Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey day traditions

TLOML and I started Thanksgiving with a gentle jog across to Palm Beach Island and back, in anticipation for the food fest that was to follow. His mother makes a mean turkey, and takes no prisoners on the side dishes either. Preparation would be key - we needed to kick start the metabolism (sluggish after 4 days of lazy gluttony in Jamaica) so we could make the most of the spread.

While TLOML's mother slaved away in the kitchen - in our defense, we had our jobs to do later in the day - I was introduced to another holiday tradition:  the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

In this strange spectacle, a long parade go past the big tatty Macy's on 34th Street. There are large sinister balloons being steered by crowds of people in matching outfits. There are many marching bands with dancers, a little like the Stanford Marching Band only way more orderly. And the Navy glee club, belting out the Star Spangled Banner with Miss America grinning away next to them. And many many floats sponsored by the entertainment business. My favourites were the high school marching bands and dance troupes.

I wondered, aloud, how they choose the kids who get to be in the parade. TLOML tells me they are all descended from the pilgrims and the Indians at the first Thanksgiving. Fair enough. Doesn't really explain the presence of Disney's Mickey Mouse Club and the Smurf movie float though.
After that we attended to our kitchen duties. And the football, of course. After plenty of chopping, steaming, mashing, basting, and browning we had a feast fit for a king. Or at least, TLOML, his mother, and me. We tucked into excellent turkey with cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, asparagus, corn and gravy. And candied yams, which involves baking sweet potatoes with sugar - or a rare Indonesian tree sap in TLOML's mother's case - and marshmallows. Sweetness trebled! Ouch, it was good.

And then, we took a long walk to fight off the sleep inducing-tryptophan. We were home just in time for the end of the football, and to tuck into some pies. That's right, pie plural. All these things (except maybe the jog and the Macy's parade) are the reason TLOML calls it 'the most magical time of the year'.

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