I know I wasn’t going to write a commentary this weekend, but did anyone really believe that? Really? Even I knew I didn’t believe that.
Because two of my nephews and one of my nieces have to work in restaurants on Thanksgiving, and had to for several years, one of my sisters opens her home on Black Friday, to what one of my friends calls “Italian Thanksgiving.” So, it was with some sense of sharing a “new” experience that I write this.
My sister had 28 people in her home on Friday. We (yes, I was there cooking) made 10 pounds of potatoes, mashed, 8 pounds of mashed turnips, 12 pounds of apple/cranberry potatobread-cornbread stuffing, 4 pounds of home-made fresh cranberry sauce, and two turkeys, totaling 35 pounds. We also had home-made brussell-sprouts, corn, creamed onions and so many other smaller sides. But no lasagna. I felt like we were working in a restaurant kitchen.
The day before, Real Thanksgiving to the rest of you, I made 4 pumpkin pies, 2 coconut custard pies and 4 home-made holiday/Christmas stollen, for breakfast and then dessert. Those of you who know me since the olden days, you know, the 60s, know that I worked as a baker while going to high school and college at Tulip Bake Shop in Floral Park. Been doing that ever since.
So, finally, at 3 pm, after all the prep, the cooking and baking,the taste-testing, the carving and the setting it all on the table, all 28 of us sat down to eat our feast. Pass the potatoes, pass the stuffing, mmmm, cranberry sauce, oooo, turnips, a prayer of thanks and grace, and toasts all around. And less than an hour later, belts were being unbuckled, and chairs were pushed back from the table.
I bet you all did the same on Thursday. The difference really was that you got up and watched football, real NFL football, while we watched college on Friday afternoon and Friday evening. But all the rest was probably the same, right?
Anyway, the point of all this is that because some of the gang has to work because restaurants are opened on Thanksgiving, my sisters, parents, brothers and assorted nieces and nephews, with their spouses, other halfs, and kids have come up with a unique way to celebrate what the rest of you call Black Friday. And none of us were seen hide nor hair in a Wal*Mart, Macy’s or Costco, anywhere on Long Island or elsewhere. Trust me, in this economy, the sales will still be there, without the crush of the mob.
And we had a better time, making Italian Thanksgiving a better way to celebrate a real family day. Try it next year; you just might like it.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!