I imagine by now you've read lots of "what I have to be thankful for" posts. I am sure they've been inspiring, moving, touching.
But I have the best reason to be thankful. Ready?
a) I did not cook.
b) I still got leftovers!
Come on, does that rule or what? Is it not every mother's dream? No cooking. Not a finger lifted. No dislocating my shoulder lugging a frozen turkey home from the store, no splashing brine all over myself trying to tenderize the thing, no going cross-eyed trying to evaluate a million different recipes for stuffing.
Yes, dear reader, we were guests at someone else's table this year. Now. Ready for the best part?
OUR HOSTESS DIDN'T COOK, EITHER.
She ordered dinner from Byerley's. I realize she did this entirely on her own, but I like to think I was the inspiration for this. A few years ago I discovered the secret to holiday peace was to order the food pre-cooked from the grocery store. You might not get Grandma's recipe for apple pie or your cousin's fabulous stuffing, but do you really need perfection at the holidays?
You do not. You need sanity. You need peace. You need your shoulder blades to stay where they're supposed to be.
The first time I ordered a dinner I think it was Easter. Imagine my joy when I found out I could order it for Christmas. And imagine my disappointment when I found out the store only offered this incredible deal at major holidays. I then contemplated ordering six Easter dinners at once and freezing them to eat over the next few months, but I ran out of freezer room.
I'm not sure when my aversion to cooking set in, but it was fairly recently. I used to love the cookbook aisle at the Barnes and Noble. I loved browsing food magazines, especially when I was feeling a little hungry. But somewhere along the way I just ran out of enthusiasm. It got so I had to drag myself into the kitchen. Then half the time all I could do was pull a couple of takeout menus out of the drawer.
Maybe cooking was more fun before we had to start watching our calories. There's a joy in butter, and don't get me started on sugar and shortening.
But now. Health, fat, the threat of the scale. Food is just not fun any more.
And if food has lost its fun, well, cooking doesn't have a prayer.