Putting Thanksgiving on the line

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, November 10, 2011

As you all might be able to sense by the slight bounce in my otherwise barreling gait, I’m in a state of glee. Why? Thanksgiving is approaching. And I can think of no finer time to be alive.

This year, there is more than a little bit of concern for me, because my beloved little sister called me recently expressing an urge to prepare the entire Thanksgiving meal this year.

She may as well have said, “I know I’m only a junior varsity quarterback, but, I’m ready to start in the Super Bowl.”

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Allow me to provide a bit of culinary background on my sister Fran. First, let me say that I love her dearly. But Fran has never been the most patient cook in the world. By that, I mean she’s always been the type of cook who believes that cooking something at 500 degrees for 20 minutes should be the same as cooking it at 300 degrees for 40 minutes. (It’s not, by the way.)

This is the sibling with the reputation of serving fried chicken that is burned to a crisp on the outside and somehow still raw on the inside. She is also the one who, when we were teenagers, heated peanuts in the microwave for 23 minutes! I never knew that you could actually make peanuts glow fiery red like a building rivet, but Fran made it happen.

She simply doesn’t have the greatest track record in the kitchen.

So whatever has convinced her to take on my most treasured of holiday meals is simply beyond me, and I was not quite sure how to respond to her invitation, because — as is abundantly clear to pretty much everyone who knows me — I love Thanksgiving more than any other holiday.

Not to put excess pressure on my baby sister, but she’s not just putting my favorite holiday on the line; she’s taking her own life into her hands. (Love you, Fran.)

After all, she knows that in all the years of holiday meals, our mother made certain that we never had a bad spread for Thanksgiving dinner. And I’ve become somewhat accustomed to a good meal on Thanksgiving.

For a man of my considerable size and hunger to have that streak broken could very well mean disaster for my poor baby sister. She knows I’m not above sitting on her for her crime. She can refer to our childhood if she has any doubt about that.

But even with my reservations, never let it be said that I’m not a good older brother. I am going to attend her Thanksgiving dinner with the best of intentions and applaud her efforts. After all, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you have. And I’m very thankful that I have a sister willing to risk getting sat on to make a nice dinner for our family.

Pray for her, though, Suffolkians. My wrath over not getting a good meal on Thanksgiving could be great.

Maybe I should keep a backup turkey in my trunk, just in case.