I mentioned in passing the other day that this year we were doing 3! Thanksgiving celebrations, and while I may have made it sound like I was irritated by it, I’m not. Not really. I’m happy that we split up the holidays once again, as it has made for a much less stressful holiday. It took a bit of Trial By Fire for Dave and I to realize that our families will probably never get along.
And, of course, the “not getting along” is far more insidious than screaming matches and pimp slapping, which made it that much harder for Dave and I to realize what the hell was going on. It was a showdown of passive-aggressive behavior and it made it incredibly stressful for both Dave and I to please our families WHILE successfully avoiding suicide by means of chocolate chip cookie. Not exactly the fun holiday we’d have liked.
So yesterday, we hosted my parents for Thanksgiving, and because they are hosting us today with the traditional turkey + stuffing gluttony Dave and I decided to mix things up. While I do, in fact, like turkey and stuffing, if I tried to cook it myself, I’d never be able to eat it again. I’m neurotic and have A Thing about raw meat.
Last year, while hosting both of our families, we decided to be all high-falutin’ and make us a damn side of beef and all sorts of pretentious side dishes. Horseradish twice baked potatoes, bourbon pecan pie, all the good shit. And when I served it all up, all fancy-style on my Haviland china, my eldest son began to weep.
He has massive food issues, as you probably know, and obnoxious to cook for is a given and a way of life for me.
Well, it was exactly the wrong thing for him to do at that moment. We’d prepared, and cleaned, and prepared, and spent a veritable fortune on the beef, and to have him openly weep over this enraged me. I’m surprised that my skull cap didn’t pop off from the fire raging within and spew grey matter all over the side of my freshly dusted china cabinet.
Sure, I’m accustomed to this behavior, but I’d deliberately chosen dishes that he would and did like, given the opportunity to try it. But, of course, the minute I began to harp on Ben in my most controlled yet fury-filled voice, both families finally united. To yell at me for yelling at my son on Thanksgiving.
Which was now exactly the wrong thing for THEM to do at this moment. The food issues + Ben go back for ages, and if they all had their way about it, Ben would still be eating his White Stuff Only diet. The Daver and I have spent many hours with a weeping Ben to make him try such disgusting kid food as “hot dogs” and “pizza.” We’re not exactly insisting on foie gras and prosciutto here.
But whatever, they all jump down my throat, and the fire of a thousand suns burns within my belly for the next year. What, me have issues?
So this year, in approximately July when the winter holiday schwag begins to hit the store shelves, I informed Dave that I will not be doing any heavy duty hosting this year and he immediately agreed. But on Thanksgiving, living in a suburb, there’s very little open for us to shamelessly order takeout from, so I decided that I’d cook. And I’ll cook things that are both easy and that my children will eat.
Hence, White Trash Thanksgiving was born.
Mac -n- Cheese
Cupcakes with canned frosting for dessert.
(the mac and cheese, I must divulge, was fancy ass, and I did make it from scratch. It was so incredibly rich that it made an audible THWUMP! when it hit our stomachs. We all ate approximately 2 tablespoons before we could eat no more. But hey, it was a TASTY two tablespoons)
I bought generic ingredients whenever possible, and was sad that I hadn’t thought to make a jello mold salad (complete with the most generic fruit cocktail suspended creepily inside) OR a ranch, iceberg and baco-bits salad, as that would have added a new and extra-special dimension of trashiness. Perhaps next year I will also serve generic Kool-Aid in wax-covered cups. The red flavor. And we will eat of Chinette.
My parents, my snobby, NPR-listening to parents, loved it. As did my children and my husband.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a new tradition. Any thoroughly white trash suggestions for next year?