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November 29, 2008 / merlisser

Food, family, and gifts

When I was a child, the tradition was to spend Thanksgiving with my father’s parents at the family farm. It was a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner (served at lunch time) due to the fact that my father is one of six kids. Of course, one of Dad’s sisters had five kids of her own. The meal had at least twenty people. The farm was completely rustic with a wood stove,
a well since there was no running water thewell; and an outhouse the OUTHOUSE. It was decorated in this rustic farm house style that decorators try to mimic. kitchen.

Then my Mamaw died and my Pappaw got Altzheimer’s and the tradition died along with her. Years of sibling rivalry and unspoken grudges came to light during the settling of my Pappaw’s “estate” and the tradition is definitely dead since the likelihood for people to sit in the same room isn’t happening anymore. Maybe later but not now. So our small nuclear family has our own Thanksgiving dinner and invites my Mother’s mother and we have a grand old time.

This year my grandma had a cold and stayed home. We still had a grand old time. My brother invited the evil one (let’s just say she and I don’t get along) which caused some bad feelings but I took a nap and woke up refreshed and happy. Also, I was pleasantly relieved that the evil one had eaten and left already. This wasn’t intentional but some surprisingly good fortune. I am surprised that no one in the family woke me up. Apparently, they didn’t want the drama of good versus evil ruining their turkey and dressing.

And so it goes.

The dinner itself was a traditional southern Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, cornbread dressing, pinto beans, greens, Lemon Ice Box pie, pecan pie, sweet potatoes, and this dish my Mama calls Dorito turkey.

Dorito turkey usually has chicken in it but this is how we get rid of the leftovers. It’s a “southern” delicacy.

  • One can of rotel,
  • a bag of Doritos (nacho cheese but it originally used the now discontinued taco flavored chips),
  • cream of mushroom soup,
  • cream of chicken soup, Velveeta,
  • a bunch of shredded chicken/turkey.
  • Mix up all the can goods until it looks like vomit.

Cut the velveeta into cubes. Layer chips, chicken and velveeta in a pan. Pour liquid mixture over it all. Bake in oven until bubbly. (I think its’ 350 degrees but honestly I don’t know) Good times.

My Mama hasn’t learned that we don’t need the huge turkey anymore so we have pounds and pounds of cooked turkey leftover. It was nice to hang out with the fam and talk trash. They are funny. My Dad then went outside and toyed with tools in that stereotypically “real man” way.

That evening my brother and I had some quality time by going to see Twilight. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t like it either. I forgot how much of the story was from Bella’s point of view and was the equivalent of a “voiceover.” This movie didn’t have any voice overs so a lot was lost in translation.

I did see Quantum of Solace earlier this month and it was more like a Bourne movie than anything else. There were no sex scenes or snazzy gadgets. How can you have a Bond movie without sex scenes and snazzy gadgets? But Daniel Craig is great eye candy so I’m not screaming a rant about wanting my money back.

I also made a deal with my Mother that if I woke up and stood in line at WalMart, I would get the Garmin GPS for Christmas. I wanted one anyway but it was half price. I promised that she could wrap it and put it under the tree. I also promised that I would jump up and down and do a happy dance when I saw it. So I got some cash from her and set my alarm.

Now people around here in this small town, or even this relatively small state for that matter, mention that places are crowded all the time even when they’re not. Maybe this is where my New York/DC experience gives me a different perspective on the ideal. I will say that the local Walmart at 5:30a.m. was bona fide crowded. The parking lot was full to the gas station in the back. It was a constant dodging of other people in the aisles. I went to the food portion of the store (which was empty because very few people were interested in groceries) and made it to electronics. OH the line of people wanting Playstations, Wiis, and whatnot was huge but in line I stood. I got a paperback from the nearby book station and waited. [NOTE: carrying a book in your bag and reading it when you wait in line or anywhere else is how “city folk” handle crowds. Most people who have a subway commute are reading the paper or a book. Try it. It will give you something to do rather than be impatient.]

So I got my Garmin and got out of dodge. I did run into an old friend and chatted away. I got back home around 6:30 and went back to sleep. I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination.

As I was eating, My mother says, “Missy I got to tell you something.”
“[my Aunt] was in line this morning too. She was getting one of those Garmins for Grandma so she could give it to you for Christmas.”
“Oh. So this means there are two Garmins. You want one. You can have this one.”
“No I don’t need one.”
“but . . . but… I got up at 5!”
“I know but it would be easier for your to take yours back rather than [your Aunt] to take hers back.”

So a phone call was made and I’m back to Walmart to take my Garmin back.

The plan is not to tell my Grandmother about any of these shenanigans and when I open my present, I am to do a happy dance, hug and kiss my Grandma, and tell her it was something I always wanted. She will be all happy that she made my day and that is really what Christmas gift giving is all about: making other people happy.

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