Thanksgiving Update

At this moment in time, we seem to be going from a big nothing for the Thanksgiving holiday to visitors plenty. Damon’s brother Jeremy says he and his girlfriend are coming for Thanksgiving, regardless of what the rest of the family does. My father says he is coming to New York the following week for a visit. You’ll notice, I’m sure, that I use “says” instead of “is” because I will believe it when I see it.

With dad at least I can get some idea, because he’ll have to buy a plane ticket soon. With Jeremy, I think we won’t know until he’s knocking on our door. I wonder how he’ll feel about a turkey-free Thanksgiving. Earlier I said there could be a turkey, but I wasn’t cooking it. But now I’m torn. I’m doing some thinking lately about being a vegetarian, why I do it, and how to be true to what I believe. And I’m starting to wander closer to “no meat in the house.” I’m still not going to try to tell Damon he can’t eat meat. But I feel pretty sure he’d respect it if I didn’t want it here. He was the one, after all, who insisted our wedding be vegetarian. He felt it wasn’t appropriate for meat to be served at my wedding, even if I was willing to be flexible. Which I thought was really cool. Now, that’s not quite the same as abandoning the Thanksgiving bird. I don’t know, I have to think about it more.

Along the same lines, I can’t wait to get my hooks into my dad. He has never tasted tofu in any form. And once he’s trapped in my apartment I’m going to sneak it in and convert him. He’ll be a tough sell, but I’m confident.

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52 responses to this post.

  1. Uh, why can’t you tell her she can’t take her to McDonald’s? I mean, the rules are way more relaxed at Grandma’s and Granddaddy’s (extra juice, doesn’t always have to clean up her toys, she gets to sit on the kitchen table–don’t ask) because they should be, but my parents don’t ever do things to contradict the way we’re raising Monster. Whether or not meat is in the child’s diet is a big thing, not a little thing. That’s not up to your mother. She raised you according to her rules, so now you’ll raise yours by your standards.
    This happens ALL the time in the breastfeeding community, where mothers insist that THEY gave cereal at 4 weeks and everyone’s FINE, or that crying it out is a GREAT IDEA because you can’t let the baby control you. *rolls eyes* The worst part is that you only have two choices: give in and be bitter and resentful, or tell the offending grandparent, “I know you love him/her, but if you aren’t going to abide by my rules, you won’t be alone with him/her.” Sucks, but that’s it. Obviously with your mom there’s no point even getting into it right this minute; she may surprise you later and be very cooperative. But that would get on my nerves too.
    Stick to your guns about the bird. You’re the host; it’s your way or they can go to McDonald’s.

    Reply

  2. Uh, why can’t you tell her she can’t take her to McDonald’s? I mean, the rules are way more relaxed at Grandma’s and Granddaddy’s (extra juice, doesn’t always have to clean up her toys, she gets to sit on the kitchen table–don’t ask) because they should be, but my parents don’t ever do things to contradict the way we’re raising Monster. Whether or not meat is in the child’s diet is a big thing, not a little thing. That’s not up to your mother. She raised you according to her rules, so now you’ll raise yours by your standards.
    This happens ALL the time in the breastfeeding community, where mothers insist that THEY gave cereal at 4 weeks and everyone’s FINE, or that crying it out is a GREAT IDEA because you can’t let the baby control you. *rolls eyes* The worst part is that you only have two choices: give in and be bitter and resentful, or tell the offending grandparent, “I know you love him/her, but if you aren’t going to abide by my rules, you won’t be alone with him/her.” Sucks, but that’s it. Obviously with your mom there’s no point even getting into it right this minute; she may surprise you later and be very cooperative. But that would get on my nerves too.
    Stick to your guns about the bird. You’re the host; it’s your way or they can go to McDonald’s.

    Reply

  3. Uh, why can’t you tell her she can’t take her to McDonald’s? I mean, the rules are way more relaxed at Grandma’s and Granddaddy’s (extra juice, doesn’t always have to clean up her toys, she gets to sit on the kitchen table–don’t ask) because they should be, but my parents don’t ever do things to contradict the way we’re raising Monster. Whether or not meat is in the child’s diet is a big thing, not a little thing. That’s not up to your mother. She raised you according to her rules, so now you’ll raise yours by your standards.
    This happens ALL the time in the breastfeeding community, where mothers insist that THEY gave cereal at 4 weeks and everyone’s FINE, or that crying it out is a GREAT IDEA because you can’t let the baby control you. *rolls eyes* The worst part is that you only have two choices: give in and be bitter and resentful, or tell the offending grandparent, “I know you love him/her, but if you aren’t going to abide by my rules, you won’t be alone with him/her.” Sucks, but that’s it. Obviously with your mom there’s no point even getting into it right this minute; she may surprise you later and be very cooperative. But that would get on my nerves too.
    Stick to your guns about the bird. You’re the host; it’s your way or they can go to McDonald’s.

    Reply

  4. Uh, why can’t you tell her she can’t take her to McDonald’s? I mean, the rules are way more relaxed at Grandma’s and Granddaddy’s (extra juice, doesn’t always have to clean up her toys, she gets to sit on the kitchen table–don’t ask) because they should be, but my parents don’t ever do things to contradict the way we’re raising Monster. Whether or not meat is in the child’s diet is a big thing, not a little thing. That’s not up to your mother. She raised you according to her rules, so now you’ll raise yours by your standards.
    This happens ALL the time in the breastfeeding community, where mothers insist that THEY gave cereal at 4 weeks and everyone’s FINE, or that crying it out is a GREAT IDEA because you can’t let the baby control you. *rolls eyes* The worst part is that you only have two choices: give in and be bitter and resentful, or tell the offending grandparent, “I know you love him/her, but if you aren’t going to abide by my rules, you won’t be alone with him/her.” Sucks, but that’s it. Obviously with your mom there’s no point even getting into it right this minute; she may surprise you later and be very cooperative. But that would get on my nerves too.
    Stick to your guns about the bird. You’re the host; it’s your way or they can go to McDonald’s.

    Reply

  5. About the no-turkey Thanksgiving: turkey is not quite the most boring meat there is (I’ll save that designation for chicken), but it is darn close. My family has a vegetarian, and though we don’t generally gather for Thanksgiving, when we have it has been no great loss to go turkeyless. One time we did homemade vegetarian Thai, another time we did everything-but-the-turkey. We will probably do Thai again next time.
    If you have someone who’s really put out about the turkey, it is also one of the easiest meats to cook well – even I can do it without screwing it up, thanks to the magic of the turkey bag – and it’s on big big sale after Thanksgiving. So they can go cook their own and eat it every day for the next four weeks if they want.
    About your mother and McDonald’s: from your post it sounds like McDonald’s isn’t actually the real point, but fwiw the kid doesn’t have to eat meat to go to Playland. Her lunch will be nutritionally void if she just has french fries and high fructose corn syrup… er, soda… for lunch, but the burger wasn’t going to fix that anyway.

    Reply

  6. About the no-turkey Thanksgiving: turkey is not quite the most boring meat there is (I’ll save that designation for chicken), but it is darn close. My family has a vegetarian, and though we don’t generally gather for Thanksgiving, when we have it has been no great loss to go turkeyless. One time we did homemade vegetarian Thai, another time we did everything-but-the-turkey. We will probably do Thai again next time.
    If you have someone who’s really put out about the turkey, it is also one of the easiest meats to cook well – even I can do it without screwing it up, thanks to the magic of the turkey bag – and it’s on big big sale after Thanksgiving. So they can go cook their own and eat it every day for the next four weeks if they want.
    About your mother and McDonald’s: from your post it sounds like McDonald’s isn’t actually the real point, but fwiw the kid doesn’t have to eat meat to go to Playland. Her lunch will be nutritionally void if she just has french fries and high fructose corn syrup… er, soda… for lunch, but the burger wasn’t going to fix that anyway.

    Reply

    • So true about McDonalds. I even said to my mom, “You can bankrupt her nutritionally without the help of a clown.”
      The update on the turkey is that my cute brother-in-law called about an hour ago. When Damon mentioned the turkey, Jeremy said, “I’ve always wanted to try tofurkey. But seriously, I’d be happy with pizza.” Love that guy.

      Reply

    • So true about McDonalds. I even said to my mom, “You can bankrupt her nutritionally without the help of a clown.”
      The update on the turkey is that my cute brother-in-law called about an hour ago. When Damon mentioned the turkey, Jeremy said, “I’ve always wanted to try tofurkey. But seriously, I’d be happy with pizza.” Love that guy.

      Reply

    • So true about McDonalds. I even said to my mom, “You can bankrupt her nutritionally without the help of a clown.”
      The update on the turkey is that my cute brother-in-law called about an hour ago. When Damon mentioned the turkey, Jeremy said, “I’ve always wanted to try tofurkey. But seriously, I’d be happy with pizza.” Love that guy.

      Reply

  7. About the no-turkey Thanksgiving: turkey is not quite the most boring meat there is (I’ll save that designation for chicken), but it is darn close. My family has a vegetarian, and though we don’t generally gather for Thanksgiving, when we have it has been no great loss to go turkeyless. One time we did homemade vegetarian Thai, another time we did everything-but-the-turkey. We will probably do Thai again next time.
    If you have someone who’s really put out about the turkey, it is also one of the easiest meats to cook well – even I can do it without screwing it up, thanks to the magic of the turkey bag – and it’s on big big sale after Thanksgiving. So they can go cook their own and eat it every day for the next four weeks if they want.
    About your mother and McDonald’s: from your post it sounds like McDonald’s isn’t actually the real point, but fwiw the kid doesn’t have to eat meat to go to Playland. Her lunch will be nutritionally void if she just has french fries and high fructose corn syrup… er, soda… for lunch, but the burger wasn’t going to fix that anyway.

    Reply

  8. About the no-turkey Thanksgiving: turkey is not quite the most boring meat there is (I’ll save that designation for chicken), but it is darn close. My family has a vegetarian, and though we don’t generally gather for Thanksgiving, when we have it has been no great loss to go turkeyless. One time we did homemade vegetarian Thai, another time we did everything-but-the-turkey. We will probably do Thai again next time.
    If you have someone who’s really put out about the turkey, it is also one of the easiest meats to cook well – even I can do it without screwing it up, thanks to the magic of the turkey bag – and it’s on big big sale after Thanksgiving. So they can go cook their own and eat it every day for the next four weeks if they want.
    About your mother and McDonald’s: from your post it sounds like McDonald’s isn’t actually the real point, but fwiw the kid doesn’t have to eat meat to go to Playland. Her lunch will be nutritionally void if she just has french fries and high fructose corn syrup… er, soda… for lunch, but the burger wasn’t going to fix that anyway.

    Reply

  9. So smart. It’s true. I’m definitely not going to give on this, but I hope she doesn’t make me fight her.
    I swear I’m going to remember this and not do it to my kid some day.

    Reply

  10. So true about McDonalds. I even said to my mom, “You can bankrupt her nutritionally without the help of a clown.”
    The update on the turkey is that my cute brother-in-law called about an hour ago. When Damon mentioned the turkey, Jeremy said, “I’ve always wanted to try tofurkey. But seriously, I’d be happy with pizza.” Love that guy.

    Reply

  11. LiveJournal just ate the long comment I wrote, perhaps because the word “pie” was in it a dozen times. I don’t know whether I can re-create it, but I’ll try.
    We hosted several vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners during my marriage, particularly when I was an editor at a newspaper whose singleton reporters could never get home for the holiday. One year we did do a Tofurkey, to no great applause but nobody hating it (I thought it was pretty good, everyone tried it, everyone ate it, the leftovers actually made a decent sandwich with Durkee’s and cranberry sauce, but given what follows we didn’t do it again). The next year, one of the Tofurkeyed reporters said beforehand, “I’m going to bring some turkey, okay?” and I said, “If you want turkey, you bring turkey, fine,” and he showed up with a bottle of Wild Turkey that was a big hit.
    The best non-turkey Thanksgiving dinner starred a wild mushroom strudel and a roasted vegetable strudel. Flaky puff pastry. Fresh vegs. Flavor and spice. A little bechamel, a little fancy cheese. They were devoured and I was castigated for not making more.
    Besides, since when is Thanksgiving about turkey? Isn’t it about how to make the mashed potatoes even more sinfully delicious than last year’s? About Susan Stamberg’s cranberry chutney and six other sides? About how many different kinds of pie can be served? 🙂

    Reply

  12. LiveJournal just ate the long comment I wrote, perhaps because the word “pie” was in it a dozen times. I don’t know whether I can re-create it, but I’ll try.
    We hosted several vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners during my marriage, particularly when I was an editor at a newspaper whose singleton reporters could never get home for the holiday. One year we did do a Tofurkey, to no great applause but nobody hating it (I thought it was pretty good, everyone tried it, everyone ate it, the leftovers actually made a decent sandwich with Durkee’s and cranberry sauce, but given what follows we didn’t do it again). The next year, one of the Tofurkeyed reporters said beforehand, “I’m going to bring some turkey, okay?” and I said, “If you want turkey, you bring turkey, fine,” and he showed up with a bottle of Wild Turkey that was a big hit.
    The best non-turkey Thanksgiving dinner starred a wild mushroom strudel and a roasted vegetable strudel. Flaky puff pastry. Fresh vegs. Flavor and spice. A little bechamel, a little fancy cheese. They were devoured and I was castigated for not making more.
    Besides, since when is Thanksgiving about turkey? Isn’t it about how to make the mashed potatoes even more sinfully delicious than last year’s? About Susan Stamberg’s cranberry chutney and six other sides? About how many different kinds of pie can be served? 🙂

    Reply

    • Oh yeah, we had one other “vegetarian Thanksgiving,” can’t believe I forgot it. It was just pie; mostly pumpkin but also apple, cherry, and one other kind I can’t remember. My mom makes fabulous pies with handmade crusts. That was lovely, just lovely. We probably won’t do that one again, though. None of us have the knack of making the crusts and it is a lot of work for my mom.

      Reply

    • Oh yeah, we had one other “vegetarian Thanksgiving,” can’t believe I forgot it. It was just pie; mostly pumpkin but also apple, cherry, and one other kind I can’t remember. My mom makes fabulous pies with handmade crusts. That was lovely, just lovely. We probably won’t do that one again, though. None of us have the knack of making the crusts and it is a lot of work for my mom.

      Reply

    • Oh yeah, we had one other “vegetarian Thanksgiving,” can’t believe I forgot it. It was just pie; mostly pumpkin but also apple, cherry, and one other kind I can’t remember. My mom makes fabulous pies with handmade crusts. That was lovely, just lovely. We probably won’t do that one again, though. None of us have the knack of making the crusts and it is a lot of work for my mom.

      Reply

    • That is my kind of Thanksgiving. My current plan is to make a list of about 10 sides and to make about 10 pounds of each. Turkey would just take up room in stomachs that could be better served by creamed pearl onions or mustardy brussels sprouts. And, of course, green bean casserole.

      Reply

    • That is my kind of Thanksgiving. My current plan is to make a list of about 10 sides and to make about 10 pounds of each. Turkey would just take up room in stomachs that could be better served by creamed pearl onions or mustardy brussels sprouts. And, of course, green bean casserole.

      Reply

    • That is my kind of Thanksgiving. My current plan is to make a list of about 10 sides and to make about 10 pounds of each. Turkey would just take up room in stomachs that could be better served by creamed pearl onions or mustardy brussels sprouts. And, of course, green bean casserole.

      Reply

  13. LiveJournal just ate the long comment I wrote, perhaps because the word “pie” was in it a dozen times. I don’t know whether I can re-create it, but I’ll try.
    We hosted several vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners during my marriage, particularly when I was an editor at a newspaper whose singleton reporters could never get home for the holiday. One year we did do a Tofurkey, to no great applause but nobody hating it (I thought it was pretty good, everyone tried it, everyone ate it, the leftovers actually made a decent sandwich with Durkee’s and cranberry sauce, but given what follows we didn’t do it again). The next year, one of the Tofurkeyed reporters said beforehand, “I’m going to bring some turkey, okay?” and I said, “If you want turkey, you bring turkey, fine,” and he showed up with a bottle of Wild Turkey that was a big hit.
    The best non-turkey Thanksgiving dinner starred a wild mushroom strudel and a roasted vegetable strudel. Flaky puff pastry. Fresh vegs. Flavor and spice. A little bechamel, a little fancy cheese. They were devoured and I was castigated for not making more.
    Besides, since when is Thanksgiving about turkey? Isn’t it about how to make the mashed potatoes even more sinfully delicious than last year’s? About Susan Stamberg’s cranberry chutney and six other sides? About how many different kinds of pie can be served? 🙂

    Reply

  14. LiveJournal just ate the long comment I wrote, perhaps because the word “pie” was in it a dozen times. I don’t know whether I can re-create it, but I’ll try.
    We hosted several vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners during my marriage, particularly when I was an editor at a newspaper whose singleton reporters could never get home for the holiday. One year we did do a Tofurkey, to no great applause but nobody hating it (I thought it was pretty good, everyone tried it, everyone ate it, the leftovers actually made a decent sandwich with Durkee’s and cranberry sauce, but given what follows we didn’t do it again). The next year, one of the Tofurkeyed reporters said beforehand, “I’m going to bring some turkey, okay?” and I said, “If you want turkey, you bring turkey, fine,” and he showed up with a bottle of Wild Turkey that was a big hit.
    The best non-turkey Thanksgiving dinner starred a wild mushroom strudel and a roasted vegetable strudel. Flaky puff pastry. Fresh vegs. Flavor and spice. A little bechamel, a little fancy cheese. They were devoured and I was castigated for not making more.
    Besides, since when is Thanksgiving about turkey? Isn’t it about how to make the mashed potatoes even more sinfully delicious than last year’s? About Susan Stamberg’s cranberry chutney and six other sides? About how many different kinds of pie can be served? 🙂

    Reply

  15. i think we once established that our mothers are similar…If that really holds true, let me say a few things that might help prevent hard feelings.
    Your mother doesnt understand your dietary reasoning. She will feed your child whatever she wants when you are not looking. (my mother gave my daughter pancake syrup when she was six weeks old and i was sleeping in)
    If she grew up in that era, she probably doesnt have any respect for the carseat and you will have to remind her over and over and over and threaten her with no car trips if she does not comply.
    She will question your choices in diapering (we used cloth with the first baby and are using seventh generation with our second. my mother was very upset that we didnt want to use pampers)
    Dont ever get her started on which position is best for a baby. side, back or stomach.
    Im sure I can think of a few others.
    Have fun in hell. 🙂
    No, seriously,it wont matter when you see how much she loves your baby. You will one day even look the other way once in a while

    Reply

  16. i think we once established that our mothers are similar…If that really holds true, let me say a few things that might help prevent hard feelings.
    Your mother doesnt understand your dietary reasoning. She will feed your child whatever she wants when you are not looking. (my mother gave my daughter pancake syrup when she was six weeks old and i was sleeping in)
    If she grew up in that era, she probably doesnt have any respect for the carseat and you will have to remind her over and over and over and threaten her with no car trips if she does not comply.
    She will question your choices in diapering (we used cloth with the first baby and are using seventh generation with our second. my mother was very upset that we didnt want to use pampers)
    Dont ever get her started on which position is best for a baby. side, back or stomach.
    Im sure I can think of a few others.
    Have fun in hell. 🙂
    No, seriously,it wont matter when you see how much she loves your baby. You will one day even look the other way once in a while

    Reply

  17. i think we once established that our mothers are similar…If that really holds true, let me say a few things that might help prevent hard feelings.
    Your mother doesnt understand your dietary reasoning. She will feed your child whatever she wants when you are not looking. (my mother gave my daughter pancake syrup when she was six weeks old and i was sleeping in)
    If she grew up in that era, she probably doesnt have any respect for the carseat and you will have to remind her over and over and over and threaten her with no car trips if she does not comply.
    She will question your choices in diapering (we used cloth with the first baby and are using seventh generation with our second. my mother was very upset that we didnt want to use pampers)
    Dont ever get her started on which position is best for a baby. side, back or stomach.
    Im sure I can think of a few others.
    Have fun in hell. 🙂
    No, seriously,it wont matter when you see how much she loves your baby. You will one day even look the other way once in a while

    Reply

  18. i think we once established that our mothers are similar…If that really holds true, let me say a few things that might help prevent hard feelings.
    Your mother doesnt understand your dietary reasoning. She will feed your child whatever she wants when you are not looking. (my mother gave my daughter pancake syrup when she was six weeks old and i was sleeping in)
    If she grew up in that era, she probably doesnt have any respect for the carseat and you will have to remind her over and over and over and threaten her with no car trips if she does not comply.
    She will question your choices in diapering (we used cloth with the first baby and are using seventh generation with our second. my mother was very upset that we didnt want to use pampers)
    Dont ever get her started on which position is best for a baby. side, back or stomach.
    Im sure I can think of a few others.
    Have fun in hell. 🙂
    No, seriously,it wont matter when you see how much she loves your baby. You will one day even look the other way once in a while

    Reply

  19. haha
    when i told my mother i was breastfeeding, she looked at me with sucha look of pity and said, “If you can’t afford formula, I will buy it for you”

    Reply

  20. and by prevent hard feelings, i guess i meant warn you what you might be up against

    Reply

  21. Oh yeah, we had one other “vegetarian Thanksgiving,” can’t believe I forgot it. It was just pie; mostly pumpkin but also apple, cherry, and one other kind I can’t remember. My mom makes fabulous pies with handmade crusts. That was lovely, just lovely. We probably won’t do that one again, though. None of us have the knack of making the crusts and it is a lot of work for my mom.

    Reply

  22. That is my kind of Thanksgiving. My current plan is to make a list of about 10 sides and to make about 10 pounds of each. Turkey would just take up room in stomachs that could be better served by creamed pearl onions or mustardy brussels sprouts. And, of course, green bean casserole.

    Reply

  23. Thanks for both the empathy and the most important point, which was your last one 🙂

    Reply

  24. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

    Reply

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