Williams/ Chef prep
SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR
I woke up early this morning—very early, even for me. I laid there and faked it for a bit. Checked Tik-Tok for dogs talking like humans, tried to go back to sleep until one of my dogs, who thinks their human, jumped up to share my warm spot.
I laid thinking about the timing for today. Where do I have to be, what do I have to bring. Just like George Blanda, I think, spent his time on the sideline—thinking. If you don’t know who Mr. Blanda is, well, he’s dead now. But he is a great—truly great metaphor for anyone who thinks they’re too old, too far past their usefulness.
No, I’m not past my usefulness. But the game has changed, as we all know it does.
I use to do Thanksgiving. All of it. Cook it, serve it, clean it up. I didn’t want dishes to wake up to, eventually submitting to those reinforced paper plates you just tossed. Prep would start early, not quite this early but way before dawn when you have to start the stuffing. Stuffing with cooking sherry.
My brother and I
My brother and I would call each other and ask what the other’s status was on the stuffing, usually we both had our jammies on while doing so. Stuffing which took cooking sherry and of course, some for the chef. We would toast each other with our own small glass of it, then hang up and get back to work. Cooking sherry, well, it’s not really made to drink, it will mess you up if you do too much.
I eventually replaced the sherry with scotch.
If you have been following my TED talks (don’t bother trying to find it) you will know Mark’s three categories of scotch. There is your Contract/Treaties scotch. Formal scotch for a formal occasion. That would be your highland scotches like Glenlivet. Then you got your Love scotches, headlined by your McCallan. It’s smooth and seductive. Hence the category. Then, don’t forget the third type of scotch, your War scotches. Scotches you have when you know there’s no way back and it’s going to be a shit show day while you sharpen your stick with a knife because that’s all you have, and you resigned yourself to go down fighting. The best of these is Ardbeg. The first sip will cause you to punch yourself in your face. The second lets you see the loving hand of God Almighty.
This morning is as you see. A good Glenlivet. It’s formal.
I don’t do Thanksgiving like I use to
I don’t do Thanksgiving anymore. Which is just fine. I will sit on the bench, with the warm quilt of an all-weather jacket to keep the rain off, waiting for the call. My high-top cleats double knotted so they don’t make me have to bend over to re-tie them. The Young Ones have their traditions and command of the day.
I have been assigned hors d’oeuvres and a dessert. An honorable task. I have multiple locations I need to be at and I have post it notes all over my counter to remind to be there, or here, and what to bring. I don’t do much cooking on a grand scale anymore. Who’s going to eat it? Sometimes I do and it’s good for a couple of weeks. But usually I am satisfied with toast.
But it’s Thanksgiving. There have been good days like today, and some not so good. I am thankful for all of them—because they all remind me of what I have, and equally, what I am blessed NOT to have. Still in the game, at least for a while, sitting and waiting for the call, all those young players standing between me and the game, their backs to me until The Coach pushes one or two aside and we make eye contact and He gives me a nod. It’s time. I cast off my quilt and move like I had a purpose, those young eyes falling on the old man.
“out of my way!”
‘Out of my way you young bitches! I got me some Chinese, pot roast egg rolls, a bruschetta board with homemade sourdough bread, and a gluten free pie to deliver!”