Monday, November 20, 2006

Turkey a la Mode

As a kid, I celebrated the traditional family Thanksgiving - all day cooking, tons of food, a cool fall nip in the air. My mom would try to intercept my grandmother from salting the traditional daylights out of every dish. My younger brother would stand by the temperamental oven with the fire extinguisher, in case it 'overheated,' a traditional Celtic term meaning housefire. My other brother would discover a sudden, latent interest in football, aka 'any-excuse-not-to-help-in-the-kitchen.' My younger sister would 'help,' but ruin anything she touched, so our mom would shoo her off to play. At the time I thought my sister was clueless. Now I work with people who practice similar levels of incompetency. I call it planned adolescence.

Sometimes traditions bite. I used to prepare a big turkey, stuff it and roast it. My ex-to-be would then rise from his slumber on the couch, consume the burnt offering, burp, and return to his cushioned throne of torpor. Not long after that, I told the big turkey to stuff it.

I've started a new tradition. On the day before Thanksgiving, we go to the grocery store and watch the frantic shoppers. On Thanksgiving Day, we carve the traditional Southern California turkey...made of ice cream. On the day after Thanksgiving, we go to the mall and watch the frantic shoppers. And we give thanks for our untraditional traditions.