It's been about a month since I've been to the inlaws' on Sunday, so I'm actually kind of looking forward to it today. Especially since she told Brian what's on the menu. It's definitely a southern thing and there are several names for it: Beaufort Boil, Frogmore Stew, Seafood jambalya, etc. It depends on where in the region you are, but what it boils (pun!) down to is shrimp, corn, sausage and crab all tossed in a big pot with water and seasonings and served with some kind of bread. It's a popular Lowcountry recipe and though I've been to Charleston and its surroundings many times, I've never gotten lucky enough to try it. I have hinted about it to my mother-in-law many times however, and I think she's making it mostly for me. See what happens when you stay away for awhile? I'm wiping drool off my shirt just thinking about it.
Which reminds me. Thanksgiving. Last year Brian and I decided to have our first ever turkey day by ourselves for the first time in twelve years. No family, no traveling. No dressing decently to spend an entire day eating with a bunch of people we don't know. They do Thanksgiving with his stepdad's family in some little town two hours north of here and I'm sorry, but that's not our idea of fun. We spend a lot of time with his family as it is and the holiday season even more so. Last year we told a little (big) white lie and said we were going to eat with my relatives who live in Hilton Head, about two hours away. It's a reasonable story, except we came close to getting straight busted when his mom stopped by earlier that week after I'd already bought our turkey and had it defrosting in the kitchen sink. I panicked as she was getting out of her car and hid the bird in the first and closest place I could think of, the dryer. I felt like I was guest-starring on a bad sitcom, but it worked. I made my first ever complete traditional Thanksgiving dinner and it came out great. Although holy shit that was a lot of cooking for one meal.
This year we're changing it up a little. Neither one of us is crazy about turkey and since we're making the rules, we've decided to have a turkey-free holiday. I'm sure the Pilgrams may have eaten it, but the one wild turkey I tried to cook (Delorme got into turkey hunting for awhile) tasted like earthbird seasoned with dirt. Delorme remembers vividly how that turkey tasted and after telling my dad all about it, a few days later I received in the mail a cookbook called How to Cook Wild Game. Everyone had a big laugh at my expense, but I showed them: I never cooked wild game again. Screw that. Should it come to the point the experts are predicting with the economy and the end of civilization as we know it, I am already ahead of the game by owning this cookbook.
Not that we needed to justify our rebellion for turkey, but Brian further reasoned the meal at Plymouth Rock probably included venison and sea food, so that's the theme we're going with. I enjoy stuffing, mashed taters, green bean casserole and biscuits all year round; I won't miss it that day. I used to work with a weird Statistics professor at USC and he once told me he and his wife always had lobster on Thanksgiving, every year. It was like their thing. At the time I thought "How sad." I guess I'm older now or else I too have gotten weird (I prefer the term "eccentric") because now that just sounds like a damn fine idea.
My blogging friend Laura and her family always have a lobster dinner on Christmas Eve but they do it up right and have them flown in from Maine, where she's from. That's what I'm talking about. She says lobster prices are going down right now too, so I have a small little pebble of hope in my heart that we'd be able to swing that as well. Lobster. There is nothing on earth I'd rather put in my mouth (yes I know - that's what she said). But either way there will be some form of food from the sea and no form of fowl at my Thanksgiving table this year. And if there do happen to be two big-ass lobsters delivered to my doorstep the day before, I know the perfect place to hide them should his parents stop by.
Four whole days alone with no obligations and doing whatever we choose - THAT'S what I call a holiday to be thankful for.