Ordinarily, our Thanksgiving weekends are meticulously rationed so that we can make appearances at least three different family meals, some of which we are only barely able to participate in, being either a) too stuffed, from a previous meal, or b) attempting to “save room” for an upcoming meal. By now, we’ve nearly mastered the tricky art of portion control: roughly a tablespoon of everything lets one sample each dish (thereby avoiding hurt feelings) without becoming so full, by the end of three meals, that one can only ungraciously roll away from the table.
This year will work a little differently.
Because my brother can’t come home for Thanksgiving weekend, we’ll celebrate next weekend with my dad. We celebrated today with my mom. This leaves us with (gasp!) one Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving day – only one Thanksgiving for the entire weekend, so that we can actually stay for dessert with Mitch’s family and visit with cousins and relatives that we only see a handful of times each year.
So today was the official start of our holiday season, and oh my goodness, was it ever delicious: pork tenderloin (a welcome break from turkey), green beans with pine nuts and gorgonzola, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and buttermilk, cranberry-apple sauce (quickly dubbed “crapple” by my brother, a name that took only seconds to stick irreversibly), homemade gravy and, for dessert, my mom’s famed apple-custard pie. Everyone else sipped white wine while I drank blackberry soda from a wineglass.
But the best part? As my stepdad asked me to pass the gravy, I felt a little flutter right where it ought to be that stopped me mid-reach for the gravy boat. While he said something like, “Ahem! The gravy?” I blurted it right out: “I think the baby just moved!”
It did. The feeling was awesome and disconcerting at once.