Original post at http://pastorandbartender.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-moderate-thanksgiving.html
We face a special, decadent challenge each
Thanksgiving. We travel to
Sevierville, Tennessee, for the family reunion of my mother-in-law’s mother’s
family. 2012 was the 114th
annual Tarwater family reunion!
The parcel of land traditionally owned by the Tarwaters was
carved up in plots, one of which my mother-in-law was given by her mother
(along with each of her four siblings).
Zan built a gorgeous hewn-wood cabin at the top of her hill. So each year, we have a family celebration
and a tranquil, rustic setting.
East Tennessee in the fall is remarkable by anyone’s standards.
|The three of us headed out on a hike before Thanksgiving dinner.|
At high noon on Thanksgiving Day, we arrive at the American
Legion in Sevierville. The
Tarwaters have a standing reservation for the building – and we need all the
room! There are usually between
100 and 200 people at the reunion.
The Legion has two big rooms.
The back room is where we all sit.
The front room is just for food.
Four eight foot tables laden with family favorites. And one extra table just for
desserts! Any Thanksgiving dish
you are looking for – you can find it here.
|You thought I was full of exaggerations.|
Which poses special problems for a pregnant lady sort of
trying to watch what she eats. I’m
not trying to reduce my consumption, really, just to be wise about what I
choose to fill myself with. (I’m
not really renowned for my moderation, as my waistline and pantry can attest!)
This year, I made a list of all the foods I really wanted to eat, ahead of
time. What tops my list for
Thanksgiving? Deviled eggs, turkey
and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, green salad, and
cranberry sauce. Rolls and
dessert? Not as essential as the
savories. As I made my way down
the line, I kept my list in mind (I actually kept my little list in my back pocket and pulled it out once).
And it really worked! With
the addition of a little spoonful of pasta salad, and some kind of
pumpkin-cream cheese muffin, and the noticeable absence of mashed potatoes
(smh), I stuck to my list. I was
especially thrilled because the green salad category was fulfilled by a genre
of salad I adore – an Asian cabbage slaw with crumbled dry Ramen noodles and
Anyway, I just felt the need to describe my strategy to
anyone who faces a similar Thanksgiving situation: not a well-defined menu, but rather a smorgasbord of more
food than could ever all be sampled by one person. Good luck!
P.S. I totally blew all my efforts by eating a pound of buttery salted popcorn when we went to see Life of Pi that night. Happy Thanksgiving!