Let me say first that it’s pronounced JIB-lets because when people say GIBB-lets, I think of those frozen half-ears of corn called Niblets. I also think of dog kibble, which half of mine are because I only use the liver when making the gravy for Thanksgiving. After I get it out of the carved turkey, that is.
Yes, I made that classic amateur mistake today, and it wasn’t because I didn’t know better. I just wasn’t thorough enough to check the ENTIRE bird for its innards because I was anxious to get it in the oven so it would be ready on time. I’m fairly confident in my cooking so my worst fear wasn’t of dropping the turkey or burning it to a crisp; I was only worried that I wouldn’t have it all ready on time. I did alright, and it was delicious! Hearing my oldest daughter say so as we sat down brought tears to my eyes. I’m thankful they appreciated my efforts.
It was a little strange to spend this Thanksgiving without my extended family. Our whole lives, the (now ex-) Hubs and I spent this day with his family. It’s always loud and crazy with football games going and people running in and out every two minutes with children or animals in tow. There always seemed to be more people in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house, but by meal time, everyone’s favorites were scattered on the bar, buffet style, and the place smelled wonderful. I don’t know how my dear mother-in-law did it. I’m thankful for my own success-despite-insanity this year, but I miss hers, too.
This year’s dinner table included the Hubs, all three kids, and Bitty’s boyfriend. I almost broke down in the moment where I felt like a mother-in-law myself. Was I really old enough to be doing this? To be the matriarch of my own big family? It will only be a few years before “the in-laws” are attached to my children instead of my spouse, and the grandbabies will be mine instead of my mother’s. Scary and impossible as that seems, I’m thankful that my children are growing and healthy and becoming who they are supposed to be.
My house is a little crazy every day, and so much more so when there are guests or special occasions. Bitty is your typical Gemini cheerleader type, usually cute and bubbly unless she’s on an unpredictable temper streak. Her boyfriend will probably take on the nickname ‘Abe’ before it’s all over because he looks like him and has a certain dryness that I think old Mr. Lincoln probably would have had. Butterfly floats in and out at will and her beauty (inside and out) is always noticed, whether she speaks or not. The Kid has the Hubs’s huge personality and boisterous laugh, and I still haven’t decided whether having those two in the same room is ever a good idea.
The Nalls house is an odd mix of ingredients. Some of us are crunchy like celery and transparent like onions, and some of us are soft and give under pressure like organ meats. Some of us get firm in our shells like boiled eggs, knowing we must be shredded to be useful. In the last year, we Nallses have been heated, stirred, thickened, seasoned and served. Together we create a wonderfully rare and unusual flavor unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Like a big bowl of giblet gravy.