Saturday, November 20, 2010

Planning a feast

It's the weekend before Thanksgiving, and that means it's time to decide what we're making for the big dinner on the big day.  My parents are going to be visiting for the occasion, which thrills their grandchildren to no end.  It makes me think of all the Thanksgiving dinners I enjoyed at home over the years.  When I was a teenager, that meant my mom taking dishes down the driveway to my grandparents' house, where my favorite parts of the meal were waiting: Nana's stuffing (casserole style, cooked in the oven) and her yellow layer cake with thick caramel icing made on the stovetop and spread quickly before it hardens.

I know people who are fanatical about making every component of the Thanksgiving meal themselves, right down to the cornbread used in the stuffing and the scratch yeast rolls.  Call me a child of convenience foods, but brown-and-serve rolls (or even better, Sister Schubert's) are about my favorite bread of all time.  We've got a number of prepared items that will be on our table -- apple pie made by local bakers, to be sure, but also cranberry sauce and gravy straight from the factory.

Last year's feast was one of the best we've ever had, and we're going to pretty much duplicate it on Thursday for the other set of grandparents.  I love eating, and I've always loved Thanksgiving just for the food.  But the longer the live, the more you have to be thankful for, and the more you appreciate the side of the day that your parents tried so hard to teach you about when you were a kid.

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