By Bobbe White
Written for the White Pages 11.23.16 at wtad.com
Is that sweat on your forehead? “ Noooo, that’s P2 (P-squared: pressure to perform). Do I hear your stomach churning? I thought so, but figured that’s the shout of glee: “IT’S THANKSGIVING!” I love Thanksgiving, because the gifts are “F4” (F to the 4th power): food, family, friends and football, minus huge outlays of funds for the wrapped kind of gifts. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving, in its intended simplicity, can be “F6″ (F to the 6th power) which includes frazzled and fighting. Ease up on yourself and others. Martha Stewart isn’t slaving away in your kitchen. Your table guests have expectations, which may or may not be met. Enter my Thanksgiving flops, which always tickle me at Thanksgiving. (1) My assignment was pecan pie. While my reputation for culinary excellence is a bit weak, pecan pie is one thing I can do well. Except when it rides on my lap in the car. Apparently, the heater unsolidified the solidified. Three hours later, upon arrival, my royal blue corduroy slacks (stop, it was the ‘80s) looked like flooded farm rows of Central Illinois. Each velvety rib of fabric was like a Mississippi levee, containing brown, syrupy liquid. UGH. Those slacks weren’t salvageable; even the cleaners couldn’t crack the Karo code, which caramelized between the levee walls. My brother-in-law distributed straws, because that was the best way to consume my pie. Starbucks could make millions on this new creation: Pecan Brûlée Macchiato. Unlike today, I was mortified at being the Thanksgiving turkey. (2) When planning Thanksgiving at my first home, I knew some guests liked dry white meat; the others preferred dark. Even if you’ve never prepared a turkey, guess which side is up while roasting? Yep, the Breast. Not that year. I don’t know if I was confused by its anatomy or what, but our breast swam in drippings. I could’ve salvaged my pride, by righting it on the platter, except an observant guest yelled, “YOU COOKED THE TURKEY UPSIDE DOWN! HAHAHAHAHAHA!” Yeah, Ha. I’ve progressed since then, and that’s one thing I’m thankful for, the ability to unexpect the expected. Not everyone will like everything, or the fact that they were asked to bring black olives, instead of green. Big deal. Someone will be late (again). Count on it. Someone else will be missing-for a good – or not so good reason. Deal. Some prefer watching Redskins @ Cowboys; others will fight for the remote to watch the National Dog Show. Big woof. Everyone’s family is just one clown short of a circus. (Thanks, but those aren’t my words; however, there’s a dish towel at the Salty Sun…) I have a bib on my gift shelf I’d love someone to wear, except our youngest this year is 25 ½. It reads, “You’re kidding…I’m related to these people??” And therein lies the rub. Not the dry kind for your bird, but the kind that can rub some of the much needed JOY into the OY of Thanksgiving. Hope for humor during the flops, flaws and faux pas. Be accepting. Unexpect the expected. Because we all get a little bit crazy at the holidays. Well feathers! I left two dozen farm, fresh eggs under my desk at work last night. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to the store I go…
Happy Thanksgiving from the White house.