On Thanksgiving



When asked what we are thankful for, in the sarcastic banter my family substitutes for dialog, the answer used to center on obscene amounts of delicious, fattening food and a day off to digest them. Football sometimes got an honorable mention, too.

Of course, our parents raised us with the mantra that family was the most important thing. But as our second, third and fourth decades passed, work, kids, significant others and life in general took us in different directions.

Last Thanksgiving was the first time in 13 years that we were all together. We spent our fair share of time patching up perceived slights, tip-toeing around sensitive subjects, and were pretty much on good behavior. During this past year, we have licked our wounds and returned to the banter of our youth and the understanding that no subject is taboo.

Because of that, family will be back at the top of the list of our blessings and not just the butt of our jokes (well, some of us will always remain the punchline).  As we all tip the age scale, aches and pains are moving into surgeries and procedures. Brothers and sisters who spent their youth bird-dogging for each other at night clubs, are now becoming care givers to one another. And, as they say, payback is a bitch.

Along with the teasing and taunting, we will donate bags of food to go to those in need so that they too can feel thankful for full stomachs, family to share it with and (I guess) football.


Dad’s Magnificent Turkey with  Grand Marnier & Orange Glaze




1¼ -Cup fresh Orange Juice

1-  Fresh Orange, quartered

¾ Cup Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liquor

1-  Stick Butter

1T+ 3 sprigs- Fresh Rosemary

Salt & Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. After cleaning turkey, stuff fresh oranges and rosemary sprigs in cavity. Place on a rack in roasting pan breast side up.
  3. In a small sauté pan, over low heat add orange juice, Grand Marnier, butter and 1T rosemary until butter melts.
  4. Pour half the mixture over turkey.
  5. Add Salt & Pepper.
  6. Baste every 30 minutes with the remaining marinade. The turkey will start to make its own juices to continue basting after the original marinade is gone.
  7. As the turkey continues to get a deep, dark brown, tent the wings, legs and then body with foil as needed.
  8. Roast according to size of your turkey. (13 minutes/pound) until it reaches 170 degrees.

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