Friday, November 25, 2011

A Brooklyn Thanksgiving

Andrew and I have celebrated Thanksgiving in a variety of ways over the past five years. In 2007, we cooked a huge meal just for the two of us in our apartment in Sacramento. In 2008, we ate a Zen vegan feast in a small, middle-of-nowhere lodge in Japan. In 2009 and 2010, we ate outside in Napa with the Clarks. And now, for the first time ever, we had Thanksgiving in Brooklyn.

Molly and Ian came up for the holiday, and while Molly and I tended to Greta and Lucia, Andrew and Ian prepared our meal. Andrew ambitiously followed a Tom Colecchio turkey recipe and made an amazing dried-cherry-and-pecan stuffing from Cook’s Illustrated; he spent much of the previous evening doing something with turkey necks. This picture illustrates why Andrew, not I, was in charge of the turkey. (Raw turkey skin—ick.)

We had Barbra, Chris, and Alex over for the meal as well. Lucia tried a bite or two of squash, two cranberries, half a roll, and a miniscule bite of turkey, as well as some sliced American cheese and steamed baby carrots. (On a better day, she might have tried more; but she has been sick again, coughing and stuffy, slightly feverish, surely beginning a several-years trend of one or the other of our children getting sick over the holidays.) Greta was not at the table with us—she slept through the meal in her bouncy chair—but we were all happy she was with us nonetheless.

Note that both my children are absent from this group picture, though the edge of Greta's chair and the back of Lucia's head are both visible:

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving and a lovely few days all around. Lucia warmed to Molly and Ian immediately, not least because they brought her a talking Elmo and a whole package of new Play-Doh. The night before Thanksgiving, Andrew and I had a particularly difficult night with Greta, involving very little sleep as well as a dramatic instance of projectile vomit; in the morning, after Andrew got Lucia out of her crib, she ran out into the living room by herself, ready to play—remarkable since even with beloved grandparents she usually needs some easing-in time each morning.

I desperately wanted Ian to take a family picture of the four of us, but that did not go according to plan. Lucia seemed fully willing to sit for a picture until it was time to sit for the picture I wanted. Ah well. This is probably a better representation of our current life anyway:

Lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, cranky toddlers included, though I have to confess I did a horrendous job of introducing Thanksgiving to Lucia. She loved seeing all the pumpkins, ghosts, and so on in the neighborhood for Halloween, and knew that ghosts say “Boo!”; but she can’t even make a gobbling sound. I had grand plans for turkey crafts, appropriate books, and perhaps even Charlie Brown, but none of those things came to pass. (Greta is to blame, of course, but she’s too cute to single out here.) I shall redeem myself at Christmas.

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