Monday, November 19, 2007

Food! Glorious Food!

Way back when, before picky children and Weight Watchers dictated fixing up to four separate meals a night, before whiny children clung to my leg begging for some type of sustenance from the minute I walked in the house to the minute I slapped something down on the table, I used to love to cook. Big, elaborate meals, several times a week. Meals that took longer than 30 minutes to cook and longer than eight minutes to eat. I was much fatter then, sure, but I miss it anyway.

That’s why I love Thanksgiving- it’s a holiday that allows me to do about a year’s worth of cooking in one meal. I send the kids to school the day before and spend the whole day preparing food. Fancy food, comfort food, fattening food. Food that no one is sitting at my feet whining for. Food that I look forward to all year. I do this whether there is anyone joining us or not- one year I fixed a turkey, four side items, bread and dessert for just me, Chip and a five-month-old baby. We ate leftovers for two weeks, but it was worth it! And even though I generally cook something at Christmas, that holiday meal is just never as relaxing and cathartic as the one in November. Probably because food is the focus at Thanksgiving, rather than an afterthought at the end of a full day of stress and materialism. Plus there’s pro football on Thanksgiving. Perfect!

So tonight I’ll rush through cooking chicken breasts and making PB&Js, stressing about whether or not I’ll have enough time to cook the squash fries (40 minutes? OMG!), but I’ll be looking forward to Wednesday and Thursday when there is nothing on my schedule except cooking, eating and drinking. If you’re anywhere near my neighborhood next Thursday, come on by! You’ll find plenty of food and wine, and a satisfied cook who is willing to share both. As long as there’s no whining.

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