Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Random Stuff I’m Thankful For As I Go About My Day

We’re all thankful for family and friends and good health, but I tend to overlook the little things in my life that make me happy and grateful each and every day. So here’s my list …

• Kleenex

• people who know how to cut my hair

• air travel

• my car starts every time I ask it to

• paper books, digital books, and the people who write them

• Game Night, especially when we play Scattergories

• Guinness

• readily available food in my particular pyramid – fruits/veggies (with a special shout-out to sugar snap peas, red bell peppers, blueberries and Pink Lady apples), salmon, eggs, avocado, bacon, booze and chocolate

• people who buy my books

• people I don’t even know who say nice things about my books

• clean, tasty tap water

• basement storage for a lifetime of Christmas ornaments and other memorabilia (all with a story to tell), hundreds of boxes of photographic slides and a working projector on which to view them, an extra freezer, and wine by the case(s)

• xeriscape that doubles as zeroscape (I’ll concede this may not be what my neighbors are thankful for)

• plumbing, air conditioning, heat and electricity

• Netflix

• Jon Stewart, Eddie Izzard and Ellen deGeneres

• people I actually know who make me laugh

• libraries

• Nyquil

• newspapers

• newspaper advertisers so said newspapers can stay in business

• YouTube

• touring productions of Broadway musicals

• Facebook

• WordPress so I can proclaim to the world my love of goofy stuff …. like YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s on your list?

Spatchcocking The Bird

It sounds like as much fun as it was.

I promised the BeckyLand readers immoderate amounts of information and photos from our Thanksgiving bacchanal, so here you go.

The word “spatchcock” ”” for those of you not up-to-date on archaic vocabulary ””  is a combination of “dispatch” meaning to prepare poultry for cooking (including all the indelicate parts from killing to feathering to trimming; you know, the stuff you don’t want to know about) and “cock” meaning bird. Dispatch the cock. Spatchcock.

The more modern meaning would be “tell your husband to remove himself from the recliner because it’s time to fight with this slippery turkey and we have a zillion people coming over soon.”

Come. Join me on a pictorial tutorial through a half hour of our Thanksgiving morning. Apologies to my vegetarian friends and those foreigners who might not comprehend the desperate measures and sacrifices Americans make on this holiest of Eating Holidays.

Posing and dancing the bird on the counter is the first step. That’s how you know if it’s ripe.

Cut one side of the backbone …

… then the other …

… finally removing it altogether. Then hope your grandma doesn’t smite you from her heavenly perch for not saving it to make soup.

Almost spatched.

Turn it over. Maneuver it one last time in a demure pose. After all, how would you feel to be all naked on the kitchen counter like that?!

Press firmly on the sternum until it makes a delicious cracking sound. Like a really good chiropractic adjustment.


And posed one last time. Just because it’s fun.

Ready to cook …

Cooked. Quite delish.

The benefits to spatchcocking are numerous and include more than just getting to play with your food. Your turkey cooks in about half the time, but choose one that’s no more than 15 pounds. (This one was about 11 pounds. We did another one in the traditional way. You know, in a bag.) You can get the spices everywhere much easier. Breast and thighs are done at the same time. Crispier skin. Easier to carve. Guaranteed blog entry with maybe the extra bonus of angry vegetarian comments.

You will sacrifice the big Norman Rockwell presentation, but by the time that happens, everyone is all liquored up anyway and just wants to tear into a drumstick.

Chief Spatchcocker says I wouldn’t be able to do it myself but methinks he underestimates the mighty, mighty power of my willfullness. Or what I’d do for a blog entry.

So … what do you think? Will you spatchcock YOUR bird?

Get Ready for Thanksgiving

Treat these funny Thanksgiving quotes in whichever way makes sense for you. Read them now, in anticipation of a joyful day, overflowing with merriment. Or read them after your passive aggressive family brawl of a holiday to help you get over it. Or read them now AND read them later simply because they’ll make you smile.

George Carlin

We’re having something a little different this year for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey, we’re having a swan. You get more stuffing.

Ambrose Bierce

Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude.

Erma Bombeck

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?

Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in particular. Christians in public institutions often see this odd thing happening on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone in the institution seems to be thankful ‘in general.’ It’s very strange. It’s a little like being married in general.

Russell Baker

It was dramatic to watch my grandmother decapitate a turkey with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with ‘gourmet’ status.

Jon Stewart

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.

Johnny Carson

Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.

H. W. Westermayer

The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts… nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

I love Thanksgiving turkey… it’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.

Kevin James

Thanksgiving, man! Not a good day to be my pants.

Erma Bombeck

Thanksgiving dinner takes eighteen hours to prepare. It is consumed in twelve minutes. Football half-time take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.

Rita Rudner

My mother is such a lousy cook that Thanksgiving at her house is a time of sorrow.

Phyllis Diller

My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.


And here’s something to do when you’re all stuffed with pie and can only move to pick up the TV remote … Thanksgiving themed movies!

First, my very favorite movie of all time … the movie against which all movies should be judged … the movie all movies should aspire to be … the movie to be studied in film schools to ensure movies of this caliber should be continued to be made …

pieces of april

Pieces of April

Can cute, edgy Katie Holmes really cook a turkey? She certainly tries in Peter Hedges 2003 indie drama about an independent young woman who invites her estranged family to her East Village apartment for the holidays. All is well until the stove breaks.


And some other ones …

hannah and her sistersHannah and Her Sisters

Woody Allen’s 1986 drama about three sisters is one of his very best. The film’s set piece is Thanksgiving, where Hannah’s (Mia Farrow) clan gathers together in a tremendous Central Park West apartment for the holiday celebration. The black maid polishes the silver, Mia’s mother drinks too much and plays the piano, hearts are broken and mended in startling ways. Barbara Hershey, Michael Caine, Diane Wiest, Carrie Fisher, and Woody Allen also star.


home for the holidaysHome For The Holidays

Jodie Foster’s directorial debut gets it just right: dinner with the family can be a nightmare — and also hilarious. The stellar cast includes Academy Award winner Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Claire Danes, and Anne Bancroft.


the house of yesThe House of Yes

Indie film’s first reigning queen Parker Posey won a Special Recognition award at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival for her all-out eccentric performance as Jackie-O. Mentally deranged but charming in her pill box hats, Parker flies into a menacing jealous rage when her adored older brother (Josh Hamilton) brings home a girlfriend (Tori Spelling) for Thanksgiving.


miracle 34th stMiracle on 34th Street

What is Thanksgiving for, if not to get hyped up about the coming of Christmas? Nowhere is that more joyously clear than in the 1947 classic Miracle on 34th Street, starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and the super adorable, six-year-old Natalie Wood. The film starts at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and heads straight into the venerable department store. Let the shopping begin!


planes, trains, autoPlanes, Trains, Automobiles

An advertising executive who just wants to fly home to spend Thanksgiving with his family is stuck with a loud but lovable salesman during an unbelievable succession of blizzards, transfers, strikes, and delays. Steve Martin and John Candy are hilarious in this classic John Hughes comedy.


What will you do this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Limericks

At our house, we’re not always entertained simply by turkey, 3 kinds of pie and football on Thanksgiving. So we’ve been known to have ping pong tournaments, Inappropriate Joke contests, and Board Game Extravaganzas. One year we took turns hiding the potatoes from Mom. That was fun.

And once we had a limerick contest.

By Wes

There once was a turkey named Russell.
On Thanksgiving he got in a tussle.
He attempted to flee
But was nabbed by the end of his bustle.

My Brother
By Jessica

My brother is quite unafraid
Of taking up rake and a spade
To work in the yard
And pretend to work hard
But mostly he sits in the shade.

By Jessica

A violin is a quite helpful means
To communicating, so it seems.
If I use it instead
To batter your head
I can tell what you say by your screams.

Thanksgiving Tournament
By Becky and Adam

(Please note that it took two – TWO – poets to cobble this one together. Surely that deserves extra points.)

There once was an orange ping pong ball
Who thought that it had it all
But Jess was the champ
Wes’ eyes they got damp
In the tournament during the Fall.

Vote for your favorite. Or write one of your own.

Less Obvious Blessings

Acknowledging that we’re all thankful for family, friends, and good health … I’m curious about other things on your Gratitude List.

Like, what’s the one invention you’re thankful for? If you had to lose all other conveniences or discoveries, which ONE invention would they have to rip (figuratively or metaphorically) from your cold, dead hands? Please show your work.

For me? As much as I loves me my computer, my air conditioner and my coffee maker, I think I’d have to say I’m thankful for the printing press. It performs double duty in my life. It provides my living AND much of my entertainment.

And you?