Michaeline: Happy Thanksgiving!

Hearty Thanksgiving Greeting 19th century girl in a dress and apron, harvesting very large pumpkins.

Thanksgiving — and writing time — can be whenever you say it is. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

So, today I’m at a community center about an hour away from my home, helping to prepare (and then eat!) a Thanksgiving feast. I’m not the boss; my friend M is in charge of that, and has everything totally organized, from laminated stuffing recipes to the table design chart.

In Japan, Thankgiving Day (US) and Labor Thanksgiving Day are nearly the same time, but they don’t often coincide — and even if we are lucky enough to have them fall on the same day, we have to work on Friday. So, a big Thanksgiving feast is in the cards, but a recovery day is not.

Even when everything is perfect, it’s not. So, we are doing it on a Saturday, near the holiday. About 60 or 60 people come — there are old folks chatting at the tables and little kids crawling around under the tables. . It’s a great chance to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a whole year, and they always have news I haven’t heard. This year, we’ve had four marriages in our group. One year, it was the Year of the Babies, with four babes in arms, passed around so parents could partake of the turkey.

Let me just bludgeon you over the head with a moral for a minute: even when things are perfect, they often are not. Writing is a lot like that, isn’t it? We have grand expectations about how it SHOULD go, but sometimes my best writing takes place when I had no expectations at all.

Like a good feast, writing takes planning. You’ve got to have writing materials, and it helps a lot to have a period of time set aside.

But like a good feast, it doesn’t have to take place at the optimum time — whatever that fantasy describes. It can take place three days early or two days late. It’s still good.

I’m wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving, no matter where you are on the time-space continuum or what you celebrate. There’s a good chance that the time is now.

8 thoughts on “Michaeline: Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. On Thursday we dropped by my husband’s daughter’s house for a few minutes to see his kids, then drove an hour and had dinner my daughter’s house. This evening our neighborhood will get together to share a meal and tomorrow morning my church is having a carry-in. I love Thanksgiving, though, so marathon Thanksgiving works fine for me.

    Monday it’s back to the gym and back to watching my weight, but this weekend is all about food, family and friends. Hope yours is equally wonderful!

    • (-: I’ve been enjoying the food so much! And let’s face it, in the world of pie, pumpkin pie is a fairly healthy choice. My recipe only uses about 1/2 cup of sugar for — what is it? 12 servings? — because the pumpkin is so sweet. And turkey is not a bad option!

      Yesterday, I had two meals with stuffing, though, and My Mother’s Stuffing is the most satisfying stuffing on earth . . . but also very calorie dense! It’s the fixin’s that will get me in the end.

      • You’ll have to share your mother’s recipe, if it’s not hidden away in a secret cookbook! I’m still searching for a good one. My family voted my Sweet Potato Casserole as the Side of the Year (I do all the cooking, so whatever they vote for, I win, haha). I made a double-batch and there still wasn’t a lot of it left over.

        • When I make it, it’s a combo of scalloped chicken and stuffing, so it’s super moist, even though it’s baked in the oven.

          Lessee:
          two sticks of butter (about 200 g.), melted, then you gently sautee three sticks of chopped celery and 1 large diced onion in it.
          2 eggs
          1 cup of white sauce (which is just flour fried in butter, then thickened with milk)
          3 cups of toast cubes
          3 cups of mashed potatoes
          enough turkey broth to moisten if it needs it
          diced cooked gizzards and maybe some other spare bits of turkey neck (you boil these, and that gives you the turkey broth you need — put the leftover broth in the gravy).
          Salt to taste (sorry! It depends on how salty the bread, potatoes and broth is)
          Pepper, ditto.
          1 tsp cloves (or more — I like cloves)

          Mix. Put in a large casserole, then bake at 375 F/190 C for an hour.

          (-: I am really not sure how people who don’t grow up with this “stuffing” would react to it. It’s so rich.

          How do you do sweet potato casserole? I can’t get canned yams and I don’t like them much, so I just steam some sweet potatoes and put a caramel sauce over them, and bake again. My family likes that because it tastes like “daigaku imo” — college potatoes, which is an old-fashioned Japanese treat. But you can’t have a holiday dinner without sweet potatoes!! That’s for sure. (I just realized what was missing at dinner Saturday, LOL.)

        • If you put a lot more cooked chicken in it (like rotisserie chicken, or whatever you have), it makes a nice main dish . . . but cut it in half or even in quarters, because it’s really so heavy and rich. It’s meant to carry you through December, January and February and into egg-laying season, LOL.

    • It went really well! There were a few things that were annoying, but I’m not really a drama queen. At least, when it comes to Thanksgiving (-:. Really good companionship, and the food was excellent, as always!

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