Tonight through Friday, I choose to dwell in an alternate, fantasy universe.
In this place, flying horses are gently anchored at sunset, docile, innocent, faithful – certain of a safe night and a sweet sunrise, when they will be freed to soar again.
And in this place, I cook an enormous Thanksgiving meal, with appetizers of paté on brioche with cornichons and mustard, smoked salmon and cream cheese with capers, marinated shrimp, cheese and grapes, strawberries with creme fraiche and brown sugar, a perfect, moist turkey with crisp skin (I’ll try spatchcocking it, for the first time, which is sure to turn out magnificently, because this is my FANTASY, remember?), mashed potatoes and gravy, whole berry cranberry sauce (not the abomination of the canned stuff, cylindrical, jiggling – we have RULES here) sweet potato and carrot puree, peas and onions, brussels sprouts with bacon and a salad with dried cranberries, pecans and blue cheese crumble with raspberry vinaigrette, dinner rolls with butter, pumpkin and apple pie and wine, a meal that will last all weekend, with many, many platefuls to be assembled, warmed and served to …..
my imaginary gentleman caller.
Not Mike – that wouldn’t be fair, to call him back – but someone new that he’s approved of, or sent, even.
Someone to prop up this two-legged stool our lives have become, in this manless house.
I’ll wear my Thanksgiving dress all day, because you never know when a man on a flying white horse will show up. Could happen, here on my fantasy island.
I am in the process of cooking that enormous meal, preparing everything that can be done ahead of time, for our second Thanksgiving on Friday, after the first on Thursday at the brother’s in-laws, the first large family Thanksgiving my daughter will have ever experienced.
Then we’ll do our meal-just-for-two, with vats of hopeful leftovers waiting for my imaginary new man: leftovers that will last beyond Friday night, when I’ll hang up the dress; leftovers, uneaten by any man, that will sustain us through the weekend, when, back in the real world, I will bring out out the drop cloth and take on the big project, painting the front room.
Hilarity (and multiple additional trips to the hardware store) will no doubt ensue.
Happy Thanksgiving, and may your fondest fantasies come true.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a flying horse to catch.
When my equine flight lands, you may find me in the kitchen.
Stirring, pureeing, peeling, mashing and basting, I remain,
your loyal, lonely, faithful, hopeful,