Thanksgiving looms. I'm getting ready to head out for a three-store groceries and incidentals run to Meijer's, Sam's, and Tractor Supply. Several hours of traffic, parking lots, and retail insanity to insure everyone who shares our holiday meal on Thursday—people, pooches, and those feathered feeder guests dropping by outdoors—will feel warmly welcomed and be abundantly fed.
I love doing this, providing and preparing these annual feasts. Depending on who has to go where for a particular holiday on a given year within the interconnected family circles, we may have a dozen, or only the two of us at the table—though others might make the rounds and drop by later on. No matter. In my experience, two—the right two, anyway—can celebrate and feast as well as twenty, if perhaps less noisily.
Regardless of how many or how few are expected, I don't par down the menu, only the quantity of food—and often not all that much. The way I view a twenty pound turkey is not as ridiculously excessive for two…merely as having the potential to afford a bonus of delicious leftovers for meals ahead. Therefore, all the venerated dishes, the laden table's familiar tasty touchstones, are fixed and served, brought out to play their parts. I side with Irving's old Squire of Bracebridge Hall when it comes to the keeping of traditions.
Finally, in case you're wondering, the photo above was made this morning, not long after sunup. The temperature was 18˚F. As you can see, except for a bit of green honeysuckle, the riverside is looking decidedly wintry, though there's little ice yet on even the slowest-moving pools.