Our first Connecticut Thanksgiving was fabulous, thanks to my lovely wife, her new kitchen, and our wonderful guests, Debbie, her brilliant son Jonathan and his brilliant friend Angela, and our former neighbors, Gary, the other Debbie, Jake and Jeremy.
The next day, as I was putting the good dishes away, encasing them in their quilted covers with the round foam inserts between them, I wondered, as I do whenever we use the good dishes, why the hell we own good dishes. I mean, doesn’t that imply that our immediate family is not good enough for the good dishes, that only the bad dishes are appropriate for our use? Are the people we have over on special occasions too good for our everyday dishes, and, if so, why do they bother to socialize with us at all? Shouldn’t they be hobnobbing with folks who use good dishes every day?
And don’t get me started on the “good” silverware! From what I recently discovered about Barbara’s heirlooms, it’s probably plated anyway (but that’s a subject for another post).
Anyway, here are a few highlights of our Thanksgiving:
>Because our new massive dining room table is not in yet, the wobbly kitchen table was pressed into service as an auxiliary table. It somehow literally rose to the occasion by not wobbling at all.
>The colorful wine glass charms, which were supposed to stick to the glasses via suction cups, did what anything that depends on suction cups always does: not stay on. Suction cups are arguably the least effective invention ever, if you ignore all those quack electric devices created at the end of the 19th Century, like The Electric Belt and The Electric Hairbrush.
>I discovered that we own an electric knife. I do not know why. I only know that while Barbara was in the kitchen carving the turkey, the rest of us were in the dining room thinking she was involved in some sort of advanced carpentry project.
>In what has become a Thanksgiving tradition, Jonathan, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in robotics, attempted to explain a scientific principle to Gary, who tries to avoid any technology invented after 1950 including, and rightfully so, the electric knife. Last year, Jonathan explained why people in Australia don’t fall off the world. This year, the subject was the inner workings of the brain, specifically, the mental steps the brain takes to get from one place to another, and why it’s difficult to replicate that in artificial intelligence. He was aided in this by Angela, who is actually studying the inner workings of the brain. When they were done, I believe Gary had difficulty crossing the room.
>Casey baked one of her incredible challahs. It was perfectly round, and golden brown, and about the size of a small space ship. Jake spent several entertaining moments trying to figure out how to slice it. It might have helped if someone had said a hamotzi blessing, but probably not.
>Casey’s boyfriend Alex described the retreat on which he’s about to embark, during which he will spend 10 days in meditation without speaking. We took bets on how long he’d last. It’s not so much the “no speaking” part we doubt, it’s the “no iPhone” part.
>We showed Debbie the spot on the wall we have reserved for the photograph she’s going to take on her upcoming trip to Cuba. It will be a shot of Cuban people standing in front of an art deco building, because that is the shot we have asked for. This is why it’s good to be friends with a photographer.
>The other Debbie filled us in on the latest antics of their new neighbors, the people who bought our condo. To make a long story short, it seems that everybody in the development, not to mention the entire town, has a new appreciation of what a good thing they had when we lived there.
>At one point, dinner was interrupted by a loud bang. This was Casey and Alex smashing their heads together. They do not remember what they were doing that caused the collision. Considering the volume of the crack, they’ll be lucky if that’s all they forget.
>There was way too much food. There would have been way too much food anyway, but then Alex put it over the top by bringing an unexpected platter of cauliflower. Yes, that’s right. Turkey and forty-seven side dishes, but that cauliflower was the killer. Take note: when you are invited somewhere for dinner, unless you are specifically asked for it, don’t bring cauliflower.
>The turkey, which may have taken a tad too long getting there, was perfect when it did.
With great friends and my little family all together, it would have been a terrific gathering anywhere.
But it was really nice in our new home.
See you soon.