Excuse me are you listening? 4-23

Dear Readers,
    Thanksgiving is a time of year for sharing with family and going over your family’s house and eating until your heart is content.  You may have to make a dish or get the children dressed up some years.  Other years, you may go empty handed and bring back a plate or two.
     This year my husband Frank made a grand proclamation, “I would like to have Thanksgiving dinner at home.”
     I guess after dropping numerous hints this year about how much he loves Thanksgiving, he thought that he might as well start being more specific after not seeing a turkey in the house on the Monday prior too.
    I had my own plans, the newspaper had to be out a day early and my nerves were scattered tying up loose ends.
    When I was done Tuesday, I decided that I would go to Meijer.  I usually do not use a list but this time I decided to get fancy and go online to the Meijer website.  I went online and looked over the sales and made a list.  
   I thought I was the coolest.  I loaded the children in the truck (I should have thought twice about this) and we were off for my first detailed Thanksgiving shopping trip.  This year I was going to make dressing instead of stuffing.  I learned about dressing when I married my husband.  It took me many years to appreciate it’s taste.  Maybe it took me many years just to figure out that I did not have to make the same stuffing that I had grown up with on my mother’s kitchen table and to start creating traditions of my own.
    I was going to be Betty Crocker this year and make everything from scratch.  Whoa, before you start shaking your head, I have been told that I can “put my foot in a pot”.  When I first, heard that saying I was pretty confused, it just means that a person can cook.  
    I cook dinner about 5 times a week and most of it is from scratch.
    Of course, while at Meijer, the list that took me a half hour to print did not help because it was not in the order of the aisles.  Oh yeah, I forgot to add also that most of the items that you are buying for holiday dinners are not usually on the top of your shopping list any other time.
       I was zig-zagging through Meijer like a maniac.  I had two carts because on my Thanksgiving shopping day, we found out the my 4-year old was too big to sit in the front of the cart.  The 3-year old always sat in the back so he could sneak things into the cart.  My 4-year old loved to sit in the front so that she could offer advice about how fast or slow I was going or what she really needed to try because she saw it on television and she is so sure that I would love it.
    She was not happy about not being able to fit into the cart and proceeded to have a nervous breakdown in the front of Meijer.
So my 13-year old was responsible for driving the cart with her in it because I needed to concentrate.
    To make a long story short I was in Meijer for three hours!!!  I finally called my husband and admitted defeat. I sometimes try to encourage him to take all three children shopping with him.  He gives me that “yeah, right, not until they are working and can buy their own groceries” look.  My husband is always given me looks, he does not talk much but after 10 years, I have become a professional at deciphering his ‘looks’.
    But I bought fresh yams and sweet potatoes.  I wanted to know what the real difference in taste was (as a side note I did not taste a huge difference).  I had to make fresh cranberry sauce, of course because my mother does, not because anyone actually eats it.  I had two carts full of food and a headache.
     I got my turkey and some Cajun seasonings. I bought a turkey from Popeye’s one year and it was so good that I decided that every time we have a turkey I would try to duplicate it’s flavor.  I came very close this year. 
    So the only thing that I had a problem with was getting the secret dressing recipe.  For something that is predominantly made out of day old cornbread, people sure get picky about giving out dressing recipes.  
     After having a couple of people conveniently forget to give me their recipe, I went out online and looked up  Southern dressing.  One of the ingredients was a quarter cup  of bacon fat.  Whoa.  
      I had never seen bacon fat as an ingredient in a recipe.  I was more shocked that it was a 1/4 cup.  Well to make a long story short.  It was the best dressing that I had ever had.  It took a long time to make but it was quite tasty.  I made homemade macaroni and cheese, red potatoes, homemade gravy (with no lumps),  fresh collard greens from my garden and an apple pie.  
      I hear sleigh bells ringing… I hope there is a cook, maid and server on the sled to help me with Christmas dinner.
Rina Risper