The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving Meal

My daughter ate scrambled eggs and buttered toast with a side of baby carrots for Thanksgiving this year. I know there are the “kids must eat what you eat” folks – and I wish I had the backbone to stick to that. And I know there are the traditionalists who may raise their eyebrows at the coddling eggs and toast imply. But I’m pretty sure the majority of parents would have made a similar choice, if not for the same reasons.

I’ve tried to verbalize to my disappointed-in-my-laid-back-attitude husband why I shut down a little when it comes to making a big deal about holiday meals. I’m pretty sure part of it comes from my mother always trying so very hard to make each holiday perfect; we always teased her that she was trying to recreate Norman Rockwell’s idealized images.  The attempt to reach the unattainable surrounded holiday meals in layers of stress for the entire family. I always compared the amount of stress and preparation and work to the 30 minutes or so of chowing down. Throw in the clean-up and it just didn’t make sense to me. By the time I became a vegetarian in my teens and disrupted my mother’s Rockwellian dream for good, I had already decided that perfect holidays were overrated.

I’m sure there’s a lot more going on with my whatever attitude, but that’s the five-cent version.

My anti-Martha Stewart ways come in handy in very few ways. Usually, my apathy comes across as laziness, I’m sure. But when “things” happen to disrupt the ideal holiday plans, my lack of enthusiasm* for creating five-course sit-down meals with a homemade centerpiece and artisan cornbread stuffing means I don’t think twice about being flexible and spontaneous.

This Thanksgiving we went from hosting to being guests just a day before The Big Show, and it didn’t bother me at all. And when my four-year-old slept through the Thanksgiving meal and woke up asking for eggs and toast, I indulged her to keep the peace. Because, really, aren’t scrambled eggs and toast kind of the perfect meal?

* This is not to say I don’t wish I wanted to do all that more. I do! I flip through magazines and dog-ear recipes. But when it comes right down to it, I just don’t enjoy the process as much as the thought.


About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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10 Responses to The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal

  1. Michelle Longo says:

    I wish I could be as laid back as you. After a less than ideal day yesterday, next year, I’m giving up my perfect thanksgiving quest. Scrambled eggs sounds perfect.

  2. Mical says:

    Cooking well is hard work. We shouldn’t pretend otherwise. I like to cook strange food just to taste it but I rarely do it just for myself. Those of us who like to cook need gracious, enthusiastic guests. And you have always been a gracious and enthusiastic guest, so I think you’re doing your part! xo

  3. anna says:

    My kids ate almost none of the Thanksgiving meal, but had seconds on pie. As long as everyone is happy, my huz and I consider it a perfect holiday. I’d join your daughter in eggs and toast any day!

    • That’s kind of how I think of it. There are things I most definitely think of when I picture a Thanksgiving meal – stuffing, brussels sprouts, creamed onions, cranberry sauce with nuts and oranges, and mashed potatoes. I think if I stick to just making the things I really want to eat, all will be well.

  4. I dream of eggs for dinner. Eggs plus toast is pure joy. As a vegetarian I don’t make a big deal out of Thanksgiving so everyone kinda gets to eat what he or she wants. I made a bread pudding for breakfast and called it a day!

  5. Kianwi says:

    I love the Thanksgiving meal, but it’s definitely not worth it when it becomes stressful. I think that especially when it gets devoured by locusts mascarading as humans. I’m a very laid back entertainer when it’s in my home and I’m always quite happy when it is not.

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