Monday, November 23, 2009


From "Thanksgiving Recipe: Just Chill"
by Mark Bittman, The New York Times, 11/21/09

"Your grandmother did not have to worry about (the stressful crazy planning that goes into Thanksgiving these days - indeed, that goes into everything we do, trying to be perfect in Modern Day America); a turkey (used to be) a turkey. Your turkey, however, must be free range and organic, and your sweet potatoes should be heirloom and local. Not only should you pick our own pumpkin, you should process it yourself (while hearing the voice of Martha Stewart say that she would never throw away the seeds — such a tragedy that would be!), and not only should you make your own fudge, but you should use the appropriate (fair trade and high cocoa content) chocolate. It’s a wonder you’re not making your own marshmallows, though Martha thinks perhaps you should.

Put this all together, along with your own sense of inadequacy (if you don’t have one, congrats — but are you sure?) and you have a situation that cannot be other than overwhelming.

But friends, let’s pause for a second, and ask: When did performance anxiety and guilt become prerequisites for offering family and friends nourishment hospitality? At Thanksgiving, cooking should be one of the more relaxing things we do. Everyone is aware of the stresses of Thanksgiving, and nearly everyone — the in-laws’ odd friends aside — is appreciative of your time and effort. They really don’t care if your serving spoon is a spatula.

So, cooks: Say “Om,” and pretend the situation is reversed. You are going to your cousin’s, your mother’s, your sister-in-law’s, your best friend’s. These are people you love, you’re happy to have been invited, and you’re looking forward to gorging, perhaps drinking too much, yelling across the table, laughing out loud. This is the spirit in which most of your guests will be arriving. They’re glad you’re cooking for them, and they’re rooting for you.

Forget your fears, relax, and enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good."

1 comment:

  1. The best part about Thanksgiving is when everyone sits down afterwards on a couch, chair or even with a pillow on the floor and at least a few of the guests feel so full and so comfortable that they fall alseep mid sentence.