I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while; I enjoy the pageantry of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, helping dad prepare the feast, and sharing that feast with my family, then going to the hockey game that evening, getting together with friends over the long weekend. This year would be extra special, with my 10-year high-school reunion held Friday night.
Part the first: Thursday
I woke up Thursday morning and made a big cup of coffee and curled up on the couch with the dog and cats nearby and tuned in the parade. Watching the marching bands reminded me of the good times I had performing in my high-school choir. I feel a kinship with performers of that age-group, and have some sense of the preparations that go into performing, and the excitement of performing in front of a crowd. I got a kick out of the Cartoon Network float, which was based on the recent cartoon series “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” The characters were “life-sized” puppets, and were performing a song about friendship. In the middle of their performance, however, there was the sound of a record needle scratching, and Rick Astley came out and sang “Never Gonna Give You Up,” essentially Rickrolling the parade. (For those of you who now have the song stuck in your head, you’re welcome :P.)
After a late breakfast / early lunch, to get the cooking started, I put a crumb-topped cherry pie in the oven. Here’s a tip folks, don’t wait until the day before thanksgiving to buy your pumpkin pies. On the bright side, the cherry pie turned out really well, with the crumb topping staying crispy to the last piece Saturday night. Once the pie was done baking, dad and I prepared the bird for its turn in the hot-box. A secret blend of herbs and spices went inside and out, and then into the oven it went. Once the bird was cooking, there wasn’t much to do for a while but watch the AKC dog show, then football, and taking a little nap. Sometime during my nap, my brother made his appearance. He worked on the computer and napped a bit too, I think.
Apparently, I needed a little more nap than I had thought, since I slept through the preparations of the many side dishes. I had intended to give my dad a hand with this, but he managed ok on his own I guess. Dinner was superb, the turkey was golden brown and delicious, juicy and tender, creamy mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, toasty-warm rolls, and jellied cranberry sauce. My brother’s plate was piled to the sky, and I had a couple pretty big plates of my own.
After everyone had eaten their fill, and the leftovers had been put away, my brother and I drove downtown to the arena for the annual Thanksgiving hockey game. The place was about 2/3 full, which is about what I’d expect since the team isn’t doing that great, but I longed for the days earlier in the decade when the team was great and the game would be a sellout. The Otters were in their red 3rd jerseys, with the Belleville Bulls in yellow and black.
The Otters seemed out of sorts early on, giving up two quick goals, then snapped out of it and responded with two quick ones of their own, only to give up one more goal in the first period. The second and third periods were a real struggle, first just managing to get shots on net, then getting those shots that were close blocked by the Bulls goalie. In the 3rd period, the Bulls got an insurance marker, doubling up the Otters 4-2. Even though we lost, getting to watch the game with my bro was a lot of fun, I hope I can continue the tradition of attending Thanksgiving hockey games for a long, long time.
Back at home after the game, I served up my pie, with whipped cream (store-bought, sadly; someday I’ll use home-made). Even though it wasn’t pumpkin, the pie was really good. The filling was tart, not super sweet, and the crumb topping was just superb. After the pie, my bro left to spend time with his girlfriend, and I spent time with my parents and played on the computer.