Update: Still nauseous and in bed mostly, but more comfortable than on Mon-Tues. My eye movements are going crazy! But maybe that’s because I just got out of bed.
This post is for A who is hosting DGI’s family for Thanksgiving. Now her in-laws are nothing other than really lovely people (I’m not just saying that – I know them) – but hosting anyone for Thanksgiving is daunting.
A year ago Ai Ai and Tim hosted all of us for Thanksgiving in their new house. One night Ai Ai came to talk to me before I fell asleep. I was sleeping in Hannah’s room and Ai Ai sat next to me on the colorful bed. “Umm, are you okay?” She asked. “You’re like writhing.” I think she was used to seeing me being lifted up (via a sheet under me) by nurses so she was a little alarmed by how I had to thrash around to move myself around in bed now. Her question, however, made me laugh, so she knew I was okay.
I was not laughing two years ago, when I decided it would be a wonderful idea to invite L&E, their two sons, and L’s mom over for Thanksgiving. I think I was pretty nonchalant about it until the week prior. I then started to panic. I went to the Honey Baked Ham store for a ham, but then considered the case full of frozen pre-cooked turkeys in front of me. I questioned the lady in line before me, who was carrying one, and she said she had used one last year, and it was the best idea she’d ever had. I broke down and decided to buy one. I must have still appeared a little worried since the man behind the counter took one look at me and said, “It’s going to be okay,” before he launched into the defrosting and heating instructions.
He was right – it was okay, since I bought a pre-cooked turkey and have very forbearing friends. I think L&E had to cut the bird. This was after I was super late trying to finish the side dishes and then L brought her camera out to document the event. I was appalled since my kitchen was a horrendous mess, but as you can see above, L took the pictures anyway.
I had Skyped with my family earlier that day. They were gathered at E&R’s to feast and be thankful. I took the opportunity to hold up a bag of Yukon Golds up and ask Mom, “What do I do with these?” Mommy gave me the run down on how to mash potatoes and I assumed preparing the yams would be similar. They were – except I added just a little bit of orange zest from a Satsuma I’d gotten from the overflowing baskets at work. JG my cubicle mate and walking partner had told me that a little orange juice is great in sweet potatoes. I figured zest was good, too, and they were delicious.
I bought a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert and served one of my “experimental” pies (this one was apple), too. My coup d’etat (although I was probably the only one who thought so) was the pumpkin ice cream that went with the pie. I ate that ice cream for months afterward. Good thing it was so yummy. I used to put a spoonful in my coffee in the morning.
So in the words of the Honey Baked Ham man, it’s going to be okay. I have enjoyed meals whether simple or fancy if they have been served with a hospitable spirit and a side helping of laughs. But if it eases your anxiety, distract ‘em with the side dishes!