Every day, I learn more. And from yesterday’s festivities:
– make the pumpkin pies the night before Thanksgiving. Usually, I do this, without fail. This year, I was so busy writing and making cranberry relish and catching up on correspondence that I forgot. Just plain forgot! This is why I woke up at 7:12 in the morning, with a start, and bolted into the kitchen to make a pie crust, almost literally in my sleep.
– if you run out of rice flour for that pie crust, a little teff holds it all together. The crust will be beige-brown before you bake it, but it will taste just as good.
– waiting two hours in a ferry line to reach Vashon is infinitely better with the Chef in the car. Between kissing, laughing, telling stories of childhood Thanksgivings, and listening to familiar music, that time raced past us like the fat raindrops on the windowsill.
– instead of worrying about composing a shot carefully, raise the camera to your eyes to capture it just as you see it. That’s what the Chef did in this shot of the turbulent water off the front of the boat, spontaneously. Beautiful.
– when you run out of regular sugar, powdered sugar really won’t substitute in a pie. I should have remembered, because the morning before I had to use powdered sugar in the Chef’s coffee. He said it made no difference. In a pumpkin pie, it makes a difference. Later in the day, Elliott took a bite of my pumpkin pie, turned to his mother, and said, “I want a piece of our pie, Mama.” Oh well. At least it wasn’t the gluten-free crust he did not like.
– if you have another piece of the only slightly sweetened pumpkin pie, it actually starts to taste better than the regular pie. We eat too much sugar anyway. Rearrange your taste buds and you don’t miss the sugar.
– gluten-free stuffing, cooked with toasted cubes of the baguettes from the Gluten-free Pantry’s French bread and pizza crust mix, is tremendous. Just tremendous. No one missed the gluten.
– watching your one true love and your brother in the kitchen, cooking together, can stop your heart with happiness, for a moment.
– the notion that one has to rise at five am to put the turkey in the oven — thus increasing the myth of mother as martyr — is poppycock. The Chef cooked our turkey in just about two hours, and it was golden-brown and juicy.
– family feasts are moments of grace, when you are with the right people, in the right moment. That split second before everyone raises the forks and digs in? That is bliss.
– gluten-free gravy that your fiance cooked, encircling mashed potatoes made from little butterballs that your brother grew in his garden, is a sight that will remain in the mind forever.
– three-year-old nephews can dominate a family dinner with more delight than any other person.
– when said three-year-old nephew asks you and your honey (his soon-to-be uncle) to pretend to eat baked slugs, stinky socks, limburger cheese, and piles of wasabi, you throw yourself into it and contort your face, just to hear him laugh. When you look over and see your favorite man beside you, holding your hand, and scrunching up his face to look as much a fool as you do, you fall in love with him even more.
– it is possible to have an entirely gluten-free, gourmet Thanksgiving dinner, with not a hint of deprivation, and everything tasting of love.
– your first Thanksgiving with the love of your life, with your family whom you adore, all of them together, as natural as breathing? Joy.
And how was your Thanksgiving?