Have you ever watched Martha Stewart? She can rip open a turkey and stuff it with her bare hands, then while it’s cooking, she tends to her garden, sews a new dress, and crafts some fancy place settings for her dinner party.
But I’m not her. First of all, I refuse to touch a dead bird. Ever. (And in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t eat dead birds ever, either.) I also don’t garden. I’m allergic to just about everything outside and especially grass, so the last thing I like to do is get down in the grass to plant something. I did take home economics in middle school, plus I lived with a grandma who sewed a lot of my clothes, so technically I do know how to sew, but I just don’t like it. And finally, while I do enjoy doing art projects such as making crafts, drawing, painting, etc., I don’t like to keep that stuff in my house. I think it has something to do with my Asperger’s Syndrome, but while I admire and appreciate the artistic efforts of crafts, I just don’t care for that kind of decor in my own home.
However, Thanksgiving is the one time a year when I throw caution to the wind and let my hair down. Because in November, I start making my place settings and name cards for our Thanksgiving meal.
As many of you know, most of my family doesn’t speak to me, so besides my sister and me, we usually have one or both of my kids, their dates, and a bunch of friends. So for years, it’s been my tradition to surprise everyone with what kind of place card they’ll get. Then afterward, they can be thrown away and I don’t have to keep any of that craft clutter in my house. So while this year’s place card will be a surprise, I’m going to show you some previous years’ work.
This time, everyone got a turkey pinwheel. These were a lot of fun, and the pinwheel part was different for each guest and was made with a paper pattern that reflected their own personalities. Almost everyone started blowing them right away, and it was funny to see who got overly zealous and broke theirs before their food was even served.
This time, everyone got a pine cone turkey. They seemed like a good idea in my head, but making them was something else. It wasn’t as easy as I would’ve thought to find pine cones that weren’t crushed, and I pricked my fingers a lot while I was gluing the paper feathers in them! Plus, after I made them, I then started fearing they might have bugs in them which would get in the food.
This time, everyone got a pilgrim’s hat or bonnet. I also made a sign for the door that said “Ye Olde Pilgrim Cookery – Didst Thou Bring Thy Appetite? Signage By New World Printing Company,” and my sister sewed us both pilgrim dresses. (However, we looked exceptionally dorky, so I won’t be sharing those photos!) We tried to get my son to wear a pilgrim man outfit or even a hat, but he refused to take part in our insanity. Also, we spoke only in Olde English which was pretty fun. Or funny. Or dorky, depending on who came. But most of the guests seemed to like it, or else they were too polite to laugh at us to our face. Either way, we had a good time.
So, while I admit I’m no Martha Stewart, she’s no Rachel Carrera either.
Let’s talk: What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions? White meat, dark meat, or no meat? What was the last thing you ever made with your hands? Would you ever speak in another accent in front of guests for an entire day?