After experiencing both ‘Northern’ and ‘Southern’ Thanksgiving, I can honestly say that both have their standout dishes. Pumpkin pie and stuffing are the super stars of the North. The South has introduced me to delicious dishes like homemade Mac and Cheese (especially my mother-in-law’s).
Some things I thought would be universal- the figurative olive branch between the North and the South.
I was wrong.
Very, Very wrong.
Almost a decade in, and I still cannot get over their “gravy”. To me, gravy is a smooth, brown liquid. Real gravy is difficult to make, as it requires making a roux first. My gravy is the powdered kind from the packet (sorry Dad), but it is smooth and brown. Thomas’s family gravy is unlike anything I have ever seen…. Firstly, it had random chunks of turkey (?) meat, bones, and fat floating in it. Also, there were HUNKS OF HARD BOILED EGGES FLOATING IN THIS SO CALLED GRAVY.
My first reaction was to frantically whisper to Thomas that someone forgot to strain the gravy and that it needed to be done right away before anyone else noticed. He threw me an odd look and said the gravy looked just fine to him. Clearly, he had not seen the EGGS floating in it. I urgently whispered to him again that the gravy must have been rushed to the table, sans straining, because there was egg in it. This earned me another odd look and an explanation: The gravy was SUPPOSED to have all that stuff in it.
WTH?! I took a moment to collect myself. I could not believe something as sacred as the gravy had been tainted. I had had suspicions going in; I knew I probably wouldn’t find stuffing or crunchy green beans. I was even willing to try sweet potato pie (for the record, huge disappointment as pumpkin is way better). But the gravy?! A girl has her standards, people.
In good news, Thanksgiving itself was very nice. I am lucky enough to have married into a family that is gentle, loving, and sincere. Even if they cannot make decent gravy.
This year, we started our own tradition. The “Thanksgiving Fairy” came to visit our house, and brought Emma a new dress and matching shoes. (In related news, she keeps asking me if the Thanksgiving fairy can come again TODAY to visit her.) Emma, Thomas and I toasted our good fortunes with champagne, and then ate dinner in the dining room using the china, silver, and crystal. We had stuffing and pumpkin pie, and the gravy was smooth and brown.
We enjoyed ourselves immensely, and genuinely hope you did too.