Wednesday, November 25, 2015


As I begin to write this the temperature outside is at 50 degrees F and the Weather Gods say it won't go much higher today.

Or for the rest of the week.

Typical winter "cold snap" with high temperatures in the 50's, here in the Central Highlands of Arizona.

That beautiful red maple in the front yard has lost nearly all of its leaves now and what remains are curled and dried up and ready to fall.

SWMBO and I spent a couple of hours a few days ago raking and gathering up the leaves that were littering the yard.

We love our trees in the spring and summer and early fall when they fill the yard with shade and color.

We hate them in the late fall when we have to rake up leaves.

And at our ages we gaze longingly at our various neighbors that have yard services that bring crews of men with those damnably noisy blowers and their rakes and quickly clean up their properties.

Ah well. That's a convenience of the present day I guess. Our parents never had such services.

But we didn't have rules that prevented us from raking the leaves into a big pile in the street and then burning them either.

I can still conjure up the pleasant smell of burning leaves.

But I guess we don't have that smoke as a health hazard any more.

So it goes.

And tomorrow is the big day: Thanksgiving.

SWMBO still clings to tradition and insists on fixing a huge feast for the day.

Although I heard her tell her sister on the telephone yesterday that this may be the last one she does.

She's been cooking and baking and preparing for a couple of days already.

A freshly baked apple pie sits temptingly on the kitchen counter.

I will whip out a pumpkin pie today to stay with tradition.

But tradition be damned - no turkey this Thanksgiving.

I like turkey (and enjoy telling and re-telling her how when I was a kid we had a turkey on Thanksgiving, another one on Christmas and yet a third on New Year's Day!) but she is not fond of it and I don't really care any more.

So we will dine on one of her specialties and a meal I love - stuffed pork tenderloin.

The "other white meat."

It will be accompanied by all kinds of other dishes and one VERY non-traditional appetizer.

We had read an article about the French chef Julia Child recently and her Thanksgiving dinners.

The article said Ms. Child didn't cook "fancy" food at home very often, even when she had guests. Just plain simple food.

Good, but simple.

For example she wouldn't prepare a fancy appetizer to be consumed with pre-prandial drinks.

She'd just put out several dishes filled with goldfish crackers!

That appealed to SWMBO so she had me pick up a small package of the bar-food specialty at the grocery store yesterday. And that will be her appetizer as a tribute to Julia.

And really, it's the meal that counts, right?

Oh, one more thought.

I got an email this morning from a minimalist web site that I read from time to time.

He was talking about reclaiming Thanksgiving from the merchants who open their stores for the Christmas shopping rush as early as midnight on Thanksgiving Day.

He said "Only in America do we wait in line and trample each other for sale items one day after giving thanks for what we already have."

Actually he noted that stores are now opening all day on Thanksgiving and one merchant is even calling the day before as Thanks-getting Day!

As I said before, times have changed since I was a kid.

And not always for the better.


quilteddogs said...

Can I come to your house for dessert? We are having a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal as well. Steaks cooked on the grill.

L Lewis said...

I just finished reading Joshua's website before I opened your blog. Excellent as always. I had forgotten about raking leaves into the street and lighting them on fire. My dad wrapped apples and potatoes in tin foil and threw them in which we ate at the curb after the fire died down. Happy memories. When we lived in East Grand Rapids, we raked into the street and a big vacuum truck came and sucked up all the leaves. I don't mind raking. It's the bagging that is killer. Seriously thinking of the lawn service this year!

Lori said...


Catalyst said...

Non-traditional seems to be the way to go this year.

Catalyst said...

Those apples and potatoes sound delicious. Great tradition.

Tom Cochrun said...

I am imagining the aromas and sites in Judy's kitchen. Sounds like you are in for another wonderful feast.
But I'm wondering how you "whip out" a pumpkin pie? Whip it out of a box, mix, refrigerator, pie store, or what? If it is baking it, how do you go about it?
Happy Thanksgiving old pal. Love and hugs to SWMBO

Catalyst said...

It's Judy's mother's recipe and it only takes about 15 minutes to put it together and an hour to bake. Easy-peasy.

joeh said...

Times have changed, If you are interested, this is my remembrance of burning leaves.

joeh said...

Oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Stephen Hayes said...

We've stopped roasting an entire turkey since it's just the two of us, but we do enjoy a turkey breast and all the trimmings. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Catalyst said...

We do the same . . when we have turkey. It's enough.

Zhoen said...

Going to try whole chicken in the slow cooker, then roast it just long enough to crisp it. We shall see.

I steal leaves from all my neighbors and mulch my garden, excellent organic matter.

Celebrating Buy Nothing Day tomorrow.

Catalyst said...

Zhoen, you are welcome to come steal as many leaves from our yard as you can carry!

Sharon Anck said...

Happy Thanksgiving! A stuffed pork roast sounds fantastic to me and that pie looks delicious. Very sad about the commercialization of our holidays. I did notice several retailers here restrained from putting out the decorations this year until this week.