As we head into the biggest eating weekend of the year (here in Canada, anyway), I am making lists and checking them twice. As usual, we will be at the cottage, where we both celebrate Thanksgiving with John’s side of the family, and close ‘er down for the winter. It’s a massive cook and clean weekend, although we try to fit in a hike and maybe a final round of golf if weather permits. Despite the workload and the traffic, it is, hands down, my favourite family holiday of the year. For one thing, it is almost always spectacularly beautiful up there in October. For another, there is the bittersweet knowledge that every year brings change, and when we lock up and drive off for the last time on Monday morning, I always wonder what will have transpired before we return in the spring. Family faces disappear from the annual photographs, while new ones take their place.
But back to the feast. We have three returning university students, plus their various girlfriends and boyfriends (one apiece, I should specify), and a growing-like-a-weed teenager, all of whom intend to eat their weight at the Thanksgiving table. We alternate hosting duties with my sister-in-law. Whoever hosts cooks the turkey, and this year it falls to Helen, which is just as well, because last year we attempted to cook it on the Big Green Egg, with disastrous results. Blackbird smoking in the middle of the night. Our camp will make the sides, which, is you must know, include mountains of mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon, roasted pears and red onion, cauliflower au gratin, and heaps of garlicky greens. Nom nom NOM NOM nom.
Give thanks, for we are indeed blessed.