Thanksgiving with the Cowboy

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Home Life

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Wrinkly Bits

A Blog by Gail Cushman

Thanksgiving is one of those days that fills my heart with love, it’s my favorite holiday, and I’ve written about it several times. But this is my first Thanksgiving with the Cowboy.

You see, the Cowboy thinks differently than I do. Perhaps it comes from his Texas roots or his used-to-be-huge appetite, and he enjoys everything in Texas- or Alaska-sized portions. Go big, he says. Get the biggest turkey, do we need a ham, too? And maybe the 20-pound bag of potatoes (Idahoans call them spuds), and four pies. Four, that’s a minimum of 24 pieces of pie. Oh my gosh, slow down, Cowboy!

Let me talk about pies. The Cowboy likes pies and I make them often, but it’s mincemeat pie that rattles his heartstrings. I’m a bit puzzled because we didn’t have minces in Idaho. I don’t know exactly what a mince is, and I am hesitant to eat its meat, so I used my brain, smiled, nodded, and completely ignored him. Apple blueberry, that’s what I’d make. He’d never know the difference.

But I was wrong, he kept talking about mincemeat, so I began my search. Animal?  Vegetable?  Does it have fur or antlers or horns. Big or small? Run like a deer or inch like a sloth?  You know, those are all good questions. I looked in the local grocery store. No mincemeat. I checked all the logical places, the meat cooler, the pie-making shelves, the cold-cut section, and of course, the pet aisle. Nothing. No minces and no mincemeat. I called a butcher shop and asked nicely if he had mincemeat. He laughed and hung up. My next natural thought was Tractor Supply, because they have everything Montana, but they were closed, so I continued my search and visited Albertsons, Sam’s Club, and Costco. Nothing. Maybe the Grinch stole them.

Now Cowboy has kind of dug in his heels, (if tennis shoes had heels) and he wondered aloud why mincemeat pie seems to be a such an issue with me. His sainted mother had four boys and they all grew up with mincemeat. She was a genius master-chef as he describes other dishes, such as chili-mac or wieners and macaroni, which this Intermountain-grown woman never heard of. Somehow, in his mind, mincemeat is the last bastion of manhood at Thanksgiving. “Wow, who knew, and who cared?” I thought as I sliced up my apples and poured two portions of Vodka, one for me, and one for the blueberries.

At last resort, Cowboy went to Amazon. I was hesitant about Amazon because I didn’t know much about a mince’s meat. Did it need to be refrigerated or was it safe to send through our local UPS or USPS? He ignored my counsel for, “Leave it alone, apple-blueberry-Vodka is fine,” and ordered a jar of mincemeat. Who knows where it came from, but it was scheduled to arrive yesterday and the UPS driver showed up, right on time.

“You’ve got my mincemeat!  Hurray, I can skin it and make my pie,” I said, grimacing, obviously excited (NOT) to make a mincemeat pie for my new husband.

He said, “I know he’s here somewhere,” as he rifled through a pile of boxes and packages, none of which had Cowboy’s name attached. He fired up his laptop and said, “Oops, sorry, Gail, it’s on another truck, I’ll bring it tomorrow.”

This is what I think. The mince got away, jumped out of the truck fearful for his life. He’s either in a tree (if he is feathered), under a sagebrush (if he is furred), or swimming with the fishes if he’s finned, but somewhere in the wilds of Montana, my mince is celebrating its freedom. No mincemeat for the Cowboy this year. Perhaps next year the President will see fit to pardon a pair of minces, like he pardoned Liberty and Belle Turkey this year.

Have a grand Thanksgiving…Apple-Blueberry!  That’s the best!

Mark your calendar.  Book signing in the Boise Area, Friday December 8, 6—8 PM, 5286 Chinden, Garden City, Idaho…Murder in the Parsonage and Loving Again. TWO books!!!

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