Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Spoke and I have hosted this, our favorite holiday, for as long as we've been married. Our two small families gathered for many years spanning sunny, 80 degree days to threats and realities of snow or ice storms. The afternoons started with champagne and Mom's Puffs which my mother-in-law had the honor of serving on the silver platter while they were hot out of the oven. We'd later fill a table with all the traditional dishes, served as close as possible to halftime of the Cowboy game for dear, dear dad.
In the course of the day, before the onslaught of pies, there was a Mystery Can contest, begun when my parents discovered a can of food in the pantry whose label had fallen off in their move to Dallas. We all threw in a dollar, wrote down our best guess of its contents and the winner took the pot. We continued playing the game every Thanksgiving, friends providing us a bare can. One year it was dog food and someone actually got it right.
Though small, we were a very close family and by that nature, we were exclusive on this day as are many families. Our Thanksgivings now have changed so much; Eddie, Ellie, Ernie and Colleen are gone, leaving only just as many, barely enough of us to warrant abundance. But from my longing and in the spirit of the holiday, a feast was planned and as we extended invitations, to my joyful surprise, they were eagerly accepted.
Champagne bottles will be uncorked around 2:00 as we lay out antipasti. Maybe there will be a toast or two. Football turned on an hour later in one room, jazz in another. Wines will be opened.
Strangers will have become acquaintances.
Turkey and Commander's Palace Crab Cakes will then take center stage at the buffet with many more dishes alongside and many more wines opened. I'll say a private blessing for this day.
Likely needing a breather, we'll determine the Mystery Can winner.
Pies will then be sliced and affogato will be offered four ways; traditional, chocolate, caramel or vanilla. Gelato if they prefer, may be topped with warm stewed fruit or Italian cherries in syrup, all served with espresso or cappuccino. Or more wine.
Acquaintances will have become friends.