From: "Edda R. Pittman"
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 06:28:15 -0600 (CST)
To: AfriGeneas afrigeneas@Lists.MsState.Edu
Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I'm
telling you in advance, so don't act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart
won't be coming, I've made a few small changes to the festivities:
Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries.
After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows
of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect. Once
inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with
the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make.
Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them
track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea
The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy
china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match
and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will
refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins
from last Christmas. Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh
fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a
hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction
The artist assures me it is a turkey.
We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you
while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice
comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey
hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00
a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut
diamonds. As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a
recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I
don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds
suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are
We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the
start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional
We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the
smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you
like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a
separate table. In a separate room. Next door.
Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey
in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be
happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved
in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any
circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small,
unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric
knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will
eventually win. When I do, we will eat.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that
"passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean
your sister in the head with warm tasty bread. Oh, and one reminder for
the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the
presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its
lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you
regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese
Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a
choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the
traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small
fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.
Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She
probably won't come next year either. I am thankful.