13.45 pounds is NOT that big

My Thanksgiving shopping is done. Well, round two anyway…

Years ago, I used to earn that “free turkey” within days of the start of their promo with just my usual shopping list; With a houseful of eaters, spending $250 was hardly difficult, and sometimes, I could earn a second one and donate it. (major score! Feed others who can not feed themselves.) …And then the goal became $300, then $350, and, more recently $400. #Seriously? and all for a turkey? That turkey also went from “your choice, between 22-28 pounds”,  to a store brand, frozen,  16-22 pounds….or a ham, or a lasagna. The price per pound also went up over time, so a $30 bird became a $50 bird. Ok, I get it, technically,  but come on.  Does the average family have that kind of money, and if it’s a half pound per person, does the average household really have that many people at their table that day? Or even need a big turkey? And how many other side dishes and hors d’oeuvres are also being served? Not to mention, dessert, which any triptofan coma induced person MUST experience within moments of finishing their meal…though at our house, we play Balderdash first… but that’s a whole other blog post!

I was brought up in a household where food is love, and I have to admit, this holiday is my favorite…wonderous smells, seasonal colors, gratitude, family, good wine, warm rolls, fresh from the oven, and laughter, devoid of religiosity or gift giving. I prep for days, with everything imaginable, and thanks to having the flu together with a newborn many years ago, the hubby takes care of the bird and makes his fabulous cranberry/sausage/oyster stuffing, which, I have to say  is to die for. There’s a vegetable platter, dips,  crackers, hummus, a cheese platter, stuffed mushrooms (but only if I can get the really big ones…Fingers crossed that i find them for my son who returns only for them, I believe) sweet potatoes, and sweet potato pie for those “not watching their sugar, gluten, or dairy”, string bean casserole, Brussel sprouts, regular (inside the bird) stuffing, the hubby’s famous stuffing, two kinds of cranberry sauce (fresh, whole-berry, homemade with oranges, and the jelly one, because I love the sound it makes when it leaves the can…no joke.) And then there are the pies…

We usually have about a dozen or more people at our feast, and I wrap up care packages for all of our guests, and keep a stash for ourselves for those fabulous little midnight sandwiches stacked high on dinner rolls with everything served on a giant dining room table, that takes up the entire table. I go for the 26 pound turkey, just to be safe that there’s enough…until new years? And, let’s be honest, I don’t stop eating from the beginning of prep until somewhere around January 5th, and that’s only because the FAFSA has to be filed.

This year, we will be 7 people. It just so happens that we have a big family event a few weeks later, so all of the out of towners have opted to not travel twice. I’m really not sure how to prepare for this.  I have trouble scaling to size, and I am pacing myself. I also have to admit, that with money being tight, I’m not going to qualify for that turkey. In fact, I bought one outright to help meet the criteria, and I still won’t get there. I have a few forgotten  incidentals to go back for, like the rolls…I must not forget the rolls…must not forget the rolls…rolls…but its not going to get me a “free” turkey.

Though it is only 13.45 pounds, so I still can’t help but wonder, and it taunts me; will that be enough?

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