Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankgiving Menu Planning

See those woods behind the bean field? Wild turkeys live there. This is my parents' farm. In July. It doesn't look like this now. Now it's cold and often windy. The beans have dried and long been harvested. The trees are mostly bare save for a few leaves vibrating in the breeze. The ground crunches with fallen nuts and dry leaves. But the turkeys are still there. They're settling in to wait out the winter. Safe. Yep, safe even this time of year. When Dad was still alive, he'd tell me about his turkey sightings whenever they'd venture out of the woods to forage. Sometimes on foggy days, they'd strut, Mick Jagger style, up to the lawn around the farmhouse looking for tasty morsels. He liked to count them and talk about them as if they were pets. Tom Turkey and his brood. I miss those conversations. The turkeys are still there, still elusive like quiet ghosts; they are there to remind me of Dad. Thanksgiving will cause them no harm. Safeway is just up the road.

I have 20 coming to Thanksgiving this year. The menu is planned, very midwest traditional, including Grandma's raisin stuffing and big bowls of jello. Today I pulled out napkins and tablecloths to wash and iron. This weekend my daughter and I will scour the weeds at some open space nearby in search of table decorations. I'm hoping for Martha-Stewart-worthy nature, but will probably wind up with, well, weeds. No matter. It's my table and I'm going to call it beautiful. So there.

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