It’s Thanksgiving Day Eve, and what a celebration we’re having at Le Café Witteveen. This entire week has been great. Sunday night we ate sushi with my brothers in law, Michael and Jason. They say, “Hello” by the way.
I was profiled in this magazine article this week. How cool is that?
Monday night, Tina and I dined at another sushi joint with my cousins Pete and Erin, Erin’s son Diego and Erin’s ex-husband slash husband slash friend Javier. It had been a long time since we saw them. We caught up a little and I trounced Diego in a game of UNO. I know you’re supposed to let kids win, but damn it’s fun to see five year olds cry.
Last night, I cooked, which I do almost every night of the week. Tina and I attempt to eat fresh as often as possible. When I get a craving for something like McDonald’s, I try to make myself a meal that will satiate that wish without leaving my kitchen. I won’t use nearly the butter, oils, salt or mystery ingredients that might come off the floor at a restaurant, and it helps me to hone my hope to be an amateur, untrained chef.
The worst thing about 30-minute recipes is that it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to cook them. It’s only after cooking them two or three times that I could maybe get the time down to 30 minutes.
Last night, I made steak tips with red wine-butter sauce with a side of garlic-parmesan potatoes. The potatoes were awesome, and the meat was okay. The sauce was excellent. I need to make it again. I took a picture, but I wasn’t happy with it. I’ll show you anyway.
Today, Tina has client meetings until 3:30, so I fended for myself for lunch. I had a craving for a hamburger and french fries. So I settled on a grilled ham and cheese with a recooked version of last night’s potato recipe. One lesson I learned while studying in France was the best hashbrown-type potatoes are made from day-old cooked potatoes. I ran out of cheddar cheese, so I added some mozzarella. It may not be entirely great for me, but I justify it by telling myself, “It’s better than going to McDonald’s.”
I took a photo of lunch, too.
Tonight we’re off to the circus with Tina’s family. There will be six kids (seven including me) and seven adults (six not including me). Tomorrow we will spend Thanksgiving in Tinley Park at Tina’s cousin (practically sister) Kelly and her husband Brian.
If we can’t take Talulah with us (because sometimes people don’t get that dogs can’t be left alone all
fucking day), we’ll be heading home early from Kelly’s house so we don’t force Lou Dog to hold her pee until her bladder bursts. It takes a little over an hour to drive one way, so we use up two hours of Talulah’s pee-holding time in the car.
We asked if we could bring her, but Kelly’s worried about the house full of people. Whatever.
The one thing I encourage at family events is soak up the family who are there. If there’s a game that someone wants on, put a TV only to check scores. If it’s got to be on, press mute. For goodness sakes, what’s the harm in having a conversation with people you only see once or twice a year? The other wish I have is not to let kids commandeer the entire conversation. Maybe the adults can get about 30% of the attention this holiday season.
So go soak up your family. Ignore the kids. And stuff your faces. At the dinner table, be sure to instigate the “What are you thankful for” conversation.
You haven’t succeeded at Thanksgiving until the top button on your pants is open and the tryptophan kicks in. Although, the whole tryptophan thing is likely a old wives’ tale. The body naturally becomes tired while it digests food. And since you probably just ate a small child at the dinner table, you get really tired. In fact,tryptophan could likely aid in treating depression and MS.
But blame it on the tryptophan. Blame everything on the tryptophan … especially the flatulence.