By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. For the second day in a row I landed in a grocery store. One would think we were preparing the entire Thanksgiving feast, but no, we are bringing the crudités, cheese ball [rolled in nuts] and a homemade coconut cream pie. My daughter and I are cooking my November 30th birthday dinner, which is why we had a second day of grocery shopping.
Today’s grocery experience took place at Whole Foods, fortuitously because we were hungry, and the day before Thanksgiving, samples were out in full force. We noshed on organic dates, Clementine oranges, Gruyère cheese, roasted lamb, cranberry walnut bread, and vegan pumpkin pie. The only problem with selecting items one actually needs while shopping on an empty stomach is that one winds up with a cart full of extra items not on the original shopping list. We exited the store with four spanakopita and two pounds of spinach and Gruyère stuffed mushrooms, both of which were not on the list, and a fresh turkey breast, which was also not on the list, but it is snowing fast and furiously here and what if we cannot travel to my brother’s house two-and-three-quarter-hours away on Thanksgiving morning? I judged it safer to have the turkey breast on hand, although after we loaded up the SUV I realized that we had been invited to share Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with some dear friends, and had received an invitation from lively local family members.
“The turkey breast could be frozen until the Christmas holidays,” I mused. Rationalization intact, I thought about all the frenzied shoppers I observed today. Maybe we now place too much pressure on ourselves for Thanksgiving. All the stress used to be reserved from frenetic Christmas shopping. Yet it seems to me that the quest to make Thanksgiving Dinner Perfect has overtaken some of us. We tend to be a culture of overachievers who sometimes border on anal perfectionists. Or maybe that is simply who I am and I am in denial.
At Thanksgiving we need not worry about bearing gifts, for which I am thankful. After all, Thanksgiving’s allure is sharing a delicious meal with one’s family, although this year the first night of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving. Since I am not Jewish, I am off the hook for buying Hanukkah presents. If gifts were involved, it would mean making sure all gifts looked no less than perfect. That is what I look forward to early next month. All right, I confess: I started Christmas shopping over a month ago. However, tomorrow we will sit down with our family and relish a delectable Thanksgiving banquet.
Ciao for now.