Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Garage - Track

Nov. 12, 2003 - 5:40 a.m.

First things first:

A huge, dike breaking wave of appreciation is now rolling from New Jersey to Alabama. That's where unclebob sent me an e-mail from, describing in embarassingly simple terms how I can use HTML to win friends and link to outside sites. He also pointed out that my ongoing ignorance of code has also resulted in the link to my Forum not working. Thanks Unc, for both! (BTW, according to my stats, unclebob is the ONLY reader I currently have. So I'm going to start all my diary entries from now on: "Dear Bob....")


So it's T-Minus 2 weeks and counting. I figured one of us had better ask the obligatory question: What are y'all doing for Thanksgiving this year? Any cool new recipes? Any classic family treasures getting paraded around the room to general applause?

NewWifey(tm) and I will be doing something a bit different this time around. Most of my adult life I've had Thanksgiving all by myself. I usually have that day off, but have to be back to work at 3am on Friday. And that means going to bed by 5pm on Thanksgiving - just about the time my family and friends are sobering up enough to eat. So I make my big feast at around 9am and eat at 2 or so. My family knows enough not to bother even asking anymore.

Now I'm married, and that seems to have changed things in their book. I got an official invite on my answering machine yesterday to the family shindig. I can only assume that they took pity on my wife, since she is actually liked by mi famiglia. (They may have gotten wind of our last year' saga, when NewWifey(tm) insisted on throwing a full-tilt-boogie, no-holds-barred, 18 course extravaganza because she was homesick...for just the two of us. We couldn't see each other over all the food on the tablen and just finished the last of the leftovers in September).

However, here's the catch. ALL of the cooking genes in our family went to one person: Me. I kid you not. My Grandmother, bless her soul, is a wonderful tough old broad who outlived 4 husbands and is still going strong in her 80's. Drives everywhere, plays Bingo at the Church on Wednesdays, volunteers at an Old Fogey home near her and helps OTHER 80-somethings get around. She raised 6 kids through the Depression, 2 of them adopted. But the woman can't make a bowl of Cheerios without burning it. And she passed those same skills on to her kids. My mom's food made my dad gag when they first met. She made him a meatloaf out of liver once that he still talks about to this day. HIS mother, a decent cook, fearing for her son's safety, took it upon herself to teach her new daughter-in-law to use a stove. That's how my mom finally learned not only to cook, but to appreciate good food. All of which she later taught me. Which is how I became the Spatula God I am.

But my mom's sisters - my Aunts - never had the opportunity my mom did. They have pretty much become clones of my Grandma. Everything they touch in the kitchen ends up tasting like styrafoam peanuts. Tomato sauce. Jello. Salt, fer cryin' out loud. All of it, styrafoam.

Now here I am. My mom and both paternal grandparents passed away a couple of years ago. My dad and sisters are all either scattered across the country or going to in-laws' for festivities. So it's my Maternal Grandmother and her Daughters-In-Culinary-Crime who have invited me to partake of a lovingly prepared pile of carbon slag with them this Thanksgiving. Oh, and NewWifey(tm) will get to share the love this time, too.

I tried to salvage at least the turkey for the meal. I told them I had earned enough free points buying condoms at my local Food Mart that I qualified for a 48 pound bird, free, and I'd be glad to prepare it. But Grandma wouldn't hear of it. The entire shindig was being orchestrated by her and her alone, as a matter of pride. And her Sicilian pride is considerable...and dangerous. I could bring a bottle of wine if I wanted (it could be Sterno for all they care, frankly. They'll drink it. It's where I get it from). But NO FOOD FROM ME. I know better to argue with the old battle-ax. I saw what she did to those 4 husbands.

At least they are starting at around noon to accomodate my sleeping schedule. Although I think it will be at least 4 o'clock before I'm able to swallow my first forkfull, since it usually takes about that much chewing to soften anything, even the soup. The styrofoam soup. We'll see.

I think I'll get the free turkey anyway, and make it the night before. That way we'll at least have something to eat when we get home. God knows we'll probably need it.

So how 'bout you guys? Something that tastes like food, I hope.

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