Off the Press

November 20, 2012

By David Hayes

Not quite ready to start a new tradition

David Hayes

Elsewhere in this week’s paper, we’ve scoured the community, asking citizens what they’re especially thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.

I’ve always been thankful for the opportunity to share a traditional meal with either my family in Oregon or my wife’s family in Bellevue.

But we’re trying something a little different this year. My mom suggested my parents and my wife and I go out to dinner and return home for homemade pumpkin pie. This would leave all the hassle and stress to others and we could simply enjoy the meal.

Well, for one, my wife and I love to cook, which we did last year for them. Two, half the fun of the meal is having leftovers for a week.

Three, I like a little more certainty in my traditional meal. Do I really want a total stranger’s interpretation of the traditional turkey?

This reminds me of another Thanksgiving past that didn’t turn out so well. Back when I was stationed in the Navy in San Diego, my wife was here caring for her ailing father, leaving me alone for the holiday.

Working in an office on the ship with a bunch of single sailors, I thought I’d play host and offer a homemade meal rather than the mass-produced one offered by the ship’s mess. Enough shipmates said yes to the idea that I was excited to cook up my first turkey, with all the trimmings, by myself.

Give me a recipe and I have just enough basic skills in the kitchen to successfully make just about anything. The turkey turned out golden on the outside and moist on the inside (I even remembered to take out the bag of giblets before roasting). I used my family recipe for scalloped corn, and mashed up some creamy potatoes and homemade gravy. I have to admit the cranberries were canned (sue me).

I set the table, put on the football game and waited. And waited. And…

Not one “mate” showed up. Later, they all gave me lame excuses why they couldn’t make it. Although I did give one, who said he ditched me for a girl, the benefit of the doubt.

Ever since, I’ve enjoyed lending a helping hand in the kitchen with the grand Thanksgiving meal, even if it’s only to carve the turkey when it’s fresh out of the oven.

So, I’m a little apprehensive about dining out with my parents on T-day. Being that my mom hasn’t revealed yet which establishment is dastardly enough to force their employees to serve on Thanksgiving, the most I can do is hope it’s not Denny’s.

If all else fails, Christmas dinner is only 34 shopping days away.

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