Let’s just say that there’s still a half gallon of gravy in the refrigerator. We seriously overshot the gravy requirement.
There are seven extra people staying at our house, which is great. This place is like a kibbutz. It completely maxes out the accomodations here, but having eleven people in a house makes for things that don’t otherwise happen.
1. Food. Somebody’s always fixing a meal in the kitchen. You can go in the kitchen at any time, and somebody will have a concept for food going, and you can just pile on. Grilled turkey panini with tapenade? I am IN.
2. Shoes. There are so many shoes and jackets all over the place that if you want to go outside, you just grab some shoes and a jacket, and they’re likely to fit.
3. The endless playgroup. There are four boys here between the ages of four and eleven, plus one two-year-old girl. This may be the perfect permutation of small humans, because the boy clump shifts and mixes, and just when they start to gnaw on each other too much, the girl wanders in and is so uniformly charming that whatever head-butting is going on stops instantly. She has this effect on adults too. The charm offensive. She is brutal yet effective in laying on the cute. Mercilessly cute.
4. The mysterious dishwasher. Somebody in the family is washing dishes and putting them away. I have a suspicion about who it is. She thinks I don’t notice this.
5. Guitar Hero III. There’s a lot of “Sweet Child o’ Mine” coming out of the TV these days. The Wii has this game where you have a plastic guitar and you play every single terrible song you ever heard growing up. I was told that I should start with “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” because it’s, like, stupid easy.
6. Staying up late and talking. Last night we were all talking while yawning, yet we kept talking. It was like a game of chicken; nobody wanted to be the one to cave. We may have actually talked while sleeping, I don’t really know.
7. Election predictions. At dinner last night, which included a dozen more cousins imported from all over the country, we all made our predictions for the 2008 presidential election. We put them in a time capsule (aka a Ziploc bag to be placed a frankly sort of insecure and disclosed location) to be opened next Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to see who wins. I am insanely interested in the upcoming election, and I think we all should be. These are tangled times, and there are stark choices among the candidates.
8. Achievement in carving. The day before Thanksgiving I noticed that the most-emailed article in the New York Times was a video of a butcher in New York explaining how to get the most meat out of your turkey. This was a weirdly moving video for me–I can’t really explain it except that the guy is so clearly a genius at carving meat. He was so matter of fact about his profession, yet so good at it. He said that he thinks about carving a turkey as a butcher does, not a chef. The goal is to get the most meat possible from the bird. So I figured, we have two turkeys this year, so if I totally botch one, I get a second chance.
Vegetarians may not want to see this, but here’s how it went.
It worked, people. This 15-pound bird yielded 14.8 pounds of turkeyish goodness. Pretty much. OK, I’m exaggerating. But if you’re getting a bird for the holidays, here’s your ticket to a whole new way to carve.
9. Knitting. Feeling very tiny about knitting, very back to basics as I make squares for Oliver’s Blanket. I carry them around in my purse, a tiny ball of yarn and a pair of needles. I’m using the littlest leftover balls of sock yarn I can find, spit-felting these scraps together. It’s such a simple thing to do; I like thinking about all the squares being made for this blanket, and how it’s going to look when it’s all assembled.
10. Family as destiny. I actually caught myself saying what my grandmother would say to us within an hour of our arrival at her house in Selma: “When you coming back to see me?” I said this. To family members who were standing right in front of me. AAAAAACK! They aren’t coming back: they are actually here, this minute!
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Wishing you all a great nap sometime this weekend. I gotta go figure out how to make a gravy smoothie. Or something.