Cranberries from a can.
This should be read with an accompanying wince, or moan, or sigh.
It is Thanksgiving week and here in Puerto Rico I have searched far and wide for a few bags of fresh cranberries. The commissary on the Army post, the store that is known for bringing American favorites to families all over the world, doesn’t have one single berry. Today at a local grocery store I found two bags. TWO. There wasn’t even a display – they were just tossed next to the sweet potatoes, on top of a few hundred bags of marshmallows. Based on the mushy, moldy contents, I’d wager that they’ve been in a store-room since last year.
And so, this will be forever known as the year without the cranberries.
Don’t get me wrong, I grabbed a few cans. And I am sure that on my forkful of turkey and gravy and stuffing, the bit of berries will offer their usual sweet tang.
But it won’t be the same.
I love food. All food. And I am not particular about when or where or what day I eat it. Breakfast for dinner? Yum! Pizza for Christmas – sounds great! Leftover spaghetti for breakfast? No problem.
But on the fourth Thursday of November I am pretty adamant about what should be on the table.
I was spoiled at an early age.
My Aunt MaryAnn is an outstanding hostess.
She would start cooking days ahead of time. Every morsel on her beautifully set table was made from scratch.
While I have never had any of her recipes written down from me, I cook them from memory; the rich flavors ingrained on my taste buds.
For weeks I have been designing my Thanksgiving menu with as much anticipation as my children making their Christmas lists.
I invite friends, the more the merrier.
To be honest, the more people, the more side dishes and desserts I can justify.
Oh, I long for the days of Thanksgiving past…. some years we fed up to 80 guests. I was in my glory.
Tomorrow we will be a jolly 10 – with 4 more for dessert, and maybe a few strangers that I invite in off the beach.
I can’t help myself.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.
There are no gifts. No expectations or disappointments (except maybe the cranberries.)
It’s about friends and family and food – and being thankful for such blessings.
Here is our menu for 2012.
Warm Apple Cider (rum optional)
Soda, Wine, Beer, Water
Roasted Turkey & Gravy
Coca Cola Ham
Mashed Golden Potatoes
Roasted Yams and Carrots with Honey Glaze
Green Bean Casserole
Cranberries from a can
Peanut Butter Balls
Pecan Pie Bars
Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Gingerbread Crust
Brownies & Blondies
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Tonight it’s pizza for dinner while I try to keep the kids (and the husband) out of the kitchen.
I promise they aren’t in there to help – just to steal samples.
May you be blessed this Thanksgiving!