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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Cheer

Can you feel the tension rising? Within a few short hours, which will quickly pass like a speeding bullet train, you and I will be immersed in a Jell-O mold of family members. We will gather around a table of thanksgiving with people to whom we are alledgedly related, but with whom, in our opinions, we share little resemblance.

Then we'll retire to the living room to watch football, sitting on the sofa next to snoring cousin Edgar, who has his hand tucked into the unbuttoned waistband of his pants. We'll find ourselves asking, "Who is this cousin Edgar? Where did he come from? How can I possibly share a genetic history with him?"

The scene is surreal, but survivable with a few nips of the Turkey Tamer (from Peterson's Holiday Helper by Valerie Peterson).

5 pieces candied ginger (each about 1/2 inch square)
2 ounces Wild Turkey (or other bourbon)
1 & 1/2 onces pear juice

While hiding in the pantry, place 4 pieces of candied ginger at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the bourbon and get all your pent-up holiday aggression out by mashing the heck out of the ginger. Fill the shaker with ice and add the pear juice. Shake until condensation has formed on the outside of the shaker and you feel no more irritation at Aunt Ellie's probing personal questions. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with fresh ice or, if you are feeling particularly desperate, drink the concoction straight from the cocktail shaker. Put the 5th piece of candied ginger on a toothpick for garnish.

As everyone's holiday experience is different, some readers may choose to skip all the above steps, save money on the ingredients, and just down a shot or two of the Turkey and return, refreshed, to host his or her guests.
Servings: 1

We must remember to pace ourselves, however, since this is only the beginning of holiday mayhem. I recommend seeking aid and solace and a few spine straighteners, for those truly difficult days ahead, in your own copy of Peterson's Holiday Helper: Festive Pick-Me-Ups, Calm Me Downs & Handy Hints to Keep You in Good Spirits.

Combine Valerie Peterson's guide to capturing the blissful days of yore with a few chuckles from If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny, and you have a recipe for making memories, some of which you might not remember and some of which you will never forget.

Above all, have a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving filled with gratitude for all the blessings in your life, including snoring cousin Edgar.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Just In

If you live in the Atlanta area:

From November 12 through 14, Star 94 listeners will meet some of the biggest “stars” of all – the patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta – during the seventh annual Star 94 Cares for Kids Radiothon, presented by ForestersÔ. Between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on November 12 and 13 and between 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on November 14, listeners will hear not only the voices of Star 94’s personalities, but also the courageous voices of the children and families whose lives have been touched by Children’s.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Birthday Blog

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Hmm hm hm hm hm hm hm, Happy Birthday to me.

[The sound of a record scratching.]

Oh crap, that sound gives away my age.

[Substitute it with the sound of a blue ray DVD cracking and a Prius putting on its breaks.]

I can feel time slipping through my hands like a rope in a tug-o-war contest. This morning my 12 year-old, right after I blew out the more than a hundred candles flaming on my makeshift breakfast birthday cake presented to me by my children, asked, "How old are you this year?"

"Twenty-seven," I said, solidly, my tone daring anyone to question it.

He dared. "Haven't you been 27 for like the last four years in a row?"


"Mama, you're so old it's contagious," he replied, as if orienting me to reality.

While the look of horror still masked my young, wrinkle-free face, my oldest son hunched over and started grabbing his throat, saying, "I'm aging, I'm aging," in a crackly voice.

I put my fingers in my ears and sang, Hmm-hm Birthday to me, Hmm-hm Birthday to me, Hmm hm hm hm hm hm hm, Hmm-hm Birthday to me.

They yanked that tug-o-war rope through my hands so hard, it ripped the happy right out of birthday.