By Maggie Collett
When I go home over breaks, I look forward to certain things, like water pressure. Cole Hall isn’t exactly known for its awesome water pressure. I also enjoy seeing my best friend, and driving the curvy back roads that I grew up on.
But the thing I look forward to the most when I pull into my driveway is home cooked meals. My mom is notorious for being a good cook. She makes cinnamon rolls from scratch, chicken noodle soup, and some killer chicken breasts. When we head over to my grandparent’s house, my uncle barbeques anything from pork steaks to chicken to ribs. The amount of food I consume when I’m home would shock most people.
Thanksgiving is an especially bad time or good if that’s how you want to look at it. My family is known for going above and beyond the amount of food that is considered normal and healthy on Thanksgiving. We all crowd into my grandparent’s small farmhouse in Marion County and the house is quickly filled with laughter, conversation, and the unmistakably mouthwatering smell of our Thanksgiving meal.
An entire kitchen table and breakfast bar is dedicated to plates upon plates of turkey, stuffing, corn, and the weird cranberry sauce that oozes red juice yet still manages to hold its can shape. Not only do we serve the typical Thanksgiving meal, we also have soups, homemade wontons, and casseroles of all kinds. We all shuffle through filling our plates and then we scatter throughout the house, balancing our Dixie bowls and Solo cups on our laps. Usually there are a few brave souls who venture back through the line a second time for an extra helping of Uncle Rick’s spicy chili or Aunt Diane’s Reuben dip.
When we’ve all had our fill, we clear off the table and proceed to the stage during our Thanksgiving meal that I like to call halftime. A few of the kids get rounded up to wash the dishes and the older women put on a kettle to make tea. There is usually an aunt or two wandering around with a camera snapping pictures of the relatives sleeping with their mouths open. These pictures will later end up on Facebook for all of humanity’s enjoyment.
Most of the family shoves into the TV room to watch football and yell at the screen. The teenagers usually go outside to do some shooting or ride four wheelers and the young kids end up following for the sole reason of “Grandpa said so.” Eventually someone will be dragged down to the creek to throw rocks with the five year old.
After a certain amount of time has passed, Grandma Beth will relocate back to the kitchen. This is the signal. The ice cream bucket is taken out of the freezer and the Saran Wrap is removed from the various desserts. Every year the choices are different. They have ranged from Red Velvet cake to chocolate pie to pumpkin pie to gooey butter coffee cake. One year we even had a flaming Banana Foster. And of course, the cranberry sauce is a trooper. It’s still holding its can shape on the plate in the corner.
The entire family has a sixth sense about this time during the meal, and everyone magically reappears in the kitchen. This is no small feat considering the size of the room. Everyone stands around expectantly until a few people are guilted into serving the rest of the family and the last course begins.
This year, however, Thanksgiving will be a little different. Rather than going to the farm for the holiday, my immediate family will be traveling to Branson, MO. We will be staying in a house through our timeshare and celebrating Thanksgiving apart from the rest of the family.
My mom, sister, and I have been planning food for a while now. It’s looking like it’s going to be similar to what we’re used to – enough food to feed the army. My mom will be preparing the turkey. My sister will make her sweet potato casserole and I might contribute some hot wings. After all, it wouldn’t be a typical Collett Thanksgiving without non-traditional food.
As for the can-shaped cranberry sauce, I’m not sure if it will be in attendance.
Although the traditions will be a little different this year, I am looking forward to spending time with my family and consuming massive amounts of food.
A little extra water pressure wouldn’t hurt either.
Maggie Collett is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.