As God is my witness, I’ll never touch sticks of softened butter again.

I’ve been rather busy lately but this 4-day weekend has given me time to indulge in leisure activity.

The first thing I did was to scrub the kitchen from top to bottom. It might not sound like the most glamorous thing but it sure was the most satisfying. White cabinets, pale gray flooring and pastel yellow swirled with gray countertops need to be spotless under harsh fluorescents and these haven’t been spotless since … I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

For the first time in history, we went to a fancy buffet for Thanksgiving. What was I thinking? WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOING TO BUFFETS ALL ALONG! Gawd, it was great. My picky daughter was very happy that she could have an omelette for her meal instead of turkey and in the end she exulted that she didn’t have a single thing that was associated with a traditional Thanksgiving.

I got my money’s worth by pacing myself through 5 trips to the trough: first a cheese and fruit plate with my martini, then a moderate helping of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I went back to the buffet to pick off the mussels and clams from the top of the paella. I’m nether ashamed nor bragging about that – just reporting. Next was Eggs Benedict with a side of bacon and a bit of Belgian waffle. I topped all that off with some watermelon.

Sami thought the appetizer area was okay but unremarkable, and he went through twice just to be sure. He did have the traditional Thanksgiving meal as well but was bummed out that there was only white meat so he had to soothe himself with two helpings of Boeuf Bourguigone, once with potatoes and once with yellow rice, which he had picked out of the paella. I think that act balances out my shellfish selectivism and that’s why I was able to tell you about my bad behavior without remorse.

None of us felt the need to eat again until Friday afternoon so I’d say the excursion was a grand success. It was an abundant experience that would make a Pilgrim proud. Next year we’ll be going to a bigger buffet.

We also made Xmas cookies this weekend. What a mess. Have I mentioned I can’t do anything right anymore? I should have mentioned that to myself before I took on the cookie making. They worked out okay in the end, but it wasn’t the instructive mother-daughter experience I had planned. Maybe it was instructive but what she learned isn’t what I planned.


Here’s a table stack of pignoli cookies, Russian tea cakes, stuffing cookies, sage shortbread, Buckeyes and Santas Whiskers – all suspect in one way or another. I don’t recommend them.

In other cheerier news, I may have lost ground in skills I formerly mastered, but I remain a very successful indoor lemon tree farmer. I’ve only lost two pea-sized fruits since moving the trees indoors AND I now have one utterly magnificent specimen that’s as big as FDR’s head.


Ain’t that great? It’s even taken on a lemony shape, which the lesser pea-sized fruits do not have. Also notice a new crop of flowers budding out.

And so even though the universe has taken away my woman powers in terms of cooking, baking and cleaning it has made me a master nurturer.

So it all works out.

4 thoughts on “As God is my witness, I’ll never touch sticks of softened butter again.”

  1. You’re a year ahead of me. After this year’s meal I made the decision to retire as Thanksgiving central. My children were not as devastated as I had imagined they would be. At first I was hurt, then I realized “I’m free!”
    My husband stripped and refinished the kitchen floor.
    Now, that’s Thanksgiving!
    I currently have no plans to become a lemon grower.
    Congratulations on your freedom.

  2. After insisting vehemently last year that she would never give up the hosting of T’giving, my 81 y/o MIL did in fact pass the torch to me this year. Was it the burgeoning number of grandchildren/SO’s and great-grandchildren? Probably. Just moved to be closer to family, and this happens.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m considering opting out as T’giving central next year. Four days of cleaning, cooking and serving and then the guys walked away and left me with the cleanup.

    I had a Ponderosa lemon tree for thirty years. It was amazingly prolific but the lemons were so sour my salivary glands screamed. Good luck with yours. It looks like you’re doing everything right.

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