When I was growing up my favorite part of Thanksgiving was not the turkey. Neither was it the dressing which is my favorite today but wasn’t then. What I remember most are the hors d’oeuvres and wine flips and the trip downtown for football. I’ll explain.
First the hors d’oeuvres, which is not only the hardest thing to spell, but also may be too grand a word for what we made. We started with crackers, then applied – and even squirted on – the cheese. Next we added tiny meats like salami and pepperoni, which we followed up with olives and pickles, then used a toothpick to hold the tower together. We placed them on a tray and delivered them to our guests in style and when it was empty we ran back to the kitchen to build the next batch until all the components were gone. Tasty little treats they were.
But dinner was not yet, for while the turkey was in the oven, my sisters drove us to Seattle’s Memorial Stadium for Turkey Day, to watch their high school football team, the Chief Sealth Seahawks, play in the championship game. And I – a mere little sister – got to tag along with them and their friends. I loved every minute I was in the presence of those confident teenage girls and couldn’t wait to be their age.
The ride home was exhilarating if we won, as we shouted out the windows to the losers driving by, “Seahawks Rule!” Whatever the kids from other cars would yell back, we would always counter with, “who won the game?” and that would silence them.
One year Chief Sealth lost to the Roosevelt Roughriders, 10 to 7. The ride home was quiet and we rolled up our windows. But by the time we made it back home, the sting of the loss was over, the turkey was ready and its fragrance filled the air. As we ate our dinner, mom pulled out the special beaded wine glasses and filled ours with 7-Up and a splash of wine, turning our drink a lovely pink (promise not to tell.) Next year we said.