777. Euphrasie’s Thanksgiving


To be honest, Euphrasie wasn’t that old; just in her mid-sixties one would imagine. People thought of her as old because she’d lived in the corner house for as far back as anyone could remember. She used to live with her husband, but he’d died a few years back. Her only child, Ralph, was killed in an industrial accident. No one could remember much about the husband or the son.

Euphrasie used to love Thanksgiving. It was her favorite day of the year; the ritual of food and family. Now there was only her. She tried to make some effort to celebrate. A little wine; a little fresh fruit and ice cream. But a slice of cold turkey from the supermarket was not quite the same as a large roasted bird. Euphrasie thought “Blow it! I’m going to cook a turkey!”

She was about to place the turkey in the oven and… there was a knock on the door. It was the young newly-weds from over the road. The in-laws were coming and the turkey hadn’t defrosted. Did Euphrasie know of a quick way to thaw?

“I’ve just the thing for you,” said Euphrasie.

And if they truth be known, she rather enjoyed her tin of tuna on a slice of ever-so-slightly burnt toast; with a little wine or two, while watching an old black and white repeat on tele of I Love Lucy.

56 thoughts on “777. Euphrasie’s Thanksgiving

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    I was afraid this would be about someone pitiful and lonely who had a hard life and now, with the terrible misfortune (!) of being old, was deserving to be gathered into the bosom of some family of do-gooders, like all the Hallmark tear-jerkers we see at this time of year, but no…it’s a Bruce story. It brought a big smile.

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thank you, Cynthia, for the lovely comment. I would like to think that Euphrasie got her blunderbuss and went out and shot the turkey herself! Speaking of which – yesterday one of my brothers shot a hare (it had been eating my sister-in-law’s newly planted shrubs). So I shall be making Pâté de lièvre, which I have never done before. Too late for Thanksgiving though!

          1. Bruce Goodman Post author

            No – we’re cheating – age has wearied us. We are putting up the tree and decorations today, and doing the cooking tomorrow! It’ll be American time! That way things can take two days to get totally… basted.

                1. arlingwoman

                  They have every reason to be vengeful, turkeys; after they lost the national bird moniker and then started getting eaten en masse every year at the same time people started complaining about not liking their meat. Oy. That’s not even a sentence, but I was channeling turkeys, so …

                  1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                    The NZ turkeys are kind, gracious and stupid. In NC they were violent and “watch your back”. That’s the wild ones. Fortunately were got the nice American turkey genes come over here!

                    1. Cynthia Jobin

                      Your turkeys probably took after the ones Benjamin Franklin liked….though I don’t think he saw them as stupid. .(the ones on turkey farms, here, ARE kind of stupid, and that’s where the folk tale comes from, about their looking up at the rain, getting sloshed with it, and drowning.) But you will make up for the mild mannered bird of NZ with your red and green rooster beak salsa…. I meant to ask, what kind of tree is your christmas tree? Janet Frame writes a Christmas poem about jacaranda and pohutakawa….

                    2. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      The pohutukawa (which is (apparently) grown everywhere in San Francisco) is the New Zealand Christmas Tree – because it flowers at Christmas time – but cut a flower/branch off and it withers within the hour. The jacaranda is blue and I think Australian. It’s a fairly spectacular tree as well. But not really (at least over here) associated with Christmas. The trad. Xmas tree in the lounge/sitting room is still a branch of pinus radiata! Not the perfectly shaped fir of North America.

  2. Cynthia Jobin

    Thanks for the info on the pinus radiata, Bruce. I googled it and enjoyed reading about it.

    Most working class families, even here in Maine, use artificial trees now. I would never do that. I haven’t had a tree for several years, but I well remember the excitement (and fights and arguments) around putting up a huge blue spruce, untangling the lights, sentimentally revisiting the oldest ornaments, needing a ladder to place the treetop angel, breaking treasured ornaments when the tree fell because the cat climbed it, the less-than-fresh aroma that time the dog peed on it, the blahs of taking it down and how we still found the occasional pine needles to sweep as late as the following mid-summer!


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