I have a bit of a problem with Thanksgiving each year.  I do this big conference which is a lot of work and gets me home just a couple of days before Thanksgiving feeling brain dead and spent.  We had some very nice people invite us over for dinner this year on the theory that right after my conference I'd maybe like to not have to cook.  As kindly as I could, I turned them down flat.  It's not that I don't like the people who invited us.  It's not even that I wouldn't want to go under other circumstances.  But here's the thing:  I don't really mind cooking on Thanksgiving.  It's kind of easy and domestic and relaxing and food doesn't yell at you because the font in the program was too small for it to read.  No, I don't mind the cooking at all.  What I can't really do while I'm recovering from conference PTSD is the being in a room full of people and the making small talk and the being social and really anything more than curling up in a ball on the couch in my underwear as a coping mechanism to avoid human contact.

So Thanksgiving weekend, more often than not, is the day we just lie around and do nothing. Literally.  And since we didn't get back in town until Tuesday afternoon this year, I didn't even have ganas go to the grocery store for food before Thanksgiving Day.  Instead, I decided to make dinner from only items I could find in my house.  

I made a turkey brine (we already had a turkey in the freezer) from fresh herbs harvested from the herb garden in the back yard and stuff I found in the pantry.  

And someone had given us a big bag of chestnuts the previous week so I used that to make a chestnut stuffing that would make you weep, it was so good. 

I did have The KingofHearts pick up some fresh broccoli since, having been out of town for a week, we were out of milk and he agreed to go get that on his way home from work.  But I had frozen broccoli and was prepared to use it.  I used few recipes because each one would have highlighted some major ingredient I didn't have stocked and instead I just stood in the kitchen, winging it while they watched the Macy's parade in the other room.  It was one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The only problem with all this making up recipes on the spot, is I have no clue what I put in it and I'm quite confident I'll never be able to duplicate it again.  So the story of the chestnut stuffing will be told and retold through the generations, increasing in fable and statue like a big fish story, sounding better and better until it will no longer be possible to make anything taste as good as that chestnut stuffing at the Thanksgiving of twenty-eleven [probably] was.  That stuffing was like edible gold!  That stuffing cured cancer!  If only I'd written down what I put into it.  The world will never be the same again.

On Friday, we saw the Muppet movie, but carefully screened our choice of theaters to make sure we didn't have to enter a mall to do so.  I don't believe in Black Friday.  I've never really relished the idea of standing in line at four am to save $20 on a boom box anyway, but my distaste for this American tradition has become much more vehement over the past few years as its ridiculousness has increased.  Over and above my issues with being in a crowd of people so soon after a large conference,  I somehow feel weird spending Thursday telling my kids to be thankful and appreciative for the multitude of things we have and then turning around on Friday to try and fill my house with more things I don't need and can't afford.  There is no $2 waffle iron in the world that is worth experiencing thisI'll pay the extra $22 for the ability to avoid a fight with a stranger in a low-end department store and not losing my belief in human kind, thankyouverymuch.

The girls spent the weekend entertaining themselves by creating what they call, "Girls' Camp" in their room.  This consists of hanging a blanket over the bunk bed, making a lot of signs that says, "Only girls allowed" and then holding "meetings" which I'm required to attend because I'm also... a girl.  These meetings consist of everyone piling onto The Caterpillar's bed behind the blanket and The Dormouse beginning, "I suppose you're wondering why we've called you all here together.  As the Leader of Girls' Camp, I feel we have a few matters to discuss..." and then they wonder aloud why someone can't purchase them a few more flashlights so their clubhouse would be better illuminated in the dark.  And then I pretend I don't see through their thinly veiled supplications and suggest things like, "Maybe you could get jobs to pay for the flashlights... or wait, I've got it!  Maybe you could hold a bake sale!"  It's a delicate dance we have.

Overall, the Thanksgiving holiday was boring, low-key, involved a lot of television and sitting on the couch with my girls and husband.  Nothing special.  Just the way I like it.