Thursday, November 22, 2012

How Could Anyone Want More?

            My dumpster-diver daughter is home for a visit. She knows from experience that the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving will yield an extraordinary haul at Trader Joe’s – which is closed on the holiday and likely to have overstocked in advance. I heard her coming home in the middle of the night, and figured she’d gone to check it out. What a surprise I came downstairs to this morning: a veritable flower shop in my living room.

            The day dawned sunny and crisp, perfect for a bike ride. There were a few things I needed from the store to supplement the dumpster haul. I strapped panniers on my workhorse bike and rode to the Harris-Teeter that’s 5 miles from home, instead of the one that’s just half a mile away, wanting to enjoy a glorious ride. Families walking, children playing, and other cyclists presumably out for a pre-pig-out ride populated the bike path and adjacent parks and playgrounds.

I didn’t really have to go to the store today, but I knew that I would in the next few days and figured I’d take advantage of the Thursday senior discount, which I now qualify for. Why not? Of course, I’m grateful that I’m still fit and energetic enough to bike 10 miles in pursuit of food, now that I’m a “senior.”

We won’t be having a traditional Thanksgiving. My daughter and her friend are ardent Anarchists who object to the celebration of a Colonialist holiday – especially one that presaged the near-genocide of the Native American people. I agree with the political stance, but nevertheless, I enjoy setting aside this day to focus on all I have to be thankful for – not the least of which is a passionate, spirited child.

I tried to give away some of the flowers to local nursing homes, thinking the residents and staff might enjoy some brightness – but after calling around, no one seemed interested in taking them. So instead, I focused on designing a menu that would use the dumpstered ingredients to supplement the other foods on hand. I will admit that I was a bit squeamish when she first started bringing home dumpster food a few years ago. But having seen the perfectly good things that are thrown away – the huge quantities of waste – I’ve changed my mind (at least in cold weather). We’ll be having Brussels sprout soup, tossed salad, spanikopita, and the essential: pecan pie for dessert.

Listening to Pandora on my ride, I heard Barefoot Truth’s The Ocean, and thought it was a perfect Thanksgiving refrain:

Every now and then
I sit and I think about this life
And I say "yeah, how could anyone want more?"

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