Tie One on Day is not what you think, although in my younger days, it may have been exactly what you would think it is. The night before Thanksgiving is always a big night of drinking and a big night for bars. Everyone goes home for Thanksgiving and if they get in the night before, they might as well go out for a tipple or two. I haven’t done this in a very long time. I’ve worked a few over the past decades, but haven’t really partaken in the festivities. That’s ok by me too. I’ll let the kids keep that celebration. It’s just not my thing. Regardless, National Tie One On Day isn’t about all that. It’s about tying on your apron as you begin preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday. The apron goes on and the work begins. Now that’s a holiday I can get behind.
Lola started our preparation early and by the time I got home, she was already suited up in her apron. It’s a light blue apron with polka dots with pinkish trim and a few ornamental buttons in the front. She bought it many years ago at a farmer’s market in New Hampshire from a lady who made them special (while her husband made hand-carved cutting boards) and the apron comes out every time Lola gets down to business in the kitchen. I suited up too. I actually have three aprons (or so I discovered). My best apron my sister got for me last year as a Christmas present and it was custom printed with the Dan’s Holiday Adventure logo on the front. I like this apron however after a recent use, the string for the apron freed itself and now it requires some sewing to get it back into place and it was nit useable today. I also have an apron that my mom got for me, undoubtedly a bargain from Xpect Discounts. This one is a little more sparkly than anything else in my wardrobe so I haven’t really used it. I’m saving it for the right sparkly occasion. The third apron, and the one I decided to wear, is just a plain white apron that came home with me from a restaurant at some point over the years. It’s simple and just what I like. I actually don’t use the bib portion of the apron. I tuck that down and just tie the whole thing around my waist. That’s just how we wore them in the kitchen and how I am used to wearing an apron. When the bib is up around my neck, I feel silly and trapped although I do understand there is a practicality to it. Still, I’ll always tie mine around the waist.
Lola is making the crust for her Banana Cream Pie here which came out awesome. This was her mom’s recipe and she has been making it for the last few years, although this one was her best. She also made a sweet potato casserole made with honey and a strudel of pecans on top which came out perfect too. I helped where I could but I had my own agenda. I was making the stuffing which was something I had never tackled before. It was another Gigi recipe and Becky set us up to make a three-batch of it. It very specifically called for Jone’s sausages which struck me as odd because Jone’s was the maker of the Scrapple that I ate a few weeks ago. My White Castle stuffing got my stuffing making skills up to par and it ended up being pretty easy to make. I also made a homemade cranberry sauce which I wanted to make because I like the fresh stuff (rather than the canned slices). All and all it was a pretty easy load for us. In the past, the day before Thanksgiving was a lot more hectic with more things to make. This was the first year I didn’t have to peel 20 pounds of potatoes (although I did peel some). I also didn’t have to make creamed onions. Lola and I made what we had to do, we clean up with Lola doing the lion’s share of that, and then we put our aprons in the wash. We were finished for the day.
Our final night before Thanksgiving tradition was to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles. This could be the only acceptable Thanksgiving movie that really gives you that sense of coming home. I was first drawn to this movie because it was funny and because of John Candy and Steve Martin (how could you go wrong?) But every time we watch it, we see it for the genius that it is. The mystery of Del Griffith unravels a little more uncovering the sadness behind it all. It’s a tear jerker. And that’s how we ended our Thanksgiving Eve – in the magic of John Hughes world, a fridge full of goodies, a glimmer of excitement for tomorrow and two aprons needing a wash after getting a thorough workout. We were two tired cooks in each other’s arms and thankful for all we have.
Next Up: National Eat a Cranberry Day (Thanksgiving)