I’m big into tradition. I grew up with a lot of them, instilled in me by my parents and grandparents. There was never a Thanksgiving growing up in South Texas that did not include turkey, cornbread dressing, fresh green beans with cheese sauce, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, and a lot of pies.
Nowadays, it’s important to me that my son has a lot of tradition in his life, too, because I think it provides just a tiny bit of stability in a very unstable world.
I used to feel sorry for folks who told me they ate out on a holiday like Thanksgiving. Poor people! Nothing homemade? No pulling of the turkey wishbone? No soaking in those awesome smells from the kitchen as the traditional meal was being prepared? No sitting on folding chairs at folding tables? No worn recipe cards with stains dating back three generations?
I truly thought eating out on Thanksgiving surely meant that those people were all alone in the world. Or worse, that they had become complete yuppies who could no longer fathom the work required to make their own food.
And yet this year, we ate out on Thanksgiving.
There were a ton of reasons leading up to the decision — family with other plans, crazy-busy work schedules, an oven that only sometimes works properly … and the fact that my husband found an awesome deal at a swanky restaurant that meant we would spend far less going to an incredible buffet than we would buying all of the ingredients to make the traditional meal here at home for just the three of us. But even given all of that, I was sure we were turning some kind of horrid corner into an all-too modern life.
But we did it. 12:30 p.m. reservations. Two hours of wonderful food, from turkey and ham that melted in your mouth to crab legs and shrimp and prime rib. No one judging if (who am I kidding? WHEN …) you go back for seconds or thirds of your favorite dish. (Those crab legs were insanely good, okay?) A lovely wait staff refilling my glass. No dishes to wash afterward.
The kid loved every minute of it, too. As my dad always says, I believe they lost money on his measly $15 all-you-can-eat price tag.
Now, with Christmas and all its traditional dishes right around the corner, I’m beginning to think that eating out for one of those big ol’ feasts 30 days apart isn’t all that bad or sad or yuppie after all. In fact, it was kinda fun.
Who says tradition can’t involve crab legs?
So, what are your thoughts on eating out for a holiday like Thanksgiving? Have we turned some horrible corner?