This year the table is set for four, not eighteen or twenty or whatever ridiculous amount of place settings we try to squeeze in. Our moms, the boys grandmas, will not be joining us. No neighbors or friends will be arriving, dishes in hand to add to our turkey feast. No hustle and bustle of last minute cleaning. No scramble to find enough plates and chairs. No extra hands in the kitchen to baste the bird, stir the gravy, mash the potatoes.
2020 is anything but normal but we are still having our traditional, family created Practice Thanksgiving celebration. It is, after all, tradition and the 20th year of our beloved holiday.
And while I miss the busy energy and the excitement of hosting a large sit down meal, on this 20th Practice Thanksgiving, I noticed something.
I noticed that Cody knows how to make stuffing from scratch all by himself. He even stuffed part of the bird before he was “grossed out” and allowed me to do the rest.
I noticed that Carter did not complain once about making the deviled eggs. Without a recipe, he organized the ingredients, dried mustard, paprika, were found in our spice basket, eggs thoughtfully arranged on the special plate my mom made.
Husband organized the crackers and took down the items rarely used from high places beyond my reach.
I noticed that I moved through the kitchen, hands buttery from prepping the turkey, with confidence, the kitchen wisdom of my mom and mother-in-law settled within me.
While this marks the 20th Practice Thanksgiving, I have yet to host actual Thanksgiving. I have never made this entire meal alone. But I noticed that I was not alone. For so many years Cody, Carter, and Husband have been there all along and continue to be.
The bird comes out of the oven in about an hour. The mad flurry of green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey carving is about to be unleashed. It seems with this meal that so much happens all at once.
And then we will all be seated, our meal in various dishes and platters spread up and down our table. It will be worth it. For desert, because it is just the four of us, I got brave and made a crème brulee. It is chilling in the fridge, waiting for me to add the caramelized sugar topping, sprig of mint, and raspberry.
I know you don’t celebrate it, but I want to wish you a very happy Practice Thanksgiving, whatever you find yourself doing today.