Ladydale Diary

Thanksgiving: The Morning After

This week’s Ladydale Diary must begin with the giving of thanks for this year’s Thanksgiving. We had a truly festive day.

“Just call me Scrooge,” Susannah had exclaimed on the day prior to the feast, as she carried into the house the biggest turkey I ever recall seeing. It weighed in at almost 28lbs, a much larger beast than we could possibly need, even though we were expecting five guests. Even with nine hungry mouths to feed, such a bird would prove unconquerable. I quipped that we’d be eating leftovers for the whole of Advent. What, I wondered, had come over my usually prudent and temperate wife? She explained that the lady at the local farmers store, from which we buy all our meat, was having no luck selling the monster. Nobody wanted a fowl of such proportions. She offered to sell it to Susannah for only $15 more than the bird of half the size that we’d ordered. Seeing the humour in the situation and not wishing to look a gift turkey in the mouth (or beak?), she went ahead and made the transaction. The rest is history, which is more than can be said for the bird, the remnants of which presently occupy more than their fair share of the refrigerator.

The other wonderful thing about this particular Thanksgiving was the abundance of raw oysters which one of our friends brought with him. He and I sat out on the deck in bright sunshine, shucking around fifty large oysters while drinking locally crafted IPAs. It doesn’t get much better than that! I’m guessing we ate about a dozen each and deposited the remainder in a jar, marinating in their own liquor.

As for the feast itself, there were all the usual suspects. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, two types of stuffing, as well as cranberry sauce, cranberry relish and cranberry jam. And, of course, the beast itself, cooked to perfection. The unanimous consensus was red with respect to wine. A bottle of cabernet and a bottle of Malbec were opened and, when this proved insufficient, a Petite Sirah followed.

There being no room for dessert, we took a break from the feasting, with Evangeline taking Leo and some of our guests into the gloom and gloaming of the twilit woods in search of the deer skeleton she’d discovered several days earlier, employing their help to bring most of it back for her “museum” collection.

Eventually, our appetites once again whetted, we returned to the table for the mandatory pumpkin pie, as well as some sort of gluten-free chocolate concoction.

The day ended in mellowing fashion with a nightcap: a glass of Zubrówka, Polish bison-grass vodka, poured viscous-thick from the bottle I keep in the freezer.

What happened earlier in the week seems somewhat blurred in comparison with yesterday’s festivities, but I did fly to Kansas on Monday to guest teach a class at KU on business ethics, using Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle” as the text. I also led a discussion on the same text to a group of local homeschoolers.

There were no online classes this week, nor did I find time to get any writing done. C’est la vie!

As I prepare to sign off, a pterodactyl is flying laboriously across the sky, my office affording a grandstand view of its flight. By way of explanation, the flight of the pterodactyl is a flight of fancy. It’s actually a great blue heron but such beauty is not prosaic and therefore demands the employment of poetic similes. As for the great blue heron itself, I suspect that it would have struggled to hold its own against the tyrannosaurus of a bird that graced our festive table yesterday. Scrooge would indeed have been proud of such a bird, which was truly of Dickensian proportions.

And speaking of Scrooge, it’s now time to begin preparations for the next great feast.