Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Blackout

The turkey was in the oven, the table was set. It was about one hour before Thanksgiving dinner, and we were about to start making the side dishes--mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, Brussels sprouts.

Then, suddenly, an enormous gust of wind hit the house. The porch swing lifted 20 inches in a nearly vertical direction. The lights crackled on and off for a moment, and then finally--- dark. Absolute dark.

We all looked around at each other. How long would the power be out? Should we wait for the power to return and have our enormous Thanksgiving feast as planned? Or what if the power stayed off?

We decided to wait a bit, and used the waning hour of daylight to open some presents that Chuck and Adolfo brought with them. Meanwhile, the turkey continued to stay warm in the oven.

Finally, I called Dominion Power and they informed me that we had a "widespread outage" and that the power would not be restored "before 10 PM."

Hmmpfh! That kind of screws up our Thanksgiving plans. And not just ours. I looked out my front window, and my neighbor, Dan, who had a house full of people, was furious. His wife, Judy, was trying to console him, and finally she took him by the arm and walked him reluctantly back inside. From further in the neighborhood, a generator was running.

Thanksgiving would go on. I pulled the turkey out of the still warm oven. Thankfully, the turkey was done. As was the stuffing inside it. The rest would have to wait until Friday. I carved the turkey by candlelight and without the use of my electric knife.

We set down in the darkening evening to our Thanksgiving feast of roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pickles, raw vegetables, and unwarmed dinner rolls. And the funny thing was, it was enough! We were experiencing a Thanksgiving without power, eating by candlelight, with a much simpler spread of food than ever before. This was more true to the real spirit of Thanksgiving than any meal we'd ever had.

We were suddenly thankful that we had enough to eat, that the turkey was cooked, that everybody around the table could be together for this great meal.

What's more, the pies were also cooked the previous day, so we enjoyed a dessert of raspberry, pecan and homemade pumpkin pie. (Made from actual pumpkins, and not from canned pumpkin.)

It was definitely one of the most memorable Thanksgivings ever, and probably one of the best.

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