Breaking with Tradition

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada. (Happy, happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!!!)

For the past 23 years in my house, that has meant a minimum of two days of preparation leading to a full turkey dinner for family (and frequently friends). It’s a production and a half that begins with a trip to the farmer’s market for the veggies and fruit (sweet potatoes, apples, Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, garlic, broccoli, green beans…I’m even able to buy local cranberries for the sauce 🙂 ).

Everything is made from scratch, from the cranberries being simmered into sauce to the pumpkin being baked for use in pies. And I make way, way too much of everything so that we can have leftovers for the following week and I don’t have to cook…or, now that kids are moved out, leftovers to send home with them so they don’t have to cook. 😉

Times, however, are changing. And apparently, so am I.

It began a couple of years ago, when one of our daughters moved to Newfoundland for university, and our Thanksgiving table grew a little smaller. We missed her and her fiancé like mad, but we adapted. They moved back to Ottawa this year, but it seems that change is one of those things that, once begun, cannot be reversed.

This year, in fact, change decided to snowball. University daughter and her fiancé went to Toronto for the Thanksgiving weekend. Her twin went to her own boyfriend’s family several hours away. We’ve been doing home renovations for the past four months, and the state of our house has been steadily declining as we keep finding new projects. And I’d managed to injure both knees and one arm in two separate incidents. Overall, the prospect of spending two days in the kitchen preparing a turkey dinner for me, hubby, and our remaining (vegetarian) daughter?

Not so appealing. 😛

And so, after wrestling my guilt into a closet and locking it in there, I broke with tradition. (I actually considered tossing tradition out the window altogether by going out to a restaurant, but I’m not quite there yet. 😉 ) We invited friends over to join us (we’ve always done dinner on the Sunday of the long weekend), and–are you ready for this?–I ordered an entire turkey dinner for pickup. Rather than spending the day in the kitchen, I puttered around the house, digging it out from under the mounds of stuff that had landed everywhere during renovations. At 4:30, I changed out of my work clothes. At 5:00, hubby and I picked up a box containing a complete turkey dinner (plus a vegan option). At 6:15 I set the table I’d found under the clutter. And then, at 6:45, we sat down with our friends to a meal I’d had to do nothing more with than reheat.

It was…freeing. Mostly through the discovery that the world continued to revolve even if I didn’t fulfill my self-imposed “obligations.” 😉

Would I do it again? Maybe. Given the whole set of circumstances this year, it made for a nice compromise. We still had a “traditional” dinner, we still shared the meal with friends, and the food was pretty decent. It definitely wasn’t home-cooked, however, and we were missing many of the favourite dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and apple with maple syrup, and gasp pumpkin pie. O.o

I’ll be making one of the latter today. Because apparently I’m not ready to break with all my traditions. 😉

HappyThanksgiving! (1)





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4 responses to “Breaking with Tradition”

  1. Bea @Bea's Book Nook Avatar

    Happy Thanksgiving! Traditions do have a way of changing, don’t they? It sounds as if you had a good holiday in spite of the changes, and maybe even because of. 🙂

    1. Linda Avatar

      We did have a good holiday, thanks, Bea! The best part was yesterday for me: clean house, leftovers, and absolutely zero plans for the day. 🙂

  2. D. D. Syrdal Avatar

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve toyed with the idea of going out, myself. It’s not cheap to cook all that home, though I’m not sure how much more it would be to take the family out. I do love having the leftovers though, I kind of depend on that 😉

    1. Linda Avatar

      Yep. It’s all about the leftovers! Fortunately, we did end up with some of those, too. No mashed potatoes, though. Going to have to make more of those! 😉

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