Thanksgiving Culinary Surprise


Today the Hitches abandoned the city life of El Centro to join us here in Ocotillo. I’m glad they did. We ended up having the most home-town holiday you could have while you aren’t in your home town.

My lonely trailer was livened up around 9:30am and we reviewed the plan of attack: we were going to prep the turkey, go down to the Optimists’ Thanksgiving from 12-3pm, stop at the museum so Lucas could work on a pottery project for school, then come back and eat the turkey in the oven and end up by checking out the pre-door busters around 11pm.

This is very close to what actually happened, except we had to add one 2 hour house visit and I wimped out on pre-door busting shopping. At one point while we were sitting around in a turkey- induced coma like state I took a minute to take stock: we were surrounded by generations of grandkids and grandparents, recapping the game and instantly excited by the fact that Elf was on TV. Except for the change of players, this was a very familiar setting. I felt like I was kind of celebrating with my family just by sharing in this very similar version.

It did get a bit hairy at the optimists’ club when I was stared down after sharing that I wasn’t fond of eating my yams with marshmallow. “Too sweet!” I said, which only brought on more dumbfound jaw dropping. In my tradition we fry them in brown sugar. But you have to try a little of everything, now don’t you, so I tried some of the yams.

Surprise! “There is apple in these!” a kind of apple pie flavor permeated the dish. It was a surprising combination, but pleasing. It was dubbed “the culinary delight of the season”. They were great!

Another ragingly successful Thanksgiving. It wasn’t really due to the yams or the 2 separate feasts. I attribute it to the town of Ocotillo and the people who were in it today opening their hearts, homes, and families to those who couldn’t be with their own. So thank you.

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