yeah, that’s right. pizza. frozen pizza. it’s what’s for dinner. and i know i’m not alone. because tonight’s dinner is like 675 million times less important than tomorrow’s. i had to stay focused.
you see, 5 hours ago, i embarked on preparations for the Holy Grail of American holiday meals. it was messy. and exhausting. there were missteps and near misses. and every year, it’s one of my absolute, over-the-top favorite nights of the entire effing year. the truth is i might actually like Thanksgiving Eve more than Thanksgiving.
for as long as i can remember, the Wednesday before the turkey has been filled with love and fun and also, often, a lot of cocktails. long ago in Richmond, this night was what i liked to call the kick-off to the holiday social season, a 6 week stretch where there was some kind of party or event or barstool gossip session about the last party or event. every. single. night. if you’re up for it, that is. and i usually was. as a Sagittarian, it’s the time of year when i feel most in my element, most excited to host and be hosted (and toasted — birthdays are the best, y’all!), and to dress up and catch up with friends and family i don’t get to see often enough.
back in those long ago days, lots of ridiculous stuff happened. in particular, i remember my first time brining a turkey. i never considered that i needed enough fridge space for a 14 pound bird + the 20 gallons of liquid it needed to soak in overnight for 1,000 hours. and i had places to be, y’all (holiday social season and all). it seemed cold enough outside, so the bird in a bag went outside on my fire escape before i headed to, oh, i’m gonna say Sidewalk, to meet the Game Girls. and there it stayed overnight. it is a total freakin’ miracle that it it didn’t get dragged away/eaten by a Fan cat or random raccoon or opossum (because yeah, we had those in the middle of the city for some reason. what’s up, Nature?) or homeless dude (though, i guess what’s a homeless dude gonna do with a raw turkey?) and nobody got food poisoning!
tonight’s scenario was far less risky. i mean, in general, now just reading back over that last paragraph. sheesh. it was spent firmly indoors without threat of urban wildlife or wildfolk, and a positively Victorian 10:00 curfew (issued by my own suddenly-responsible self). Spy, Miss Girl and my mom snuggled down in front of Frozen for most of my prep session, which left the kitchen blissfully unfettered for my cheffing needs. yet, every once in a while, i got the odd request or hug. very sweet. i totally got in my zone chopping, mixing and sautéeing, then tossing, washing and otherwise cleaning up the mess.
my mom doesn’t understand. “you do too much. we should go out next year.” she said. she doesn’t understand that this is the good part. i do a meal like this once a year and i thoroughly enjoy the entire process from planning to shopping to prepping and plating. in fact, by the time we get to the table around 2:00 tomorrow, i probably won’t even really care about actually eating the stuff. the fact that i can make this meal for the people i love is what gets me excited and makes me feel happy.
so here i sit, just minutes before that curfew. enjoying a glass of wine, which i seriously earned, decompressing, reflecting and writing this. and i am so absolutely, perfectly content. and so, so thankful that i got to spend this evening the way i did (and that everyone loved the frozen pizza).
happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating tomorrow!