This year is the OFF year, meaning that our married sons feast with their in-laws. That does NOT mean, however, that I get out of cooking. Hubby insists upon having turkey dinner AND all the trimmings in order to procure left-overs. This is from a man who doesn’t particularly like left-overs!
I don’t really mind throwing together a feast because I don’t cook all that much. And I am not particularly good at it. As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t really like to cook. Oh, once in a while I get in the mood to bake or to try a new recipe, but most of the time, I throw together pretty pathetic dinners – unoriginal repeat offenders.
I do prepare a nice Sunday dinner that provides a meal or two later in the week. I guess it’s only right to create a Sunday-type dinner on Thursday. Because the guests are very few in number, I won’t knock myself out like I do when my daughters-in-law (who are gourmet cooks) sit at the table.
I won’t resort to roasting a Jenny-O turkey roll, but I will serve Stove-Top Stuffing with added veggies: sautéed celery, onions, and mushrooms. I’ve already thrown a frozen Marie Calendar pumpkin pie in the oven so I can bake the frozen Rhodes Rolls tomorrow.
I’ll serve canned cranberry sauce – both the jellied and the chunky versions, BUT I am preparing a side dish I haven’t fixed in decades – the traditional French green bean casserole. You know – the one made with mushroom soup, topped with canned French onions. Now that’s gourmet cookin’!
I know the menu sounds like it’s just a step above frozen turkey TV dinners, but we will enjoy Mom’s candied yams, and the potatoes won’t be the instant variety. And it should outshine the turkey dinner at the Yellowstone Hotel that my parents, sister and I suffered through many years ago.
The event was NOT Thanksgiving but rather Christmas Eve. Mom usually prepared a delicious dinner for our family and my grandparents. That particular year, however, Grandma H. had passed away, and Grandma and Grandpa B. moved to Leisure World in Southern California.
Mom thought it might be kind of fun to dress up and go to the Bannock Hotel, home of the most elegant and delicious food in Pocatello. Unfortunately, when we arrived we learned that we needed reservations. Mom was shocked! “Who eats out on Christmas Eve?”
Hungry, we drove from one restaurant to another only to find that they were either closed or booked. Finally, our hunt brought us to the Yellowstone Hotel, located near the railroad station. Now, the hotel may have been a winner WAY back in the day, but not in the early 1960s. Disappointed, we wandered back to the dining room where we found plenty of empty tables. In fact, we had the place to ourselves!
And like Ralphie’s family in A Christmas Story, we sadly picked at our dry turkey and even drier stuffing. Now, we laugh and laugh about that experience, but it was dismal enough that when I considered eating out on Thanksgiving, a vision of the Yellowstone Hotel discouraged the thought!
I am thankful we’ll be eating at home tomorrow!
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