Thanksgiving this year was all about math—and not just asking mom how long it takes to cook a turkey in the microwave.
It started weeks ago, with these warm-up equations:
If the American Food Store gets one shipment every four weeks and Sally buys 3 pie shells and Richard buys 8 boxes of stuffing, how many cans of cranberry sauce do you need to buy for Thanksgiving? (Answer: pumpkin. Just buy all of the pumpkin)
Sarah wants to make (or eat) 86 mini pumpkin pie cheesecakes. How many times does Sarah need to convert grams to ounces and before remembering the recipe and finally gets to eat one?
If there is only one medium sauce pan, one glass baking dish, and 2 large mixing spoons, how many times does Gabriel need to wash the dishes while Sarah cooks?
Gabriel and Sarah have 0 turkeys, 2 chicken breasts, and 4 fish fillets in the fridge. If something goes wrong with the oven, how would Grandma feel about serving fish with stuffing?
How many stirs does it take to hand whip whipped cream when it’s 80°F outside?
Once we solved those equations, we went on to solve some bigger problems:
How many pumpkin cheesecakes can Sarah eat before she feels sick?
How much cinnamon and pumpkin spice is too much to consume in 24 hours?
How long can Gabriel and Sarah nap in between eatings?
And finally, we followed it up with a bonus question:
What time will our family be awake so we can call them?
The 2.5 of us celebrated this Thanksgiving together with as close to a traditional menu as we could whip up: Pan-seared chicken in rosemary and garlic sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes swimming in butter, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie cheesecake.
Since our oven only works when it wants to, we managed to pull off the meal by only using the stove top. Gabriel did dishes in between each round of cooking. We used no electronic kitchen appliances, but mixed and chopped and cleaned everything by hand (that’s right, no dishwasher either). And it tasted delicious.
We were lazy and spent the day at our own pace. We talked about favorite random memories of each other, the things we were thankful for, and what our future might look like. We ate and lounged and ate some more. And when our Stateside families were finally awake, we texted them with some festive Bitmojis.
Later, we Skyped. It’s the third Thanksgiving that we’ve been away from home, but it hasn’t become any easier. While our bellies were content and we were grateful for the meal we put together, nothing on our table replaced Grandma’s creamed corn, Tammy’s roasted turkey, or Barb’s mashed potatoes.
And most of all, nothing replaced the sound of laughing nephews and cousins, of jesting aunts and uncles, or of silverware clinking on plates when the dessert course is done and everyone is too full to utter another noise.
This year we’re thankful for many things, but especially having friends and family at home that support us when we’re away. Wishing you a Happy Turkey Day full of food and good cheer!