Sunday, November 22, 2015

Matchmaking on the Menu

By: Dani Greene
From: Drizzled with Death
Series: The Sugar Grove Mysteries
Author:Jessie Crockett

I'm not sure how Thanksgiving at your house goes but mine always seems to bring out the matchmaking my family. Last year they were even more determined to snag a perfect man for me.

Standing in the dining room on Thanksgiving at about two o'clock, I could almost hear the old oak table groaning and gasping for air under the weight of Grandma's week's worth of work.  I noticed with pleasure the maple cranberry sauce, the yeasted pumpkin rolls snuggled sown all cozy into a towel-lined bask, the steaming bowl of mashed sweet potatoes dressed up with butter and maple syrup.

What I was not at all pleased to see was a place card sitting dead center in the plat nearest me. My grandmother doesn't usually worry about place cased, saying people will pretty much sort themselves out in just the way she would have done anyway. This had to be my sister Celadon's doing. It was definitely her handwriting. I wouldn't have put it past my mother to be involved and I thought I could guess why.

I circled the table looking for my name. Sure enough, tucked into a corner, down at the end next to the place card with my name was one with Graham's. I picked his up and was looking for a new place to put it when he walked into the room carrying a plate of stuffed mushrooms. Evil. The whole family knew I couldn't resist a stuffed mushroom. They must have been betting on the messenger receiving credit of the message. I wan't going to fall for that but I was going to get a mushroom.

With a table that long, it can be difficult to get every dish passed in your direction unless you jump up on your seat and holler. I learned early on not to make that mistake a second time. No matter how cute she tells you she thinks you are, no one is allowed to stand on one of Grandma's dining room chairs hollering for more turkey like a drunken lord in a mead hall. Or so I've heard.

Readers, do you have any Thanksgiving favorites you look forward to each year? Does anyone in your family climb up onto a table to yell for seconds? Do you use place cards? Have you ever swapped someone's card when no one was looking?


  1. There are the buttery fresh heavenly sent homemade rolls which are always yummy. Another favorite is the potato casserole. The smoked turkey is amazing too!

  2. Ours is too informal for place cards. We just sit where we want. We do so enjoy green beans with bacon though.

  3. In my family, the food is always being passed. Holiday feasts take forever--no one has time for a bite before the next dish comes by. But no one has to ask for seconds, they'll be along in, well,seconds.

  4. To be quite honest our T-day gatherings have grown so large we can no longer do it with people seated around a table. We extend the dining room table to its limit and turn it to the wall to set up everything buffet style. Then put chairs all around the house in groupings for people to sit and hang out while eating. The best part of the day for me is when my wife tells everyone "thanks for coming, don't forget your doggy bags, and GO HOME!".

  5. First I have to say I love this series. Out Thanksgiving is pretty calm and fun. Same family members come and everyone brings their own plastic containers to take home what is left. Funny thing is they all get second and thirds at home and we are left with crumbs. Hope you have a super Thanksgiving.

  6. We are going to have a smaller crowd this year. Probably only 16 or so. A favorite? Hmmm, mashed potatoes and gravy? Lefse? Corn casserole? Too many good things. And everyone is pretty good about passing it all around. We do usually try to put enough tables together that everyone is around the table. Happy Thanksgiving!