Blog piece: Giving Thanks for Coffee and Husbands Who Cook

*Archive re-post from Thanksgiving Day 2012! From my now retired personal blog, The Unconventional Newlywed, which was published from 2012-2018.

Happy Thanksgiving! Today I am thankful that I married a man who can cook. 

Here is the breakdown of feast cooking duties for each of us:
  • Alex: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, molasses crinkle cookies
  • Staci: vegetables*, pumpkin pie
    *The vegetables don’t count as a whole item because they are just for me (recall Alex’s carnivorous disposition).

I am responsible only for pie. And, like the over-achieving-minded (because as we have come to realize, I plan for overachievement and often fail) person I am, I decided on using fresh pumpkin.

Fast forward to last night around 7:30 I am about to pour the pumpkin filling into the crust when I realize, it looks awful. Stringy and chunky, but smells great!

Turns out (according to seasoned, successful wifey cooking types like Pioneering Woman), a blender or food processer is kindof essential.

Curse you modern tools! Why doesn’t the Internet give me recipes from before it was born?

Instead of claiming defeat and walking across the street for canned pumpkin (Blame the BPA, its carcinogenic!! Also, I’m too proud), in a move of desperation (with a little sarcastic suggesting by Alex) I try to chop up little spoonfuls in our coffee grinder. It’s just like a blender but for small batches, right? Right.

Except small batches consecutively. About 15 times. Two successful batches in, the grinder begins to smoke and sizzle and dies in my hands.

Apparently this only works on dry ingredients under 1/4 cup volume. Pish posh.

It is now 8 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving. The pie is half-made. Our coffee grinder is broken. Suddenly, this is beyond pie pride. I have threatened the necessity of coffee drinking for Thanksgiving morning. And Black Friday (we support

Three days without a drop.

NO COFFEE?! Screw the pie. This calls for a run to Target. To brave the reckless Boston drivers swerving for the last feastly ingredients and parking spaces. Shit just got real.

Our quick and pouty Target run quickly turned into an adventure into surreal land of the despondent. The mood among employees was one of impending doom.

It’s not the best you can do, Massachusetts, but it will suffice.

It was like witnessing people digging their own graves. Except instead of shovels, they carried TVs and microwaves.

Trudging through the aisles like zombies in khaki and red.

Though I only needed a coffee grinder (and blender because Alex banned me from using non-coffee items in the grinder), I felt palpably guilty for promoting the comsumerism of the store.

Though it is the purpose of Target to sell goods, this Black Friday madness is a shameful extreme.

The Thanksgiving edition of the Boston Globe: 1 part news, 1 part ads.

If I could have slipped the cashier a $20 tip for ringing me up, I would have. Seems only natural to mitigate her fast-arriving loss of sanity.

So, this Thanksgiving morning, as I sip my freshly ground coffee and read the newspaper–the pumpkin puree debacle behind me–I am deeply thankful that I am not that woman…that I am not working on Thanksgiving.

Thankful for that one Puritan Blue Law that restricts retail shopping on Thanksgiving.

Thankful that Alex puts up with my awful homemaking skills without divorcing me. And that makes me feel pretty damn special.

 Happy holidays, ya’all. What are you thankful for?