So perhaps I owe you all a bit of an explanation about the Thanksgiving Shake and Bake. You see this quaint little montage is merely a link in the lengthy line of Peasant Thanksgiving tradition in which I require my guests to provide me with some documented form of entertainment at their own expense.
Thanksgiving 2000, I made everyone take a picture with these heart shaped antennas. She looked much happier doing the twist in my Thanksgiving Shake and Bake...
2001 everyone posed with an Indian Headdress...
And my all time favorite, Thanksgiving 2003 when everyone was subject to the Groucho Marx glasses.
Clearly my mother does not embarrass easily.
Why do I do this? There is no question that the Thanksgiving mishaps I have encountered have lopped years off the end of my life. One time the oven rack snapped under the weight of the turkey sending the thirty-pound bird plummeting through the bottom of the stove and into the broiler. Another year I learned that, when you brine the bird, it cooks faster! As charming as these escapades might be, the point is that by the time I have overcome the stresses of cooking, I have missed the liveliest part of the party. Just as I am free of the apron and can be at ease with my guests, they have all begun their one-way descent into a haze of butter drenched euphoria.
This is when Thanksgiving postpartum kicks in and I find myself asking, ‘ what is it that I have to be thankful for again?’ This year, it was only once I browsed the dancing footage that I realized what it was. I am eternally thankful that I have friends who have no problem humiliating them selves in front of a camera. Do they do it for the sake of my personal entertainment; do they do it because I would withhold their dinner if they refused? I will never be certain, but the moral kernel of the story is that when you are cooking for a group of hungry friends, you can get them to do just about anything.