Saturday, November 29, 2008

Say Yes to Turkey Day

On a holiday best known for its overindulgence, it must be hard to hear the word "No." And not just once, but over and over. Welcome to C's world.

C's godparents, Ahmed and Shirleen, hosted a lovely Thanksgiving dinner for close to 20 people, and C was by far the youngest. We had spent most of the day getting organized and hitting Ralphs, where there were so many empty shelves in the baking aisle, you'd have thought it was the Depression ... oh, wait.

So, like many other Depression-era folk, I made do -- instead of picking out each ingredient, I grabbed a nice, plump-looking Sara Lee pumpkin pie from the freezer. (OK, not exactly waiting in line for three days for a loaf of bread, I know.) Still not happy with just heating up my dessert, I decided to improvise on another one. I grabbed dark chocolate mini shells, some Jell-O pudding, whipped cream and frozen strawberries and created what I call the Chocolate Red Eye.

And C was right there the whole time. After filling the little cups with chocolate pudding and topping them with whipped cream, I grabbed the tub of strawberries (a clue that I don't do this very often) and saw only a frozen red blob. I had to defrost it. Ugh. By the time I did that, the whipped cream had melted into the pudding, so it looked like a muddy pool of goo. I finally got the strawberries to thaw a little and scraped what I could onto the chocolate. By the time I was done, it looked like an eyesore. Literally.

Luckily, C didn't care. She ate her little chocolate test cup with total glee. And had a whipped cream moustache to show for it.

Once we got to Ahmed and Shirleen's, I delivered my less-than-homemade pie and offensive-looking Red Eyes. But luckily nobody cared. There was so much food, no one noticed my mangled "desserts."

C then ran around, entertaining guests, pulling things off shelves, grabbing knives from the table and trying to get a healthy sip of wine at every opportunity -- each time hearing a resounding "No" from her mom.

I tried the distraction game and noticed how quickly she liked pointing to things I had said "No" to earlier. It was fun for her; she was teasing me.

She was able to eventually overindulge, too, eating everything from biscuits to jambalaya to roast to turkey to coconut cake. I think I'm like every parent in that I love to see my child eat. It somehow reassures me that she's healthy and cared for and also makes me thankful that she doesn't have to wait in line three days for a loaf of bread.

I love it, that is, until I see her making a play for the raisins in the glass of mulled wine.

Liquor-plumped raisins? No!

Chocolate Red Eyes that seriously could've been props in Saw V? Absolutely!

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