I just finished watching the Thanksgiving episode from the first season of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’ Debra cooks her first Thanksgiving for both her parents and Ray’s parents (including Robert, of course), and a few other relatives. At the end of the episode Ray tells her that if she needs any more proof that her Thanksgiving was perfect, she need only look to the living room. The shot spans every seat in the room – each seat has a male guest asleep in it, most with their pants open. The only one missing is Ray, who is instead helping and comforting Debra. I think therein lies the joy of making your own Thanksgiving feast – or, really, probably any feast where you gather people you love and/or people you have a dysfunctional relationship with ;) – bringing loved ones together and making people happy through your cooking and effort, which often translates into love for those you’re cooking for.
When I called everyone into the kitchen last night to make their way through the spread buffet-style I stood behind them all and a smile spread across my face. It made me happy to see everyone gathered excitedly around the food filling their plates, chatting amongst themselves – and, thankfully, they all kept their pants on – as beautiful as they all may be. ;) Looking at the scene I thought to myself that this was the whole point of having people over, cooking copious amounts of food, dirtying an unimaginable amount of dishes, stressing out for days beforehand, and working on your feet for what seems like never-ending hours. It’s what makes Thanksgiving worth it – having everyone crowded in the kitchen; happy and excited.
On that note – another favorite moment was when it came time to carve the turkey. I’m not a master carver, so I’m not going to lie – I did kind of want some help. One of my friends turned out to be quite the master carver herself. I commented while her and I were whacking away at the bird, at different times of course, that how funny is it that when it’s turkey carving time everyone found their way into the kitchen. It was like so primal, we had community, a connection. It brought us all together. To be fair, throughout much of the cooking process the kitchen was full with everyone circling the food. Many a hand had to be shooed away – including mine.
Cooking your first Thanksgiving is a very special thing. I was very excited to be a main player for the first time two years ago, and the first time I hosted Thanksgiving Continued for friends, which was last year, was also very special.