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Wednesday, March 22, 2023
ArlingtonOpinion'Old School' column: No, thanks

‘Old School’ column: No, thanks

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by CAROL McEWEN, for the Sun Gazette

Now that we’ve thrown out those rotting pumpkins, or maybe left them for the animals as suggested in various online posts, we’re ready to embrace fall.

Since we can’t smell burning leaves, maybe neighborhood chimneys will send out the wonderful fragrance of wood burning in fireplaces, while we bundle up in jackets or sweaters.

Meanwhile, my husband and I are busy planning our Thanksgiving feast with watering mouths and rumbling stomachs.


The gourmet chef in the house, my husband, subscribes to Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Martha Stewart Living and Southern Living. (With all that “living” we should make it to the next century.)

And, of course, all these publications want to teach me how to whip up an interesting, exotic Thanksgiving meal.

One author tells me that he loves squeezing 25 people into his West Village apartment and cooking everything from scratch. Most of his dishes have an Asian flair, and sound delicious, but not for THANKSGIVING. Call me Old School, but since I only eat this meal once a year, I want it to taste like THANKSGIVING.

Stanley Tucci suggests beginning the meal with a martini. Believe me, if I started with a martini, the meal would never happen. He also insists we bring out the good china. I wonder if he’ll fly off the pages to hand-wash the stuff afterward.

Both articles are part of a feature entitled “Thanksgiving Simplified.” It doesn’t sound simple to me.

In fact, the thought of 25 people crammed into a small space, eating food that was all made from scratch sounds exhausting. And that’s before the dishwashing begins.

Another magazine shows pretty place settings with clever napkin-folding instructions. Probably not a good investment of time for someone who can barely cram a letter into an envelope.

A sidebar offers pearl-embellished napkin rings at the modest sum of $27 for a set of four. A leaf-patterned design costs only $12 for each ring.

Let’s see . . . $12 times 25 people. Maybe a second mortgage is in order.
A feature titled “A Story of Love and Pie” caught my eye until I realized there was not a single pumpkin pie recipe in it, but there was a reassuring paragraph asking, “Does Lattice Make You Nervous?”

Looks like we (the “royal we”; my husband does most of the cooking) will stick to our Old School recipes, used for years, and enjoy every mouthful.

Reach Carol McEwen at carolwrites4fun@gmail.com.

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