Thursday, November 22, 2007

"I'm not going to get a reputation for being soft on turkeys, am I?"

My absolutely favorite West Wing episode of all time is "Shibboleth", in which, among other things, CJ has to choose the more photogenic of two turkeys to receive a presidential pardon.

(Apparently this year, Mr. Bush has already pardoned his turkey. Its name is May. The backup turkey was Flower. I think these are far more tasteful names than the ones a few years ago that got dubbed Yam and Marshmallow. There was a sweet picture of the president and assorted small children petting the turkey. We live in a great country. Where else is it a presidential duty to pardon a turkey?)

Yesterday I trekked to Oakland Kosher to get the turkey. We are going to friends, but they do not keep kosher (or indeed know much about it), so I volunteered to source a kosher turkey. And take it home on BART. Now I am simmering a pot of yams that will ultimately become a dish of slightly candied yams. Should have simmered the yams last night, but did not think of it then. I'm on vacation, and my brain is slightly softened by relaxation.

Tomorrow we go to my parents and eat turkey sandwiches.

A year ago, my father was just out of the hospital. Knowing what we have learned about how sick he really was at the time, I am incredibly thankful simply to have him here a year later, mostly recovered, and happily rattling pans in his own kitchen as he prepares to roast and mash away.

I am thinking a lot about my grandmother. Years ago, when she was in better health and my grandfather was still with us, they would drive up for Thanksgiving. I think that the only time my grandmother met my now-husband was at Thanksgiving at my parents old house on 26th Avenue. My grandpa would sit in the living room watching the game, and my grandmother would show up bringing her own potato peeler in her handbag.

I've decided to take two small measures to reduce my carbon footprint. (This seems Thankgivingy to me.) I'm slowly replacing all the bulbs in the house with CFL ones, and I'm going to stop using plastic and paper bags from stores this winter. We'll see how it goes. THe bag thing will require some organization and discipline, but shouldn't be too hard.

And the usual meanderings about how I'd like to make a me-sized spot in the organized Jewish community...aahhhh. We'll see.

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