Tag Archives: holidays

Here It Comes…Wait For It…


Every year it’s the same argument with my Mom and Grandmother “Who’s making Thanksgiving dinner? I’m busy/lazy and can’t do it, alone.” And every year I end up making all the side dishes, but not the turkey. This year I gave them no choice and told them we are having Thanksgiving dinner at my house! My Mom’s first reaction was, “You’ve never made the turkey before, can you handle it?” Gee, thanks for the support Mom.

Look at all the yummy food I've made before!

It’s bad enough I have to sit through my Mom and  Grandmother have the same argument year after year after year. I’m always caught in the middle and have to sit through my Grandmother pretend I don’t know how to cook anything, then she begins to tell me not to get married or have kids (which is weird because she use to say the opposite a few years ago). This year they’re gonna have to suck it up and deal with what I’m laying down dammit! I’ve taken over cooking Thanksgiving dinner, at my house, and there’s nothing they can do about it!! MAUAHAHAHA!


Sorry for the outburst. Just needed a moment of crazy to level my head.

Moving forward, I’m attempting to make a test turkey the weekend before Thanksgiving to ensure I don’t fuck it up on the actual day. I’ll be making a smaller 12lb turkey in anticipation of the 20-24lb turkey I have to cook on the big day. I’ve mastered all the side dishes, and will make most of them the day before so I don’t panic when it’s time for the real deal. Even with I bake I make the same recipe three times to make sure I’ve got it down before serving it to friends and family. My boyfriend and roommates end up being my taste testers, lucky them.

My Mother is convinced I don’t know what I’m doing, and insists on emailing me the family recipe for the turkey (she’s also been convinced no one will eat the turkey unless it’s exactly the same!) so I can make it they way everyone likes it. Every time I talk to her she says she’s emailing me the recipe and never does. Every day I pretend I’m going to read this pretend email and abide by the recipe. 🙂 Gotta love family time.

Don't Jump!

What also makes this time of year especially hectic is my Mom and Uncle’s birthday always lands close the Thanksgiving. They were born on the same day, and every 3-4 years their birthday lands on Thanksgiving. YAY! And by “YAY” I mean stab me with a blunt fork. Which means I also have to worry about birthday presents for my Mom and Uncle, and probably planning on making a cake for them too. I almost always take upon myself to get the family together for their birthday before/after Thanksgiving so they don’t feel forgotten (They always complain about not being loved on their actual birthday. Passive-Aggressive behavior any one?). Did I mention I’m also the eldest grand-child out of seven (two live in Texas) and my Brother and I are the only ones who show up every year for the holidays. Yeah, fun times.

This year is especially hectic for myself because we have a show opening next weekend AND a wedding to attend. The week after another wedding AND work. Third week WE LEAVE FOR SPAIN! As soon as we get back I have to make my test turkey in preparation for my first Thanksgiving dinner at our home. CRAZY, right? I may be trying too hard, but I think it’s important for my family to realize I can handle it, and to prepare them for the realization that Thanksgiving dinner can be passed on to the next generation…and we won’t fuck it up. Hopefully.

Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and I’ll have a total meltdown on Thanksgiving. That’s normal, right? I have only myself to blame if it that does happen. Either way I’m taking control as best I can and (begrudgingly) pushing my family out of my way so I can give it a try.

I keep telling myself to cherish the time I have with my family while they’re still around. My Grandparents aren’t getting any younger, and they still look at my Brother and I like we’re kids who don’t know how to buy a car, or pay our bills on time (which we both do). They worry about us and try their best to be supportive (by throwing money at us, which we refuse) in their own small way, and it’s nice to know they care. I just hope my first turkey doesn’t disappoint.

Here’s to trying!


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Christmas Day 2010 with the Boyfriend’s Family

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Thanks for what?

Family gatherings. I don’t know whether or not to dread them or look forward to them.

It’s always a mix bag for myself. I spend every holiday season with my mother’s family, and split it with my boyfriend’s family. Running back and forth between the holidays can be exhausting, and I always dread the future me doing this with children (it hurts my brain just thinking about it!). I always make something for every dinner we attend, and hope that it gets eaten so I don’t have to eat it all by myself later on.

This year will be especially interesting since my long-lost cousins are possibly attending Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents home. Possibly. They have a tendency to flake because they haven’t been comfortable around the family since before their father passed away 3 years ago. My Tio (BTW: Tio is Spanish for Uncle) Joaquin, their father, died of a drug induced heart attack while making love to his girlfriend. It was a spectacular way to go out, and the preferred method of an old high school health teacher, minus the drugs of course. He had informed the family he was dying of brain cancer, and even after his death this was never confirmed. What was confirmed was that he was evading child support payments, doing some heavy drugs, and his possessions were in a state of chaos splitting his belongings between our grandparents home and his girlfriends apartment. Tio Joaquin wasn’t the best father, but he wasn’t a horrible person. His marriage was on the rocks for a long time which is why our families were never really close while my cousins were still growing up. Before he died his wife was filling for divorce and his children refused to see him.

His relationship with his children was so strained before his death they didn’t even attend his funeral or the wake with the family. This past Dia de los Muertos was the first time in almost 5 years I had seen my cousins, they’re now in their early twenties. My mother and her youngest brother had spoken to and seen my cousins for a short time during the funeral arrangements, and this was when they made their (none) feelings known to the family. They said they would attend the wake, but never showed.

This year my grandparents are inviting them to Thanksgiving dinner. We all realize it will be slightly awkward for everyone. During our last meet up over Halloween it was mostly my brother doing all the talking for us. My Tio Ace, my mom’s youngest brother, stayed home after we visited the cemetery because he couldn’t stand to be in the same room as my cousins due to his own personal grudge against them for not attending their father’s funeral. My Tio Ace spent a lot of time with Joaquin before he died, and they became even closer after bonding about their divorce. As we ate our late lunch/early dinner in Downtown LA my brother went on and on about his work at the Music Institute (MI) in Hollywood and all the work he does for them. My cousin N. (I’d prefer not to use their real names) thought my brother was a student and started asking if he knew any one who was attending MI. When my brother corrected him and said he was an employee of MI not a student my cousin became very embarrassed and shocked. My cousins were the ones who were suppose to grow up and be successful, not us. Growing up our grandparents always blamed my brother and I for anything that was broken or damaged. Regardless of the fact that neither one of us ever did anything destructive. My cousins were the saints who could do not wrong and we just had to grin and bear it. My brother and I don’t look successful, but we are in own small ways now as adults.

I was half excited half terrified when we had dinner the last time. They were very soft-spoken and didn’t ask any questions. Nor did they divulge much about their mother, whom none of us speak to. I managed to not tell them anything about myself, other than I live in Long Beach. Coincidentally my cousin N. lives in North Long Beach with his girlfriend. My cousin C. lives with their mother in Lakewood. They visit my grandparents fairly often, and sometimes they leave with money, whether or not they asked for it. During the dinner I had decided I would wait to mention anything about myself because I wanted to see if they would ask me anything. Half way through the meal I realized they didn’t care to learn anything about us. They were there for my grandparents.

So the same example will be followed during Thanksgiving dinner as well. See if anything is asked. Listen and wait for something to be said. Never divulge information that could be sensitive. Its kind of sad really. To have family, but not a relationship with that family. I’ve always been close to my mother’s family, so it’s hurts to see everyone going through the motions of trying to stay civil and composed when we’re all really just screaming on the inside.

All I hope for this Thanksgiving is to smoke out with my brother and uncle.

The End.


November 23, 2010 · 5:56 pm

Tree Required

This is our second year in our new home and I wanted to buy a few more decorations for the house. However, last weekend while visiting my boyfriend’s mother we inquired why she hadn’t put up any lighting or decorations. Earlier this year her mother, my boyfriend’s grandmother, passed away and it is traditional for children of the deceseased to mourn for two years after their death. No decorations, or lights, or trees.


My boyfriend and his grandmother shared a birthday, and to respect the family wishes, we are not decorating the house with anything. Except, a Christmas tree! I cannot live without a real tree in my home every year. If nothing else, I always want a tree.

Ever since I little one of the few things I would volunteer to do was decorate the tree. My grandparents always bought a 6ft. tree and my brother and I would be in charge of decorating. Plus, every Christmas my boyfriend and I have spent together we buy a new ornament for our tree as our new tradition. Last year, we kept a small piece of the tree stub that was cut off at the time of purchase and we wrote each of our names, including our roommates, with the date. This year we turned our Christmas card into the new ornament. Decorating the tree has always been a great way for my family to get together before the holiday and do somethig together. It’s also the one thing we never fight over.

I can live without decorations and lights on the house, but no one keeps me from having a fresh tree in my home for Christmas!

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Thanks for what?

Classic Chocolate Cake

Classic Chocolate Cake

I spent my afternoon with a marathon of Dexter Season 3 and baking this lovely chocolate delight. I just hope it’s not going to be the only thing I eat for dinner.

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September 20, 2009 · 6:47 pm