Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in my corner of west-central Florida on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. It’s a cold late fall day. Currently, the temperature is 64˚F (18˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 69% and the wind blowing from the northeast at 12 MPH (19 KM/H), the wind-chill factor is 62˚F (17˚C). Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 73˚F (23˚C). Tonight, we can expect partly cloudy skies and a low of 55˚F (13˚C).
Well, with less than one day to go before Thanksgiving 2021, it seems like the Caregiver has things under control even though she has to work from her home office today. In years past, she was able to ask her supervisors at the county courthouse for the day off on the Wednesday before Turkey Day, but this year too many of her colleagues also asked for today off, so the Caregiver is one of the few employees who have to keep the wheels of the county judicial system running. She was a bit disappointed with her lot, but she is a team player and will plow ahead from her remote office in the master bedroom until 5 PM.
One of the things I’ve noticed about the Caregiver is that she is a stickler for tradition when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. This means that our group of eight will be having the following dishes:
- Oven-roasted turkey
- Glazed ham
- Green beans
- Homemade mashed potatoes
- Mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows
- Cranberry sauce
- Wild rice
- Pumpkin pie
I’ve spent six Thanksgiving seasons with the Caregiver and her family; when I still lived in Miami in 2015, we celebrated it at her sister’s apartment in Kendall, and although there are always a few minor variations depending on how many people are present, this is the basic menu for Thanksgiving.
In sharp contrast, my late mother was more flexible about Thanksgiving menus, partly because she didn’t become accustomed to American holidays until she was in her 30s – she was born and raised in Colombia, and they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving outside the smallish American ex-pat community there. Mostly, though, she deviated from the “turkey-for-the-occasion” norm because the “bird” was not her favorite meal to prepare or eat.
Instead of turkey, Mom often preferred to make roast beef with potatoes, although she often added Thanksgiving staples such as mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green beans, Stove Top stuffing, and pumpkin pie. If she opted to bow to tradition – which she did a few times before she got sick late in 2009 – she would buy a turkey breast instead of an entire bird. This was because, as I pointed out in yesterday’s blog post, my half-sister Vicky often chose to work at the hospital on Thanksgiving night so she could have Christmas Eve off instead. An entire turkey – even a small one – was wasted on Mom and me, especially since it wasn’t one of our favorite dishes.
In any case, it looks as though our annual Thanksgiving holiday preparations are going smoothly.
Well, that’s all I have to report on today, so I will close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, get vaccinated, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
 Mom always said that because turkey often tastes bland – especially the white meat – it is a particularly tricky dish to make. She could do it because she was a great cook, but only if she knew we were going to have a few more people over as guests.