Here we are on the verge of another Thanksgiving and I’m sitting here still snacking on leftover Halloween candy. We bought so much of it that I daresay it could be used for stuffing the turkey next Thursday. If it’s not all gone by then.
I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: If October is the month for sweets, November is the month for food. My wife is the chef at our house, but I should say “master chef” because she has a knack for putting together ingredients – one part various and two parts sundry – to come out surprisingly yummy.
A few years ago she got it in her head to cook a goose, not unlike the one Scrooge ordered for Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. But this being Socorro, John Brooks doesn’t stock that kind of bird so they had to send away for it. I dare say that $100 special-ordered cooked goose was quite good, but it was a one-off experiment. This year we’re going traditional and using the balance of the unused goose budget for toilet paper.
Oh, and maybe finish off with a pumpkin spice-flavored pumpkin pie.
If I haven’t dwelled on this enough, along with the autumn winds and falling leaves, pumpkin spice season has returned in full force. Anything and everything pumpkin-flavored is back and if the pandemic causes a run on pumpkin spice flavored stuff in the supermarket, I’ve heard that a good alternative is butternut squash, although I doubt if Starbucks will ever be touting a butternut squash-spice latte.
I’m not sure which one is healthier for you seeing as both are a type of squash. A gourd is also a squash but they are more suited for decorating or carving out to use as a dipper at the old well.
Squash was never one of my favorite foods, but growing up it was a staple at Thanksgiving dinner. We’d get all dressed up Sunday school-style and the eight of us would cram around the dinner table which was festooned with skinny candles and a centerpiece of pinecones, dried ears of corn, and yes, little gourds.
No smartphones, cell phones or earbuds to be seen. The television was turned off.
Our father made a big production out of carving the turkey and made us all laugh, and I know this because there are those grainy home movies my parents took back there in the 1950s. These days, of course, it would be Ipads or cell phones making those movies, along with dozens of pictures of food plastered across Facebook or Instagram.
Anyway, those childhood days are long gone and although I have to admit life is just fine nowadays, there some things I kind of miss. But that’s OK. Psychologists say conjuring nostalgia during stressful times is a healthy coping mechanism.
The thing is, nostalgia is pretty much subjective. I mean, I can be nostalgic about Thanksgiving dinner when I was seven or getting life lessons of life from Ward Cleaver, but I can also be nostalgic about being able to walk around without worrying if people are breathing on me.
Oh yay, here comes the nostalgic stuff…
Like dime stores and double features. Not worrying if the front door is locked. Neighborhood ice cream trucks. Walking straight to the gate at the airport. New cars that didn’t look like other new cars. And how about gas station attendants who would run out at the cling of the bell and say, “fill’er up?” and “check your water n’ oil?”
Speaking of which, I just read that there are more germs on a gas pump handle that there are on a toilet seat. Somebody said gas pumps should come with hand sanitizers during these trying times. But wait, I also read that using hand sanitizer too often may be harmful to your skin and accelerate aging.
I guess the next best thing after pumping gas would be to dunk your hands in the soapy squeegee bucket. That would do the trick. Or not.
Although our modern world is fraught with hidden dangers and uncertainties, there is much more for which to be thankful, and you can decide for yourself what those things are.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
On the other hand, if you’re not thankful for anything, well, take comfort in the words of Ed Howe, “Nothing tires a man more than to be grateful all the time.”
Me? I believe that my glass is neither half-full nor half-empty; it holds exactly the right amount.
My pants, though, the day after Thanksgiving, now that’s another story…