Much to my family's dismay, I chose not to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have too many fond memories of viewing the parade from the comfort of my weatherproof living room to sabotage my love of the event by fighting throngs of Staten Island families and international tourists who don't even know what Thanksgiving is.
I absolutely love Thanksgiving because I love cooking for lots of people. And when you're hosting Orphan Thanksgiving, as Anna and I did last year, there are no rules! You can put paprika AND cayenne pepper in the deviled eggs! You can invite grown-ups who will contribute excellent bottles of wine and fancy cheese to the party. You can hold a mandatory concert. Anything is possible when you squeeze twelve hungry people into a kitchen/living room the size of a pool table.
We were fortunate that Anna's parents and brother Nikhil were present at our apartment's First Thanksgiving. This meant a few things: Anna's mom, Susan, hit up Whole Foods on her way into town, saving us from grocery shopping at the bodega across the street. We executed a beautiful, entirely vegetarian Thanksgiving. The wheat loaf with mushroom gravy was so savory and filling that I didn't miss having turkey at all. In fact, the only dish I really missed was Granny's sweet potato casserole with all the pecans and brown sugar on top.
Lastly, having the Srirams over meant Anna's dad, Subramaniam, emceed an impromptu talent show. He kicked off the performances with a dramatic reading/recitation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, act 3, scene 2, when Brutus addresses the Roman citizens after Caesar's death. His performance was inspiring, and not at all influenced by the painkillers he was taking due to recent oral surgery.
Who knows what this year's Thanksgiving will bring. As long as friends, family, booze, and leftovers are involved, I'll be happy. Last Thanksgiving, Subramaniam reported at the end of the night, "Susan, I can't feel my mouth." If that's not the true meaning of this fantastic holiday I don't know what is.