Wednesday, November 25, 2009

just desserts

Am I supposed to feel like a loser when people ask me what we're doing for Thanksgiving and I have nothing to tell them? Nothing. We are doing nothing for Thanksgiving. We're probably going to pop over to a friend's for lunch (they live about a block down the street), but aside from that, we don't have family in town nor are we planning to cook anything elaborate, and I have to work on Friday anyway, so even the four-day weekend aspect of the holiday has lost its impact. Maybe I will make some mashed potatoes for dinner on Thursday. Maybe. But honestly, aside from the spirit of Thanksgiving--reflection, being grateful, time with family etcetera--I don't care much about the machinations of Thanksgiving, the manic preparation and ensuing frenzied cooking in particular. (Right now, somewhere out in Ohio, my mother-in-law has read that last bit and gone blind. But everyone already knows that my housewiffery is not renown, I never prevaricated otherwise.)

But anyway, as mentioned, we are going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving lunch, and as such, I felt obligated to bring something--I offered dessert. This is called "being a good guest." As opposed to showing up empty-handed, eating everything and leaving, I guess. Like I said, I really don't like to cook. In particular I loathe the cleanup but I don't really enjoy the actual cooking along the way, either, although I do it occasionally as it is a means to an end. (The end being eating.) But I have in the past made apple pie, and though the recipe is nothing special or prized (the secret ingredient is LOVE! No actually, it's extra sugar) it usually turns out pretty good and doesn't look terrible, unlike that time that I decided to make tuna casserole not via the Tuna Helper box and the results looked like something died in the pan, and something ate the carcass and then threw it up again. So, apple pie it is. I'm not going crazy or anything, I bought a frozen pie crust from Trader Joe's, but I have real apples and butter and sugar and whatnot to fill it with.

Ever since I mentioned that I am going to make this apple pie, Joe has been after me to pick up a cake from the local bakery to bring with us to Thanksgiving lunch. As this lunch is a rather small affair (it's just going to be our family and their family, and our family will only account for about 25% of the food consumed, as one member is still mostly in the soft solids phase of mastication and the other refuses to eat anything that doesn't taste like breaded chicken with ketchup) I brought up the point that we were already bringing a pie, why would we bring cake and pie? It's like stripes and polka dots, one or the other, am I right? But Joe was weirdly insistent on the cake point, reminding me again and again that we had to go get a cake, bring a cake, buy a cake. After mentioning it for, oh, the tenth time, I began to suspect that possibly the reason that he kept wanting to pick up a cake in addition is because he thought that my apple pie was going to turn out shitty, and that he wanted to have a backup dessert option so that in the event of a last-minute pie fiasco on Thanksgiving Day when everything was closed, we'd have something to bring to lunch aside from a six pack of beer and a half-empty bag of Cheetos.

Well, it didn't matter anyone since neither of us got out of work early enough to get to the bakery before it closed for the holidays. But! I got a festive box (perhaps this is overstating it's decorative value somewhat--but there is a picture of a reindeer on it at least) from Target and have filled it with cookies. I did not make the cookies, but hey, don't ask, don't tell, right? At first I was making an effort to choose cookies that weren't so obviously out of a package (for example, ix-nay on the int ilanos-may) but then as I was unboxing the cookies and fluffing them in their decorative container I noticed that the more fancy chocolate coated of the selection had the words PEPPERIDGE FARM embossed rather vulgarly all over the back end of them, so I guess the gig is up. Anyway, it's not like anyone cares if the treats are from a box or not. Cookies are cookies, and everyone likes cookies. Especially Squanto.

I'm not really sure what my point was when I started writing this entry, except that it was maybe that I am terrible at the mechanics of a traditional American Thanksgiving. The sentiment, however, I am pretty OK at.


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