My Sisters Cook: Thanksgiving Dinner, Too

Theron Hopkins | for the Pioneer Review

And then you wake up. It is the mornings leading up to the Thursday dinner at the big beach house on Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. After one day in, you’ve got your routine down, and you are fairly certain that this routine will remain in place until the day you leave the house with the Atlantic Ocean out front and the salt water marsh across Myrtle Avenue in the back. You will find the iron will to get out of bed after another late, late night with family and friends; you will limp down the flight of stairs and pour yourself a third of a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee; you will wend your way into the living room and ease into the overstuffed chair that backs up to the picture window with the view of sand and sky and crashing ocean waves; and you will sit and watch your nieces and nephew watch Blues Clues on the flat-screen TV. You will stretch this stage of the day out for as long as you can—with periodic revisits to the kitchen coffee pot—until there is no more putting off “Stage 2”, which is: step on out to Myrtle Avenue and start running. This doesn’t sound too bad, right? You’ve got the views of creek and marsh and oak trees and big, big houses; you’ve got the flat road and the friendly island people, offering up a wave of the hand as they cruise by in their SUV’s; you’ve got the autumn weather—cool and clean and clear; and you’ve got your main reason for this undertaking, because Beth is in the kitchen making eggs. As you arrive at the bottom of the stairs each morning, you see her at the butcher block counter, chopping and slicing and grating, and cracking egg after egg into a Pyrex glass bowl. You ask, “What are you doing?” Beth replies, “Making some eggs.” Early on in the trip she had struck upon the plan that had her utilizing last night’s leftovers for this morning’s breakfast. She stuck to this plan throughout: a Sunday night of “Low Country Boil”; a Monday morning of fried potatoes and eggs scrambled with shrimp, kielbasa, and corn; a Monday night of “Flank Steak and Roasted Vegetables”; a Tuesday morning of chopped beef, broccoli, cauliflower, and goat cheese folded into eggs. She struck lucky on Thanksgiving morning after a Wednesday night of collaborating with Tricia on “Pizza”, as our brother, Jimmie, had arrived on the scene. His recipe catalogue consists of one thing, and that is “Pizza Eggs”, so, with Italian sausage, pepperoni, caramelized onion, sautéed peppers and mushrooms, spinach, and mozzarella cheese as the cast of ingredients, and with Jimmie on hand to consult, success was imminent. Beth reserved her piece de resistance for Friday morning, when she used the feast day’s appetizer board—salami, chorizo, peppers, mushrooms, and Gouda, goat, and mozzarella cheeses—as the palette of application for her scrambled egg canvas. So this is what awaits you at the end of the long, slow loop of the island, along Myrtle Avenue, past the North and South Causeways; past grand house after grand house—the Palmetto House, the Place to Be, Valhalla, High Tide, Ragland, Plum Crazy Up (and Down), Ryan’s Legasea, Mimi’s Cloud, Periwinkle, and on and on—many of them with flags fluttering in the salt breeze—The State University (Go Gamecocks!), UGA (Go Bulldogs!), UVA (Wahoo!), Clemson U. (Hold that Tiger!), the good old Red, White, and Blue—past all of the people, gliding along in their cars and big trucks, pedaling their bicycles, walking their dogs, happy and content, and in no big hurry for this day to move at any kind of pace past “slow”. And then there is the old guy in the red jacket, silver hair and silver-framed glasses, tall and straight-backed, and with a face that says, “I am at peace with this world.” He raises a hand, offers up a “Hello”, and says, “You do this every mawnin’, don’t you?” “I do,” you reply. “Me, too,” he says. “Gotta’ keep moving.” You offer up the half-grin and the “thumbs up”, and you get the same from him. And on down the road you go. It’s Thanksgiving morning 2017. The sun is shining in the sky. You are here, and you are grateful.
Next Week: Tricia cooks “Fish”… n

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