Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Morning, After Thanksgiving

I lost my glasses at some point last night.  Late.  And I'm thankful for that.  (You have no idea.)  And I found them without too much trouble this morning.  I'm thankful for that, too.  Ray Charles?  What is he thankful for?  I don't mean to joke about glasses.  Ray is on the turntable now, spinning deliciously.  The record is called—lemme go find it—The Early Ray Charles.  It was beat up when I bought it, probably ten years ago in Indiana.  I paid $4.99 for it, which was a lot back then, and I probably balked at the price. I still balk at $4.99.  I don't, however, balk at hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my friends.  I feel remarkable this morning—and the house is not dirty either.  To think I started yesterday on a melancholy foot!  The sadness of the holidays, etc—but how can you be sad around a rutabaga?

The thing about rutabagas is that they're always covered in heinous wax.  Why?  Do they need to keep for so long?  This waxing of rutabagas is not cool.  If I was a root vegetable, I would not want to be waxed.  I would have my own skin, and it would be good skin.  It's like shrink-wrapped potatoes!  Have you ever seen those?  Have you ever understood the motivation to encase a thing in plastic?  A living, breathing thing?  I'm not making a total joke here.  A root vegetable is its own storage organ.  It is a food supply.  I think the plant knows how to look after its own food source—but we think we know better, and so we wax them, but I've never enjoyed the wax on a rutabaga, and I've always wanted a naked one.  Sometimes you don't know how much you love an un-waxed rutabaga until you peel it.  I planted three of them last summer, a personal first, so that I could eat them on Thanksgiving.  My own rutabagas, sans wax.  What a delight.  It doesn't matter that I screwed up the rutabaga mash.  How could it matter with so much butter around?  

Butter, naturally, means friends, but part of the pleasure of hosting is dipping away from the hubbub to do some dishes.  Hosting, of course, is not as relaxing as being hosted; but if you stack the rewards side by side, there is no comparison.  I love to hear my friends enjoying themselves in the adjoining room while I clear plates and towel dry pots, and if a couple friends remain for late night conversation after I've thrown off my host badge and relaxed, then that, my friends, is glory.  That's bonus.  This world is full of bonuses if you are open to them.  Last night I was feeling so good, I threw a leaf of spinach onto the floor, knowing it would dry up and find its way into the dust pan one day.  It was a triumph, one of the world's small but many triumphs, and small triumphs are what I grope for nowadays.  Small triumphs and my black t-shirt on bright mornings when I've forgotten to ratchet down the mini blinds.  I am up far earlier than I should be, and I feel ecstatic about that.  

This blog has really turned into a diary!  (Ah, bless.)  But I have little else to write about.  I could mention that I stand with the 99%, and not half-heartedly either, but you already know that.  Instead I'm going to write about these bowls.  They're great.  I wish they were mine.  I am borrowing them indefinitely.  They can go in the oven.  There is no home oven that is too hot for these pots.  They're rugged pots and you don't have to walk on eggshells around them.  They can take a tumble and be no worse for wear.  I don't look down on people who have cheap, Chinese plates from CB2 or whatever—I have some myself.  In fact, I knocked a small saucer off a table last night and it could not withstand the 18 inch drop.  Busted into about twenty-five pieces.  Not so with a sturdy pot.  You can handle a sturdy pot with care and confidence.  The world would definitely be a stronger place if there were more strong bowls around.  I am totally convicted about that.  I'm not hating on our world.  I'm only saying.  I'm also shying away from showing my friends that were seated around this table last night.  Instead, here's me with the pumpkin lantern I made to spruce the place up and to match how I felt about my guests.  I am particularly thankful for the friend who took this picture.  What a guy.  Which isn't to say I'm not thankful for everyone else who came... 

How could I be thankless when a turkey like this one got plunked down on my stove?  I have never seen such an art of turkey.

This turkey got its bones removed, got reshaped into a coil, stuffed, tied and roasted.  The amount of food on the Thanksgiving table is often all the words we need.  The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and what pudding it can be sometimes.  Thanks all.  Thanks.       


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful rutabaga -- the supermarket ones are not so curvy and appealing. Rutabaga was a must have on Thanksgiving among the older generation of my mother's family. Cubed, boiled, and served in a browned butter sauce. Love your blog - you always make me smile.