Into the Frozen Hellscape

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-11-25 - Stories

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Or..... Traveling to Montana for Thanksgiving.

I've already posted my 2019 Thanksgiving menu. There will be a few changes. The tamales will really be more like stuffed cornbread, and the mashed potatoes will be replaced with roasted. I'm still on the fence about the Pumpkin Spice Shepherd's Pie.

Part of the struggle with the menu is my focus this year on more traditional flavors. Turkey, check. Tamales, check. Cranberry, check. Gravy, check. Biscuits, check. Potatoes, check. Sharon has pecans covered. I need to work in some pumpkin somehow.

Usually my Thanksgiving menu has nothing to do with Thanksgiving tradition. It's typically more about me being thankful, and celebrating bounty, combined with an outrageous cooking challenge. This year, for the first time ever really, I'm cooking Thanksgiving at someone else's house. So the tradition of me being self indulgent is giving some ground to family tradition. Really the first traditional Thanksgiving I've had in many years.

And in this case "family" means Montana. And this year Thanksgiving in Montana means 10 degrees F. Ten. Not even kidding. Ten.

I grew up in Montana, so I'm no stranger to freezing temperatures. But the freezing is one main reason I'll never live there again. It's a horror show. Cars don't start. Plumbing freezes solid. Everything dies. And unless you plan every day like it's an arctic expedition, you'll freeze solid and no longer be able to play video games. 10 degrees F is a constant emergency. You need special equipment. And my "winter weather gear" is designed for about 40 degrees.

Also, Sharon is planning on a real actual expedition into the literal wilderness to cut down a Christmas tree, so that it can be dragged back home and mocked for a few weeks. I'm already shivering.

I'm sure this all sounds way too dramatic. But my San Diego comfort zone is purposefully the opposite of wading through snow banks, ax in hand, searching the northernmost frozen wilds for a tree to sacrifice to some pagan Gods. It sounds like the plot of a horror movie.

So that should be fun.

But I'll be a guest. So need to be nice. The holiday season brings with it a cliche about the drunk uncle who brings up how great Trump is at the dinner table, and how Socialists are destroying America. Thankfully I'm not that uncle. But I am the uncle who goes on and on about how we don't have to live with weather like cavemen, and how tolerating snow is an insult to our evolution beyond filthy animals. I am the uncle who yells at the poor checkout lady, "Is no one going to do ANYTHING about this snow???!!!".

But, as one does, I'll repress that completely justified sentiment, and do the family thing. I'll travel to the frozen hellscape, where people somehow enjoy living in a walk-in freezer. I'll like it. It will be fun.

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