Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh how I love to fuck with tradition

I am so excited folks. I found out this morning that my folks are coming to town for the Thanksgiving holiday this year. And this fills me with glee. Tee Hee, Tee Hee. No, for reals. I LOVE busting out my inner Rachel Ray.

My folks are T*R*A*D*I*T*I*O*N*A*L when it comes to the holidays. Turkey for Thanksgiving. Ham for Christmas. Rabbit for Easter. They don’t deal with change much. In the last 38 years I remember one occasion when my dad bucked the trend and went old-school traditional. I don’t recall which year it was, it was either year one or two after meeting Jed, I had gone home to OKC for a (literal) 11 hour trip. I had scheduled my flight out of Austin at 6 pm on Christmas eve and my return flight to Austin was 9 am the next morning. The plan was to spend Christmas eve with my family and then make it back home in time to spend Christmas day with my boo. The flight landed in OKC at 9 pm without a hitch. But as I was walking up the covered ramp to the airport, I heard an unusual sound…the sound of ice pelting the aluminum top of the ramp. I got to my folks house in time for the 10 o’clock news and watching the weather they said OKC was getting NINE INCHES of ice that night (NOT SNOW…ICE) and that the airport was shut down indefinitely and the highway patrol was discouraging everyone from getting on the roads. I called several car rental places to see about renting a car so I could drive back to Austin, but nobody was renting anything under the current conditions.

As I was only supposed to be in OKC for 11 hours, I literally brought nothing with me except for a suitcase full of presents for the family. The plan was to empty, open, refill, fly. I had no clothes, no toiletries. Nothing. Nadda. Zilch. (Ironically, that was the year my mother also decided to stop buying me clothes for Christmas!)

So there the three of us were, mom, dad and myself. The sisters couldn’t make it in because of the road conditions. The three of us sat down for our Christmas…GOOSE? Have you ever eaten a fucking goose? When you roast a 36 pound goose in the oven, what you pull out is ABOUT 3 ounces of meat. The other 35 pounds melts away in the form of oil. What’s more, my dad, apparently, forgot about the fat content of goose and stuffed the mother fucker like you would a turkey. So the dressing that came out of it was saturated in goose fat. I could feel the arteries clogging.

The next year I convinced the whole family to come down to Austin for Thanksgiving. I was surprised when everyone said yes. Mom, dad, both sisters, both of their husbands, their combined total 7 kids, and Jed’s mom. I was going to do it up awesome. My dad, however, was horrified when I started bringing all the food out to the table. He actually looked as if I had climbed up on the table, dropped trou, and shat in his mouth. I had made cranberry/mashed potato empanadas; sweet potato/stuffing empanadas; turkey enchiladas; and pinto beans. I had also made and assortment of traditional pies. “WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF GAY ASS DINNER IS THIS? IS THIS SOME SORT OF HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA KIND OF THING? WHERE’S THE GOD DAMN TURKEY?” My dad was so pissed off with dinner that he insisted we call it lunch and then took everyone out to a restaurant afterwards for a “real Thanksgiving dinner”.

Two years later I convinced the folks to come down to Austin again for Thanksgiving. I made a promise to dad that I would make a turkey and have the dressing/mashed taters and all the fixings. HOWEVER, I never promised I would ROAST the turkey! That was the year I invested, heavily, in all the supplies to FRY a turkey. My dad was STOKED on that Wednesday night when he saw the HUGE turkey in the fridge. The next morning he woke up at 5 and knocked on my door. “Do you want me to get the turkey ready to put in the oven?” I said, No. 530 he knocked again, “Are you going to get up and put the turkey in the oven? I said, No. 630 he knocked again, “Are we eating at 1 like we always do, or is this going to be a later dinner?” I said, Yes. I finally got up at 9 and went into the living room, where the folks were watching the Thanksgiving day parade. I told them I was going to start the turkey. My dad was horrified, again, when he saw me fire up the burner on the back patio for the turkey fryer. “WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THE STUFFING?” I explained to him that we had made trays of cornbread stuffing to put in the oven later and that everything would be taken care of. “CORN BREAD STUFFING? WHAT THE FUCK IS CORNBREAD DRESSING? WHERE’S THE WHITE BREAD (racist) DRESSING?” He insisted on making his own dressing and started mixing it up in a bowl. We watched in horror as he dropped in three sticks of melted butter. He would have used 4, but we were out. “Since we can’t stick it in the bird’s ass, I gotta do something to add flavor to it.” Jed was crushed. JED had actually made the cornbread dressing in an effort to win the folks over. They flat out refused to even try it. Dad said it would be a cold day in hell before he came over to my house for a holiday meal again.

And the cold front moves in…

So I came up with a grand scheme this year. We’re taking Nate to OKC for his birthday on the 22nd of this month. On Sunday, when we come back to Austin, we’re leaving him in OKC. The folks are going to bring him down on Wednesday and spend the Thanksgiving holiday with us. And this time, I’m gonna “do ‘er right”. I’m going to do the traditional thing for them, and I’m going to knock their socks off. I can’t wait to let my inner Martha out.
Tell me some of your holiday traditions!

It should be noted that my dad is not a homophobe, however he is a racist. The discussions, above, about the "homosexual agenda" just makes for better reading than the actual commentary of a very old traditionalist.


Nessa said...

Because Derek comes from a country that doesn't have Thanksgiving I am able to make my own traditions. The tradition is a mix of Derek's likes, My mother's traditions, and what I like. Being that I have gone vegetarian, Thanksgiving will be different, but using most of the same ingredients.

One thing my mother did for as long as I can remember and I have adapted is eating olives and bread and butter pickles while everything is cooking.

Have you ever brined your Turkey? I had done it for three years and it keeps the Turkey so moist. Never had a dry turkey :) If youre interested in making a brine, Alton Brown has a great recipe on

Anonymous said...

I've intruded into my inlaws holiday food traditions and not looked back. We've had mac& cheese, deep fried turkey and home made bread and few other "never before eaten" things to the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinner tables.
The only f-ing thing is I cant get mom in law to stop eating at 3pm. I want a 12-1pm or 5-6pm real meal time like the rest of the world.

Brian in Danbury