Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Consumption

Alas dear devoted readers, I have been stricken with the most intense self diagnosis: consumption. Many of you are probably under the impression that such a disease died out with the Victorians. I am here to correct this misconception. I was stricken the evening of Thanksgiving.

After I shushed the last of my guests out, and nearing an entire 24 hours of wakefulness, I retired to my bedroom. When I awoke early Friday morning, I could no longer take deep breaths and a racking cough shook my delicate frame. Alas, once I am awake, I can not go back to sleep. I ventured downstairs for my morning coffee, and was immediately aware that I also could not breathe out of my prominent, yet semitic nose. Clutching my house coat tighter to my person, I wrapped a soft cashmere scarf around my neck. Morning coffee just didn't taste the same, and my apr├Ęs cafe cigarette(s) caused me to cough even more.

Yet I could not retire to my bedroom. I had shopping to do. In hind sight, this was a perfectly wretched idea. After a brisk afternoon of fighting the crowds, I came home and tried to take an early dinner, but these plans were halted once I realized that I could not stop coughing long enough to eat. How completely unpleasant. Back to the house coat and scarf, and into bed. Which is exactly where I have spent the last 3 days. I am feeling better today-my cough is slowly disappearing, and despite the fact I have to omit milk from my morning milk coffee, I am now able to chain smoke with pleasure again. I've found that Baileys works just as well as heavy cream when measuring the pleasure factor in my breakfast beverage.

I am also aware that many of you are on the proverbial pins and needles waiting for the results of my tremendous Thanksgiving dinner. A complete success, despite the fact that I had one no show (and no notice). I promptly removed that place setting, and chair.

My first guests arrived at 12:30, lap dog in tow. With a few extra hands I was able to began my "wine tasting", and generally enjoy what I was doing. Prep work was all done on Tuesday and Wednesday-leaving all the cooking for Thursday. The rest of the guests showed up around 3 pm. Dinner was at 5, and much to my relief lasted for about 1 hour. There is nothing more disappointing then watching all that food disappear in 20 minutes after having slaved over it with such care for two days.

The vegan and vegetarians were delighted with their options, and I was informed by one that "I raised the bar considerably" in what she now considers standard Vegan Thanksgiving fare.

My favorite part is before we eat. I do not say grace because we all come from different corners of the "religious" world, and getting the thanks to G-d would take several prayers. Instead, I ask each person to talk about what they are thankful for. Despite the fact that I promised myself I wouldn't-tears came to my eyes when I thanked all of the people attending for being so dear, while my mishpuka was in far away New York. I realized as I said it that the room was already filled with my family-and this perhaps inspired the moment of damp eyes.

A dear friend said that she was thankful that "The holiday of Thanksgiving has been brought back to life" for her, and that she now "understood what it was supposed to be."

This was my Thanksgiving. 23 bottles of wine (breaking last year’s record of 18), kletzmer jazz, and lots of candles and tremendous home cooked food.

Now I have tired myself out. Next year I will remember to wear a jacket when I run to the store in 35 degree weather, and I will make an effort to wear a scarf when taking my brief "smoking" breaks.

Moral of this blog: Treat consumption by taking fresh air, and wearing cashmere.

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