Saturday, November 27, 2010

On Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving.  To me, it is the quintessential American holiday.  Secular in design, but can incorporate spiritual elements if you'd like, the point is to gather with family or friends, overindulge in the bounty of the harvest, and get a Thursday off work.  Add the prospect of four solid back-to-back days of college and professional football, and I really cannot find a downside to this holiday.  You are supposed to take a moment to appreciate all the good things in your life, which few people do as often as they should - bonus!

My attempt at the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Thanksgiving is also the end of Fall, my favorite season.  I don't know if it is climate change of just freakish weather, but summer seemed to have stuck around until Mid-October, and our first frost did not happen until November.  Even without this, the moment that Halloween is over, the Christmas/Winter season starts.  When you know that you have a hard 4 months of winter coming, it really is rather mean to try to force 5 months.  November is the last hurrah - the last chance to spend days outside, the end of the college football season and the ability to drink beer in parking lots without fear of criminal prosecution, the end of local fresh produce.  It's also the month with the smell of burning leaves in the air.  Where the house smells like roasted squash and nutmeg.

Thanksgiving is the celebration of fall.  A giant roasted bird that needs the oven turned on for 4 hours (which you are NOT going to suffer through in July), the sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and root vegetables which can be taken out of their cold storage bins and roasted.  That final crop of green beans - planted after the Mexican Bean Beetle has died and harvested right at the last frost.  At today's farmers' market, the last outdoor market of the year, it was obvious that the growing season was over.  Until April, possibly May, we will have to content ourselves with the frozen food, canned food prepared at the height of the growing season, and those waxy texture-less imports from Chile.  Boo.

Thank you, Fall.  I don't always appreciate you until you are over, but I will miss you.

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