Nov 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Sometimes IS About Compromise

Over the years, we learn that life requires some compromise, especially on the holidays, and specifically about the meals we eat for them. One of the biggest, Thanksgiving Day. I grew up going to my grandparent's and learning the family recipes to make the meat stuffing, stuff the bird, sew it closed, make Italian salad dressing, and the desserts; all of which made from scratch. We had to start the stuffing on Monday, the salad dressing and pies on Tuesday, and then get up before dawn to get it all pulled together and put the bird in the oven on Thursday. We spent a LOT of time in the kitchen. When we started hosting Thanksgiving at our house, I actually shooed my parents and sisters out of the kitchen so I could get it done myself. It was just easier that way.

I continued my family traditions of cooking when the in-laws came for Thanksgiving. Bear in mind that I grew up cooking with Italians, Greeks, and Germans but my in-laws were predominately English. They were very surprised at what they tasted in my cooking. The largest bird I ever prepared was a 29 pound bird, and we had NO leftovers by the end of the meal. My nephews were astonished to watch me get the stuffing OUT of the bird (they had never seen that, both the body cavity AND the neck).

We now get to the point of this entry, compromise. They compromised their experience for mine, and I tamed down the recipe used for them. A few years later, my ex-wife decided a vegetarian menu suited her, I stopped making full turkeys, and compromised by cooking a small turkey breast (just for me), and took meat out of my stuffing recipe so we could both enjoy it. I still got my turkey, discovered a few new veg recipes that I still make, and it was all good. Compromise with everyone involved, makes the holidays smoother and more memorable.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Can I extend it a little MORE? Hell yes. Family OFTEN requires you to compromise and keep the bigger picture of the holiday in mind. Eventually my son admitted that he hated the taste of turkey, but liked cheeseburgers. I compromised with him about "turkey for Thanksgiving" by using Grandma's Burger Recipe and make turkey burgers for the holiday. I still make the mashed potatoes from scratch, and everyone agrees that they are the best. Maybe I'll break down and share that family recipes for the mashed potatoes and crock pot stuffing with all y'all in the coming weeks since the holidays are coming up.

Bottom line, life is all about compromise. Don't give up everything you desire in life, but take into account those around you for theirs. Life is about sharing it, not making it complicated. Along the way, you'll start some new traditions that nobody has ever mentioned before... like turkey cheeseburgers for Thanksgiving...

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