Friday, November 25

Dinner digest

Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch. Mostly, I think. My mom's back was hurting her, but she made it through the night without having to go upstairs to lie down. My brother drove away in a huff when she yelled at him and my dad for wrestling in the kitchen while we were all gathering to say grace, but he came back and eventually got over it.

After holiday meals, it's customary in my family for everyone (except the few who'd rather watch football in the den) to sit around the kitchen table and crosstalk for three hours. If there are eight of us, there will be no less than five conversations happening at the same time, the volume continuously rising. Sometimes we pass the doorbuster circulars around and bitch about how the best sales aren't even worth clawing through the crowds for. The noise takes its toll; combined with the turkey sleep chemical, I start getting sleepy and craving solitude at around 6.

That night, though, because I'd promised them and their energy is boundless, my nephews and youngest cousin "helped" me put together a gingerbread house kit I brought for them. Those things are supposed to be simple, I thought. You still have to mix your own icing (granted, you just add water to the powder they give you, but it requires a mixer, which is a kitchen tool I was not prepared to use) and figure out a way to get the damn thing to stay upright under the weight of the roof pieces, which are heavier than the walls (a soup can lying down inside worked for us), but at least you don't have to make the gingerbread itself. As I was mixing in a too-small bowl and sending rubbery bits of icing flying all over the kitchen, they were fighting over who got to open the packet of gingerbread walls, so I was yelling threats over my shoulder the whole time. We finally got the damn thing assembled and then they kvetched for two hours over whether to try and save it until Christmas or break it down and eat it then. I told them I didn't care what they did, but that the three of them needed to come to an agreement because it was their creation (and it was their grimy hands that had touched all the candy littering the icing). Two of them wanted to eat it then and the other wanted to be contrarian. Finally they broke it down and our two-hour project was devoured in mere minutes. At least I got pictures with my broke-ass camera.

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