It’s that time of year again. The air is crisp, the trees are showing off their autumn colors, football is in full swing and Turkey Day is upon us. It’s the one time of year that so many people remember to be thankful…oblivious to the need to be thankful all year round. Oh well.
What am I thankful for? Every day that I wake up breathing. My granddaughter, sitting on my lap and talking to me about Elmo. My deeply and dearly Beloved, bringing me white chocolate peppermint kettle corn (at Wegman’s, OMG good) and a cinnamon pretzel because he knows I like them. A roof over my head and food in mah belly. A computer that lets me connect with my family and friends, and make new friends. And play endless hours of mindless games when I cannot do anything else. The ocean. The sunset. (I don’t see sunrises, I’ve heard that they can be just as magnificent.) Water when I’m thirsty. Wine when I’m with friends. Black Bear Bistro. My purple PT Cruiser. The quiet stillness of a forest clearing, carpeted in pine needles and glowing green. Fireworks. Hot tea. My children and the fact that they are my friends as well. My children’s significant others. The beauty of the first snowfall and the fact that I can see it from inside of a warm house. Rocks. Technology. That Mr. Obama is our President and has four more years of bringing us together as a nation. That women voted and made their voices heard. Froggy. The generosity of strangers. Life.
We have so much to be thankful for, Beloved and I. We’ve received letters stating that we applied for SSDI. We knew that, but everyone wants a copy of that letter. Mine actually went out to some place in West VA, to be sent to me through the kindness of the poor person who had it tucked in with their correspondence from SSA. We have a signed lease, which means a secure place to live for at least another year. We’ve gotten the paperwork to fill out for HIS Long Term Disability (fingers crossed that it will be approved, it means Mo’Money and that’s always good).
We haven’t been very good about moving forward with our plan to simplify things and move them all around. We did get rid of our large microwave, trading it to his mother for her little one. “Are you sure?” Oh yes, yes we are. Take it and heat things up in good health and with our best wishes. I’ve got the big cabinets almost emptied of stuff so that we can dismantle them and put smaller, more usable things in their place in the kitchen. And we may not have to drive to IKEA for that kitchen cart–our Target has something suitable, with a folding shelf that makes it into a breakfast bar or adds work space if needed. We borrowed a dolly cart from his dad and hopefully, when our friend with the muscles comes over this week, she will be willing to move some things for us.
So Thursday is Thanksgiving and I am responsible for the star of the show–I am cooking the turkey. Well, first, I am brining the turkey, using a much altered version of Alton Brown’s brining recipe. He uses vegetable stock and water. I am going to brine my Tom in Dr. Pepper (and water). The throw back version, made with real sugar. Did you know that Dr. Pepper has like 26 different and distinct flavors in it? So Tom will swim in Dr. Pepper, pickling spices, sugar and salt and ice. It’s called osmosis and when he’s done swimming, he will be a most moist and flavorful bird. And we’re just beginning.
On Thursday, I will weave a magical blanket for Tom out of…BACON! YES! A bacon blanket, to cover his turkeymanboobs. Then, I will wrap his tender trusting legs in more bacon. I will not wrap his wings in bacon because I will tuck them up behind his neck…. I might carefully powder him just ever so slightly with Old Bay spice, since everyone loves an Old Bay Spice TurkeyMan. I will lovingly insert aromatic vegetables into the thoughtfully available cavity between his bacon-wrapped limbs. And I shall follow the Kitchen God’s (Alton Brown’s) instructions for roasting: 15 minutes at 500 degrees, then 350 until the correct internal temperature is ALMOST reached.
(Because when you take him out of the oven, Tom continues to cook; take him out a few degrees below done and by the time you are ready to carve, he will have reached the exactly correct temperature and will NOT be overdone and inedible.)
And he shall sweat and simmer and gently roast, bathed in the slow gentle rendering of bacon fat. His skin shall crisp and brown, the bacon will also crisp but the meat…shall be so sweet, so succulent and melt in the mouth tasty. It will be like eating the food of the gods and we shall rejoice and be thankful for the generous bird, who gave his all, so that we could feast upon him. And I’m also making cranberry SALSA to take along with Tom to the in-laws for the meal. The recipe is actually on the back of the cranberry package…but basically it’s like any salsa, except that you substitute the cranberries for tomatoes. I have sesame/flax chips to eat it with. The rest of the meal is up to the MIL–she mentioned mashed potatoes, yams and pureed turnips.
Our friend of the muscles is bringing her daughter with her on Wednesday and if Mom has to work Thanksgiving, Daughter will be going with us to Beloved’s parents. Could be interesting, but it’s always fun to have more people around. Doctor’s appointment tomorrow, mandated by the damned but necessary paperwork for disability. I have to be almost continually re-approved, to prove ongoing medical care. This is going to get very expensive if I have to do it more than 3 or 4 times a year, since it’s about $200 to see him without insurance. Sigh.
Thanksgiving. Then 2 weeks later, the RainBat drives up from GA with my Froggy to spend the holidays. She, bless her heart, has also promised to help move and organize. We’ll get this done eventually, I hope. Otherwise, I’m getting a snow shovel and just shit canning it all. Then comes Yule/Christmas and the New Year and before you know it, it’s the end of the world. Or at least the end of 2012. I am a little concerned about the coincidence of Twinkies dying off just as this year comes to an end…but how did the Mayans know?
The change in weather has of course affected me. The fibromyalgia is pretty much same as it ever was, same as it ever was. (Talking Heads allusion) I am clumsy and Beloved says it’s because I haven’t had the chiropractor put my hips back in alignment lately. Ah well, that’s another doctor bill we can’t afford now. (Well, ok, after the 30th.) Incidentally, because fibro is a “self reported medical issue” (I don’t have a blood test result or MRI to prove that I have it), long term disability will last only 2 years. Too bad the fibro will go on the rest of my life. Slight discrepancy there.
So that’s about it for us now; paperwork, Thanksgiving, stirring our stuff around in the attempt to instill some order and simplicity to our lives. May you be blessed with a wondrous feast, surrounded by family and friends or family that is friends; may you have the wisdom to see how much there is to be thankful for–and remember it more than just one day a year. And may Dallas lose. (I’m a long time Redskins fan, it’s an old habit.)