Thanksgiving comes just once a year, for which I am thankful. It’s true that I love having our kids and grandkids for four days, and I miss them when they leave. But most years, we seem to have near-disasters while they are here.
There was the year the carbon monoxide sensors went off and we had to get out of the house. True, the (then little) grandkids loved the big red fire truck, lights a-blazing, that arrived within moments. Thankfully, we did not have a carbon monoxide problem, just our sensors telling us that it was time to replace them.
Then there was the year the oven died on Thanksgiving morning. Panicked, I called our next-door neighbors who were visiting their kids on the West Coast—they told us how to get into their house—instructions involving a hidden key (I won’t say where), an alarm, and an oven that I would have to figure out. At the same time, I called some electricians. Turns out that for enough money, they’ll come on Thanksgiving. Many dollars and a few hours later, we had a working oven and a quite late Thanksgiving dinner.
This year’s “disaster” may not sound serious, but for me it was. The must-have (and quite unhealthy) French Silk Pie that everyone loves calls for a whipped-cream topping spiked with crème de cacao and chocolate shavings. Alas, I had forgotten to buy heavy cream, and of course, all the grocery stores were closed for Thanksgiving.
But as usual, our neighbors came through, responding to my “missing ingredient” email via our neighborhood listserv. Within moments, I had three “come-and-get-it” responses, one suggesting that I substitute sweetened plain Greek yogurt instead (thus saving calories too), and another suggesting ice cream. By the time our daughter-in-law Katrina came back with a neighbor’s life-saving heavy cream, I had had five responses plus a visit from a neighbor I didn’t recognize who rang the doorbell holding out a carton of heavy cream.
The pie was its usual success, and this Thanksgiving I had one more thing to be thankful for---the great neighborhood we live in!