Holidays bring out the best and worst in families. Mine is no exception. My family comes straight out of Central Casting, each of us having created our own caricature of ourselves... or something Dickens would have cast.
In my family I'm usually the black sheep until my brother remarries (again). The current sister-in-law is so far the worst of my brother's collective of four marriages. So the holidays are going to be either extremely frosty or firey, depending upon if She shows up.
Thanksgiving is the one holiday I don't do at my house... a hazard of being a caterer. However, I happily show up and enjoy my younger sister's fabulous cuisine. She married an excellent cook and their children (now grown) are all wonderful cooks. It's a wildly eclectic dinner featuring usually only one familiar dish - roast turkey. I really enjoy going to dinner at their house.
However, my sister's Central Casting role is the Perennial Optimist. She is the epitome of kindness, so much so we usually add the moniker "saint" before her first name. And my sister the saint has invited our brother and the current sister-in-law (the harpie) to dinner. Oh, joy.
So knowing this could be a fractious family feast I've started to look for foods that will require a lot of chewing - so I can keep my mouth occupied instead of biting my tongue constantly in the presence of the Harpie. Quinoa comes to mind. It's chewy, especially with some dried apricots in a Turkish style dish. Okay, so not overly "American" but very nice.
And I am going to try to be nice on Thanksgiving. I'll chew slowly and sit near the turkey so I can throw the drumstick at the sister-in-law if necessary. I mean... should the drumstick slip from my hand in an unfortunate accident while reaching for the cranberry sauce.
Ahh, the joys of family gatherings. And if you would like your Thanksgiving feast catered give me a call. I wouldn't mind making a slightly late appearance at my sister's house.