Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Cranberry Thanksgiving (Story Sunday)

As a young bride, I often tried, without success, to impress my new in-laws by hosting family gatherings and cooking for everyone. Their respect was very important to me and out of lovefor my husband, they always showed up. A year after we were wed, I sent out the invitations, declaring the whole clan must come for a Thanksgiving Feast like no other. I had a wonderful menu planned that included many dishes I had never made before and I set about it with my Betty crocker Cookbook and determination to make them remember the meal forever.

I spent 14 hours straight in the kitchen, placing each dish into a tightly sealed tupperware bowl the day before. I had planned to reheat the courses as we wanted them, spreading the meal out over hours, where I had various forms of entertainment planned. The house smelled like a buffet and all day long, I kept having to sweep my husband from the room to keep him out of the blue and green bowls growing higher and higher in the refrigerator.

Finally, it was time for the gathering and I hurried to get everything ready for the first course, which included a vegetable tray, pineapple shrimp tenders, and a homemade cranberry sauce salad. During this time, my in-laws were arriving, being greeted by my husband and settling in to enjoy all the great odors in the air. I served them a light wine and the first course right on time and my pride was evident in how I hovered and offered seconds.

Then it came time for the main course. Turkey giblet gravy over homemade stuffing and slabs of smoked turkey and russet potatoes with green beans and ham chunks. I reheated and brought it out on trays, watching anxiously as the first bites were taken. And there was silence.

Now, my husbands family liked me very much and would not hurt my feelings but my young husband, with half a bite still in his mouth, calmly asked if I had used cranberries in all of the meals. Everything tasted like the sharp berries and when I looked closer, I could see every dish had that vivid swirl of red. Somehow, the cranberry salad had bled into my other dishes.

I hurried to the kitchen to serve another course and was horrified to find that all the lids on my Tupperware bowls had come loose and a simple spill had ruined every dish I made. I immediately burst into tears and locked myself in the bathroom. When my husband and his snickering family pried me out, we went out to a Perkins restaurant for our Thanksgiving Feast. It tasted nothing like cranberries.

A few years later, I took my Betty crocker cookbook and Tupperware bowls back out of storage and tried again, with much more success but everyone in the family still laughs when someone mentions cranberries.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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