Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Not to Cook

At Thanksgiving my girlfriends fall into two distinct camps - those who cook and those who don't. The Cookers go into lavish detail about what they're making- how big it is, how fearsome it was, and how dead it now is. Then they stop to take a breath and wait for you to pin a medal on them for their efforts.

The Non-cookers are harder to ferret out. They're usually a bit quieter about their intentions- not cooking on Thanksgiving is well, unAmerican. Sure, the oinky guys pig out and watch football. But the women - isn't it a law somewhere that they have to put on an apron and a show? So the Non-cookers lie low, like guinea hens in the fallen leaves, hoping the Cookers won't notice them and cluck their disapproval.

Lately a few have come out of the culinary closet. This take the kind of guts not found in a Butterball. "I'm not cooking this year," one blurted out the other day. "I'm sick of it. I don't even like turkey. And I really don't like it trampled into my carpeting."

Some of us gave her a matched set of understanding glances. "I can't stand my relatives," another whispered. "I don't like having them in my house, judging my cooking and picking apart my life. Last year my nephew hid a drumstick in the recliner. For a month the whole place smelled like the dumpster behind KFC."

We nodded in agreement. "No kidding," another chimed in. "Why is it so bad not to cook? I work my tail off all week. I get a day off, I'm gonna slave away in the kitchen? Not. I'd like to lie on the couch all day, too. I'm gonna order a pizza. Who's with me?"

By now we could feel the icy stares of the Stepford Cookers upon us. Their barnyard chit chat had stopped.Through the haze of thickening gravy and stuffing recipes, they were sizing us up. Finally, though, we didn't care. We were tired, our self respect sucked out like so much gizzard drippings. They could tsk, tsk and pooh-pooh their hearts out - our wishbone had just snapped.

This year, I give thanks that I do not have to stick my hand up the butt of a frozen fowl. I give thanks that I will not stand on my feet all day to prepare a meal that will be consumed or condemned in half an hour. I give thanks that Uncle Bruno will not be here plugging our plumbing, and that my nephew won't be rummaging through my dresser drawer looking for 'fun buzzy toys.'

A true holiday is not a when or a where or a what. It's a who. The meal could be Cheetos and a Tab-get the right people there and bam!- Thanksgiving.

If you need me, I'll be on the couch pretending to watch the game. Really, though, I'll be revelling in the warm glow of my kids. If you don't need me, please join me.


Anonymous said...

o.m.g.- i had cheerios and diet coke for breakfast!

happy thanksgiving! -insomniac

Annie said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, insom. Thanks for making me laugh.

Kristina said...

Happy Thanksgiving! My excuse is that I don't like turkey :) Last Thanksgiving, I had a bagel, I think.

gjd said...

I do cook for Thanksgiving, but it is a casual/traditional affair. I share the cooking with my guests, so nobody does too much. THAT said, it is the ONLY time of year that I cook a big meal. My holiday to not cook is Christmas. We put out a spread of finger foods and munch away all day as the spirit moves us. You are right that the important part is to celebrate what the day is really about and to enjoy!

diverdowndoc said...



ScottMGS said...

Love that turkey, Annie!

Annie said...

scott - you can actually make it look like that - use aluminum foil to cover the parts that shouldn't tan.

Anonymous said...

I love to cook on Thanksgiving but Christmas is my day to laze away - bring on the Dim Sum!!!