The Sassy Sandpiper: Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving (Not)
Your Thanksgiving may not be picture perfect, but, the Sassy Sandpiper says, it’s full of love and memories to be made.
By M.R. Wilson, Columnist, TB Reporter
After the Great Thanksgiving Day Oven Death of 2017, I swore I’d never again prepare a big holiday meal that involved roasting turkey. This year’s plan was to fix a mutant pizza with ground turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, the works.
Then a sad phrase in an email note about not having much to celebrate without kids and family got me thinking. There is much to celebrate, I reminded my correspondent and myself. I’ll spare you the Hallmark stuff, and the Norman Rockwell stuff might not be all that relevant these days, either.
But just for a moment, recall the famous painting by Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want. You’ve probably seen it somewhere: Grandpa in a suit and tie, smiling and proud as Grandma presents the golden-brown turkey on her best china platter. This classic was inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” 1941 State of the Union Address. World War II raged in Europe; the United States had not yet suffered the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was all about giving Americans a little comfort and hope, always relevant, as we fast forward from 1941 to 2018.
I decided to cook a small Thanksgiving dinner to honor my Mom and Granny and the family’s celebration of our blessings, including the autumn income from our little Nebraska farm harvest.
Part of that tradition is Liebfraumilch, the delicate German white wine, which is becoming harder and harder to come by.
Amazon.com to the rescue! Uh-huh.
I was so bent on finding Liebfraumilch, I didn’t read the description’s fine print and ended up ordering a … wine KIT. Imagine my surprise upon opening the heavy box and finding not four glistening bottles but a gallon-size plastic bag containing some kind of fluid with a huge yellow screw cap and an envelope of mysterious little packets. Fermenting chemicals. The instructions described the process to turn water into wine in “four to eight weeks.” I packed it all back up and went online to begin the return process, only to discover wine kits are non-returnable.
To my relief, a wine specialty store had my precious Liebfraumilch. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it.
I don’t have the grandmother’s grace depicted in Rockwell’s painting, nor the grand table that could seat a dozen relatives and friends. Three at most, and we have to fight off the cats.
But, oven gods willing, there will be turkey and if the gods are fickle, Liebfraumilch at least.
Bright Blessings to you and yours. May you thrive in the Four Freedoms.
M.R. Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper | Thanksgiving | Tampabay News
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