Friday, November 25, 2005
If you value your life, don't go shopping today.
Luckily, my family now tries to include their weird vegetarian relatives (me and Rick) in this, my favorite holiday meal. This was not always the case. When I first stopped eating meat at age sixteen, my family didn't know what to do about Thanksgiving dinner. Neither did I, as I didn't know how to cook (I'd been surviving on cereal and Taco Bell for months). Obviously, I didn't want to eat the turkey or the ham. But it was pretty disappointing to discover that the dressing is made with chicken broth or that the green bean casserole has bacon in it! "Can I even eat the cranberry salad? Please don't tell me there's meat in pumpkin pie!" Basically, my early vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners consisted of mashed potatoes and dessert.
When Rick and I moved to Boise and could not spend Thanksgiving with our families, we decided to make our own turkey-less meals. And it was awesome. We had dressing, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, cranberry chutney, rolls, corn on the cob, broccoli-cheese casserole, and two pies: pecan and pumpkin.
All this for two people. I told you I am a big eater.
We had a blast, cooking all day for...ourselves! And we didn't have to worry about the hidden meat products. And we don't have to now, either. My family has come to terms with the fact that Katie no longer eats meat. And that she married a tree-hugging vegetarian and brought him into the family for backup. My grandma makes a pan of dressing, sans chicken broth, just for the two of us. People bring veggie dishes that are truly veggie. I still eat a lot of pie, but that's just because...it's Thanksgiving! It's the heartland! I heart pie!
I wish I had some pictures of the holiday spread to share with you. But you see, I am a terrible blogger. I took my camera to Mom's, really I did. I even brought it in the house. But I was too busy stuffing my face to take a single shot. Just now, I went to the kitchen and snapped some pictures of the leftover sweets, but...now that I'm looking at them on the screen, it seems a bit odd to post pictures of half-eaten food. Not nearly as appetizing as it is in person. So let me just name off the post-Thanksgiving desserts we have in our house: pumpkin pie, oatmeal cookies, cranberry upside-down cake, and apple pie. Hooray!
And now let me warn you about what is out there today, if you must go to any store or shoppe of any kind. This morning, I woke up at 4 am to go to Circuit City. The family is going in together for an Ipod for our youngest member, and they are on sale today, today being the day after Thanksgiving. I had never before ventured out for shopping on this day, this fourth Friday of November, since I am a fan neither of crowds or of shopping.
I am still not.
I arrived at Circuit City at 4:55 am; they were scheduled to open at 5. When I arrived, the ENTIRE parking lot was full. I had to park at the grocery store next door. The line of people went around the front of the store, down the side, and finally, to the back of the store. I stood in line and waited, not believing my eyes. There were more people in this line than for Goblet of Fire! WTF!
As the line slowly progressed, Circuit City employees would periodically come out and announce, "If you are here for the HP blah-blah-blah on sale, it is sold out." Stuff like that. The store had only been open for five minutes! Once I made it inside, I literally had to thrash my way through the crowd. People were yelling loudly at each other, stepping over each other in a race to get that last DVD surround sound system. I didn't see a fire code maximum sign, but I'm sure we were over it by, oh...hundreds. There should definitely have been some paramedics on hand. Thankfully, it only took me ten minutes to find the Ipod and FREE case (!), but then I had to stand in the checkout line for thirty minutes!!! The entire time, I could hear people discussing "Day after Thanksgiving" shopping. Apparently, these crazy folks do this EVERY YEAR! Some were discussing their purchases, some recounting their shopping plans and where they were headed next. One woman told a Circuit City employee, "At Best Buy, they always pass out donuts to everyone." At least, they weren't playing Christmas music. I don't think I could have endured that for thirty minutes.
Damn, is it Christmas already? I'm ready for some more Thanksgiving.
Sadly, I am one of those people who has gotten up well before the sun to participate in the day after Thanksgiving sales not once but, um, several times. Several agonizing years in a row starting in high school. I was spared while in college as I no longer lived at home.
We trudged over to Bartlesville for the sales again this year. Luckily, there wasn't really anything in the sale bill that I just HAD to have, so I was permitted to get up AFTER the sun this morning. We hit the stores reasonably late -- about 9:30-ish. By that time, most people had snagged and ran, which made for a much nicer shopping experience...
You have to show up for those bargains ridiculously early. I'm glad you were still able to get the iPod.
And because I felt so proud of myself for sticking to it, I went back home, crawled in bed and stayed there most of the day. Pathetic, yes. But it was warm and there were books and NPR and knitting and it was wonderful!
By the way, isn't 9:30 still a little early for you on a work-free day? I hope you get a loooonnnnggg sleep some time this weekend!
Sleeping in is more a fantasy than a reality these days. Happy is the morning (and the mom!) when Maya lets me sleep til 8:00. I miss sleeping in...
ps You're hardcore, Katie. Don't let 'em tell you different. :^)
MIL had asked us beforehand what we should make that was meat free and we sorta blank stared. We have no idea.
Mmmm... mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie. Cranberries. Coffee.
Glad yours was good.. sorry you had to shop. We hit some state park instead and saw a cute screech owl.