is different this year. My husband has been gone for nearly four months on a contract consulting gig across the country. I’m holding down the fort.

Great news is that he’ll be home in a few days, briefly, then meet me at Nanny’s 1,500 miles away for Thanksgiving. Sadly, I’m driving his car there and he’ll take it the rest of the way. He flies in, I fly home.

There is something to say for strategic planning. I’m not good at cards or picture puzzles but give me a problem and I’ll think about it and find ten ways to do it then awaken at 3 a.m. and have it down. Outside the box.

Interestingly my husband and I often come up to the same or very similar conclusion even though we go through very different mental processes to get there. He’s left brain/physics and I’m right brain/liberal arts. Yes, I’m sinistre and he’s dextrous, as handwriting is concerned.

The puzzle is that I can bring anything I want to Thanksgiving in the car and take as little as possible back on a plane or planes. My husband’s task is to take as little on a plane as possible to me at our shared destination while having enough casual clothing for Nanny’s, then driving with everything I think he needs for the next few months (simple things like a winter jacket and perhaps some corduroy trousers for weekends).

We bought my mother-in-law a 1957 Necchi sewing machine, gorgeous, all metal. It’s in the car. So is 25 pounds of food. There’s another wrinkle to this puzzle. The dog can’t know I’m leaving so I’m taking one thing out at a time. Yes, she will have a responsible young woman staying here with her but gets upset when my husband and I leave with suitcases.

Thanksgiving has led me to many thoughts of food, as I started 12 years ago as a girlfriend who brought some spiced almonds and cashews to place on Nanny’s kitchen table for noshing. I’m a northerner in southern territory and would not even think to make a side dish or dessert and compete with the southern ladies.

Now there are at least 35 desserts but as a 12 year wife I get to bring up to seven dishes, melding the war of northern aggression with the south that will rise again. M-I-L and I literally dance around the kitchen for days cooking.

This year, I’m just getting started: spicy almonds and cashews (Epicurious); boursin and toasts; Dee’s marinated Kalamata olives; cranberry spread; brussels sprout and cauliflower gratin; corn and chorizo casserole; and mincemeat tarts.

There’s always a lot of meat at these gatherings and as we all age some of us and younger generations want to be at least part-time vegetarians. I help out in that regard. No, I do not put a sprig of parsley on a meaty plate. Nor do I place naked broccoli on a platter. With sixty guests there are vegetarians and I like to provide something satisfactory. It may not be the healthiest meal in the world but it’ll be tasty and perhaps have some toasted pine nuts in/on it and some Parm.

There are gifts in the offing as well, but I cannot tell of that, as I look forward to our annual family gathering. Cheers! Dee

ps I went to the bank and got $20 in quarters. Last time I went through this stretch of road there were no people, I’d run out of quarters so threw the toll booth a dollar bill. Their receipts added up at the end of the day but for two years I’ve kept the receipt in case there’s a warrant out for my arrest.

pps Italian change purse from Dad. $20 in quarters for toll booths. In the car. I’ll keep secretly packing from the dog, another week and a half. D




One response to “Thanksgiving

  1. **Snort!!** I hardly think they’ll be releasing the hounds for a toll booth infraction… (you paid it anyway!)
    Can’t wait to see the sleek Italian sewing machine, but sorry you’ve had a rough late summer/fall season. Only 2 more wks!!!

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