Thanksgiving Lite, No Food Coma

Don’t laugh.

Our Thanksgiving  at the cottage was a day late, to accommodate traffic exigencies and the schedules of all four members of our nuclear family–that’s not counting our young cat, who didn’t really care when or where she got her usual ration of indoor cat pate.

And no, we didn’t have turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, white turnip (or sauerkraut if you’re from Baltimore), or any other Thanksgiving staples.

We roasted a 4 pound chicken from the Star Market, using Marcella Hazan’s old reliable recipe, with a whole lemon pierced and stuffed into the bird’s cavity.

We  baked  small Yukon potatoes and Brussels sprouts (Ina Garten style, sans the pancetta, for our son who doesn’t eat pork).

I made my mother -in-law’s pink applesauce, cooking the apples with their skins and then using a ricer to separate the skins from the pink pulp.

Cornbread  came from the box– the Trader Joe’s mix–sweeter than most cakes.

And for dessert, June’s Apple Crisp, another family standby, from The Silver Palate Good Times  cookbook.

So our bellies were full. 

And there’s still apple crisp and cornbread left over.

Both grown sons have returned to their separate abodes to prepare for the coming week. The parents are back home, the chicken carcass and leftover meat is now soupified, joined by leeks, onion, carrot and spices, for tonight’s Sunday supper, with the last bit of the applesauce. Oh, and that apple crisp.

Sometimes it feels just right to break with tradition. 

And we didn’t miss the food coma.

“November Sunset: 4:14 PM,” in Bear Review

I wrote this poem, a broken sonnet,  as part of a poem-a-day series I did last fall,  on the approach of the winter solstice. It appears online (and in print)  in Bear Review, out of St. Louis, Issue 3, Spring 2017.

November Sunset: 4:14 PM

As I cut the skinny branches of the smokebush
I hear a loud rattle in the sky. A black helicopter
descends, disappears. The noise of the chopper
carries from the playground at the end of the block.
I snip branches into small pieces, toss them
into the leaf bag with the rosebush clippings.
A woman walking by with her young daughters
tells me the helicopter med-vac’d someone,
deposited the accident victim with the EMTS.
The afterschool director ran out to investigate.
I drag the last leaf bag to lean against the retaining wall.
All that’s left alive: the rosemary, hellebore, a lone red cabbage.
The solstice approaches, a fixed point in the middle distance.
Inside, the black night shows itself in tall kitchen windows.