and their extended family, and that became the “tradition.” But then their situation changed, and they began to trade off having their family Thanksgiving amongst themselves, and that left us out. And there we were struggling to figure out what to do to make the day special for us, and we could never quite do it. At that point, the “pitch-in” Thanksgiving meal with our church family became more and more important. And also the source of much laughter between R and myself, and I admit sometimes a bit of irritation, because they won’t eat anything I make. Well, there have been a few exceptions: once I made a chocolate-pumpkin swirl cheesecake that looked so nasty I figured I’d be bringing most of it home, which wouldn’t have bothered me any because it tasted very good indeed. Much to my surprise, someone at the meal did actually take a slice and raved about it and then everybody had to try it there wasn’t a crumb left to bring home. Another time, and I have probably written about this already, we had a “ soups and stews” meal after Christmas caroling. I made Szchewan carrot soup, which someone mistook for nacho cheese sauce and poured it all over his tortilla chips. And they ate the lasagna I made several months ago. Cleaned the pan right down to the last drop of meat sauce. At the meal we had for Thanksgiving this year, there was nothing left of the spiral ham I brought, but they did not eat the lime gelatin tropical fruit salad with marshmallows, cream cheese, and non-dairy topping, or the baby carrots that I marinated in sweetened vinegar and ginger, or the unusual pasta dish (pecans, dried cranberries, onions, celery, and basil), or the cranberry dessert. R says I try too hard – they’re just “meat and potatoes” sort of people. Oh well, I just packed it all back up and brought it home and we enjoyed it.

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