RIP, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is dead to me. I’m so done with it. Year after year, I cook this meal that’s totally elaborate and delicious, but year after year it’s never on the table on time, everything is chaos, dishes are everywhere, the children are alternately ignored and yelled at, my back hurts, my feet hurt, I’m crabby and stressed, I don’t enjoy dinner when we finally eat, and then after dinner there’s still hours of clean-up. Plus, Charlotte throws up at Thanksgiving dinner every other year. (Guess which this year this was?)

This year, I finally just got fed up. Enough is enough. Next year we’re inviting friends over and buying a fully cooked Thanksgiving dinner from a grocery store. Last-week-me would have considered that base sacrilege; this-week-me thinks it sounds like the best idea ever, as long as someone else picks it up. There are meals I don’t mind cooking, like Greek Easter, and prep work I don’t mind putting in, like six hours folding spanakopita. But Greek Easter is manageable. The elements are complex but limited and almost everything can be done in advance, which makes timing simple.

Thanksgiving is out of control. It’s like a sprawling Cthulhu of culinary elements that all require chopping, toasting, roasting, basting, reducing, mixing, chilling, rising, whisking, simmering, and tasting.

My tentacles are made of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, pie, gravy, green beans, rolls, squash, and death. Happy Thanksgiving, pathetic mortal!

I even split the work with a friend this year, and it was still too much to handle. It still required all four burners, my oven, and the oven next door. It was still late, confused, and chaotic. I still got crabby and even the Pogues didn’t help, because they just added to the chaos. The moment when I snapped off “Whiskey You’re the Devil” because I just couldn’t handle one more irritant was the moment I knew that things had to change.

I probably won’t really buy a fully-cooked Thanksgiving, because I’m neurotic. But I absolutely refuse to cook Thanksgiving dinner next year. I’ll probably make something like penne alla vodka and tiramisu, and declare Slapsgiving on anyone who even hints that they think I ought to make a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.

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Or maybe I’ll just have a batch of these mixed up for anyone who wants a traditional Thanksgiving dinner

Everybody mashes it all together anyway, so it’s basically the same thing. With alcohol. And 1000% less of my effort.



  • Maggie

    Just chiming in to say that people who are “morally” offended by how food is prepared or what is served at Thanksgiving are part of the problem. The whole point of the day is to be thankful for our blessings and get together with loved ones, related or not. I host Thanksgiving but I don’t cook turkey because our immediate family doesn’t like it and who gives a flying frick what some person decades ago “decided” we should all be eating to be thankful anyway. People who must, must, must have a certain dish or they just can’t be thankful are welcome to bring it themselves. A guest in someone’s home should be “thankful” all they have to do is show up and sit down to eat and if they can’t handle that task they are welcome to host their idea of a perfect Thanksgiving next year.

  • newenglandsun

    We should just buy chicken from the Boston Market instead.

    Here’s the question, why is America the only freaking religion other than Canada that celebrates this holiday? And why making Thanksgiving a holiday any way? We’re supposed to be thankful EVERY day!

    Burger King has delicious burgers.

    Sugar high! Can’t think straight. Sorry for spamming.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Use the fact you are in Florida, and whip up a big ole’ pot of Seminole cocido augustine (chickpea and olive oil stew with bacon and clams). Tell the relatives about the real “First Thanksgiving” at St. Augustine in 1564 (well, if you ignore the French one in Jacksonville a year earlier).