Charlie and me go to my sister Irene’s for Thanksgiving. They got more room for all of us over there. I bring the desserts, the green bean bake and the Jello mold salad (or “molded cuisine”, as my niece Caitlin calls it). I was lucky enough to have inherited the mold that’s shaped like a turkey (Irene got the one that looks like a wreath), so Thanksgiving’s mine, Jello salad-wise.
Irene takes care of the turkey, stuffin’ and gravy, and I help her prep the potatoes, squash and the carrot-turnip medley. That’s my favorite part, really: cookin’ with Irene. That and the leftovers!
Now Caitlin and her boyfriend Adam are vegetarians, so she brings a tofu turkey. Believe me, it looks and tastes better than the tofurkey they had in that episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Remember that one? (If not, there’s a link below.) Caitlin makes a vegetarian stuffing, too, and cooks it in a muffin tin. Once her mother saw that, Irene started using the same technique with her stuffing, some in the bird, and the overflow as muffin cups. If you like the crispy part of the stuffing, this is the way to go.
In preparation for the big day, I got a new exercise video. I’d never tried kick boxing, and I thought it was high time I did. You know what? It’s kind of fun. Tryin’ new things keeps you young, right? Though hobblin’ around with achy muscles in places I didn’t know I even had muscles, makes me wonder if that’s really true.
In fact, all the Women Who Run With the Moose are in serious training. Sure, we all love Thanksgiving, but what we’re really lookin’ forward to is our favorite shoppin’ day of the year, Black Friday! At the crack of dawn, we plan to hit the ground runnin’ down to the Bangor Mall. We know from experience that this sort of excursion takes stamina, so we take our preparations seriously.
We have a plannin’ session or two beforehand, where we map out our strategy, when we’re takin’ snack breaks to recharge, and most important, where we’re havin’ lunch! Betty, God bless her, is so organized, she prints out a check-list for all of us:
- Plan outfit
- Charge cell phone
- Set timer on coffee maker
- Organize shopping list, coupons, and sales flyers
- Stock personal first aid kit with pre-moistened towelettes, ibuprofen and Hershey’s Kisses
Shirley makes sure her Bonneville’s gassed up, and we all bring leftover pie for breakfast, which we eat in the car on the way, always with some extra to share.
Now lest you think this extravaganza is all about us, part of our Black Friday planning includes choosin’ a charity to support for the holiday season. You know, something local, like the Senior Center, Food Pantry, or the Women’s Shelter in Bangor. As we’re shoppin’, we pick up little things we think would be nice for these folks. Later, we put together gift bags and deliver ‘em. That’s always a fun day, delivering those bags. How can such a little thing make you feel so good?
This year, there are lots of people who’ve been hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and the economy. So during holiday season and all year ‘round, don’t forget to spread the wealth. You’ll be glad you did.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Here's that link: “Everybody Loves Raymond,” The Tofu Turkey Thanksgiving
Ida/Susan in your neck of the woods!
AuthorFest at Kittery Trading Post
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
With Rebecca Rule and John McDonald. Buy three books, get one for a penny! Kittery Trading Post, 301 US Route One, Kittery, ME. FMI: 888-587-6246
I’ll be traveling around quite a bit in the next few months, so check back here each Monday for where I’ll be that week, or click on the “Where’s Ida” link to the left to see my full schedule.
If you’d like me to do a reading at your library, organization or what not, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line:
And if your book group wants to read Finding Your Inner Moose, I’d love to be part of the discussion. Especially if food’s involved!