The Tiffin Tin

What\’s in your lunchbox?

A San Francisco Thanksgiving

with 5 comments

I’ve made Thanksgiving dinner for my family every year since the late 1980s.  So, yes, that means I’ve been making that particular dinner for about twenty years.  I love cooking, and I love my family, and I love the way the table at Thanksgiving looks: bountiful, with a crisp white linen tablecloth, slightly formal dishes, our lovely silver.  Over the years, I’ve added and fiddled with the menu until it’s become exactly what we all like to eat on this day.  And the places at the table are decorated with place cards my children made many years ago, by tracing their hands on paper and drawing turkey beaks and feet on the traced hand pattern.   We’ve saved all the place cards from all the guests we’ve hosted at this dinner and the boys like looking through them and remembering the guest (who may or may not be here this year).

But this past year has been more stressful than usual in our lives:  I’ve dealt with a bout of breast cancer (from which I am recovering beautifully with a very good prognosis), my house is messier than it generally is because the three boys are in three different schools and well, it’s Tuesday and I feel myself wilting when I contemplate brining the turkey.  That’s not my usual self, I know.  And it’s not who I’m always going to be.

Still, one thing I’ve been trying to do is have more fun, and do new things with my family.  So if turkey’s going to do me in, then something new will have to be tried. 

Here’s what I did:  I called our favorite old-time San Francisco restaurant this afternoon (Sam’s —  courteous waiters, and wooden booths, and great grilled fish) and was directed to Caesar’s Italian Restaurant.  It’s near Fisherman’s Wharf, a place the boys love, and a place we never go to because it’s always so crowded and noisy and flashy and it makes us feel like strangers in our own city.  I’m guessing that on a holiday like Thanksgiving it’ll be empty and quiet and maybe the bay and the ocean will be more present than usual. 

Caesar’s is big and friendly and open and they like children.  The man who took my reservation was full of life and had an Italian accent.  And it’s a real San Francisco institution.  Not stuffy.  The turkey’s likely to be just the way you’d want it to be:  not gourmet, solid, satisfying, with a lot of mashed potatoes.

So there you have it:  happiness does not always mean making the meal yourself.  Sometimes it is okay to let other people do it for you.

Tomorrow, back to lunches.

Written by bloglily

November 21, 2006 at 2:27 pm

5 Responses

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  1. You make the best mashed potatoes. 🙂

    Besides, now you don’t have to do the dishes.

    Sue Crocker

    November 21, 2006 at 6:04 pm

  2. You’re sweet, Sue.

    Yes, the not-doing dishes is going to be fun.

    And it turns out we’ll have lots of pies, and have a little 4:00 coffee and pie feast at our house (so we can use that white linen tablecloth and the nice dishes and silver after all!)


    November 22, 2006 at 9:55 am

  3. […] Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I’ll be taking lots of pictures of our family dinner, the one at Caesar’s in San Francisco.   […]

  4. Lovely post! I learnt a bit more about you. I love the idea about just letting someone else make Thanksgiving Dinner for you while you enjoy your family and the view. You are a wonderful person and I admire your power and postivie view in life.


    November 22, 2006 at 11:26 am

  5. Hi
    I found your blog thro meeta’s blog daily Tiffin.
    I am a regular on meeta’s blog and also on vegan lunch box.
    I was very disappointed when veganlunchbox discontinued the regular upload of her Tiffin boxes.
    I just love sites which show the daily lunch boxes or food for kids ‘
    I too have to pack my sons Tiffin box everyday and such blogs are real inspiration
    You have a nice blog and I will be reading it right from the beginning
    Keep up the good work and pls don’t discontinue.
    Bye, keep in touch.


    November 26, 2006 at 11:34 pm

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