Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving: A Day of Reading

The Thanksgiving feast is so easy to prepare that I spent five hours reading.  
9-10:  Drank coffee and read Edna Ferber's Giant.  This old-fashioned novel delineates the story of three generations of the Benedicts, wealthy ranchers who live simply but eventually fly around Texas, hobnobbing with oil millionaires.  The spunky heroine, Leslie, an intellectual Virginian (originally from Ohio), has beautiful manners, a strong will, and a civilizing influence on the family.  After Bick visits her father's farm in the Washington area to buy a racehorse, the young Leslie stays up all night reading about Texas (a woman after my own heart).  She quickly wins him with her knowledge, though at first he thinks she's too radical in her criticism of Texans' cheating Mexicans out of their land.  Ferber gives us a long history lesson in the course of this conversation.

 After their quick wedding and a brisk New York honeymoon, Leslie is shocked by the stark ranch and bookless house.  Her trousseau is a little too fancy.  She doesn't fit in. She tells him:
"Uh--look, dear, I must order a lot of books from Brentano's in Washington."
 "Oh, you won't do much reading here."

"But I always read.  I read a lot.  It's like saying you won't do much breathing out here."  Her tone was a trifle sharp for a bride.
She's going to need a LOT of books over the years.

I had been thinking about reading Peyton Place, but didn't have a copy, so I started reading Giant.  If you want to read Ferber at her best, read her 1924 Pulitzer-winning novel So Big or her Emma McChesney stories (Roast Beef, Rare, etc.).

10-3.  Prepared turkey and stuffing.   Yes, and some of those things in the picture below.
Shed pajamas in cold house and donned jeans and a warm autumnal-looking sweater (it has a design of embroidered leaves, is very thick, and is a stand-by for cold weather).  Read more of Giant and occasionally get up to clear table surfaces, polish tables, and clean kitchen.


Mmm, this turkey is delicious.   
The secret is...
[They've heard this before and chorus...]  Roasting it in a slow oven.
...And fresh ingredients.
Ha ha ha.
[There is much mimicry of restaurant talk around here, everybody having worked at a restaurant.]
I kind of like the green bean casserole.  

[General lack of enthusiasm, though. We've never had this traditional dish before, but I did use fresh green beans.  The recipe is at the Campbell's soup website.]
The pie is fantastic.
Best I ever had.
[Everybody had two pieces.]
[Lots of gossip about entertainment news.  We talked about the women on The View.]
Did you know that Whoopi Goldberg is a grandmother?
I really wish we had a copy of Ghost.
Yeah, Whoopi won the academy award for that.
My favorite is The Food Network. Did you see the sauerkraut and turkey?
[Everybody is properly grossed out.]

And so another Thanksgiving ends.


Anonymous said...

I alternated between reading (Graham's Angry Tide) and going to a movie (see below), helping Jim (just a little, he likes to do it all himself) and in the evening walking about. We had Turkey, mashed potatoes, asparagus, grilled tomatoes and champagne, followed by Madeira (which I'm getting to like) and shortbread cookies.

Izzy didn't want to go so I saw Tamara Drewe by myself (2 hours from 12 to 2), and liked and wrote a brief blog (for once) this morning recommending it. I may expand said blog but not much.

I thought of you and letters from friends over the course of the day, helped me get through the day. I stayed up late listening to music and writing a longer blog on Levy's Small Island and the moving film.


Frisbee said...

Ellen, I love the idea of reading a Graham book. I devoted myself to Giant, a 1952 best-seller. I wanted a fast book to read between preparations. Not that ours took much.

Mmm, asparagus!

I know nothing about Tamara Drewe but several bloggers have written about it lately. Perhaps the movie is popularizing the graphic novel?

i'm glad the holiday is over, but I do feel slightly cross about all this Black Friday shopping promotion. They zap us with ads every time we turn on the TV. I mean, Walmart open on Thanksgiving?

Fortunately there's nothing I want to buy.