Friday, November 12, 2010


I just read an article in the NY Times on Chef's Tips for the Thanksgiving Meal.  Although it was a tad light on the tips & a touch heavy on the promotion of restaurants open on Thanksgiving, it made me think about Thanksgiving: The Day, and The Meal.

For me, part of the appeal of Thanksgiving: The Day is the thought of family gathering in one place to converse, play games, watch movies, snack, and of course eat The Meal.  Growing up, we often gathered at an aunt or uncle's home, potluck contribution in hand.  The children scattered in front of the TV or around the pool table, while the adults filtered in and out of the kitchen, circled around a card game, or gathered in front of the big screen.  The Meal was a feast, replete with butter and side dishes, cranberry glistening in the smoggy light of a California afternoon.  

Even now, far from family, I like to cook The Meal.  It may not have as many sides, and the bird is not quite as humongous, but without fail, the smell of turkey & browned butter in the air always signals the beginning of the Holiday season.  

My point, and I do have one, is that the article made me wonder about those who eat out on Thanksgiving.  Although I can see the advantages (no war wounds sustained from battling the supermarket crowds for the last can of pumpkin, no need to spend 22 hours in the kitchen, less than 8 loads of dishes to clean), I'm not sure I would feel right about gathering 'round a table laden with food without being able to slip off my shoes and unbutton my pants at the end of the meal.  Somehow I don't picture Daniel Bouloud winking in approval when Uncle Gustav nods off in a post-turkey-feast tryptophan coma.

Would you welcome a restaurant meal, relishing the chance to eat, drink & be merry without the bother of pre- or post-feast mess & stress?  Or is the planning and preparation a key part of the Holiday feast?          


Elle said...

We thought about going out to eat this year for Thanksgiving but we couldn't bring ourselves to make other people work and to not be home on that day.

Kelly said...

Home-made all the way! One year my family decided to buy all the pies instead of making them. That night when we went to break into the pies we were all disappointed. They just didn't taste as good. I have to admit one of my favorite memories I have is making pies with my mother. I can't wait to do it again this year. (That is if I'm not in the hospital giving birth.)

Becky said...

Most definitely planning and preparing is PART of the holiday feast! I can break out those recipes that I wouldn't use on an every day kind of night! I actually really enjoy this part of Thanksgiving . . . as long as I have a little help.