Doing the Cranberry Can-Can

Photo by Mr T in DC

Photo by Mr T in DC

When it comes to Thanksgiving, there are two kinds of cranberry sauce people: The can people and the homemade people.

I come from a long line of can people.  In my family, the canned cranberry sauce was an essential part of our Thanksgiving tradition and I thought it was awesome.  Unlike the homemade cranberry sauces, the canned sauce would not carelessly meander into the other food on my plate, disrespectfully tainting the sweet potato pie or rudely running into the turkey gravy. Additionally, since I was raised on the stuff, I actually liked the taste and had no curiosity whatsoever about how they were able to get it into a shape that continued to look exactly like a can, even after it came out.

Cranberry_Sauce_(3617909597)I was not introduced to actual homemade cranberry sauce until I got married.  My husband came from a traditional cranberry sauce family, and like most traditional cranberry sauce families, they thought us canned cranberry sauce people were heathens. Of course, they didn’t say that out loud. But when I looked around the Thanksgiving table at my first Thanksgiving dinner with them and asked for the canned stuff, I could see in their eyes that they were thinking it.

Wanting to fit in with my new family, I tried to be accepting of the homemade cranberry sauce, but to my canned cranberry taste buds, it just tasted nasty. I preferred the artificially sweet taste and smooth gelatinous texture of the canned cranberry sauce to the tart, somewhat lumpy feel of the homemade stuff.

I don’t think this made me a bad person: Just someone with a preference for exceedingly fake, food-like items.

At first I felt bad that I was the lone canned cranberry sauce person at the table. But then I realized that Thanksgiving is all about celebrating two cultures coming together in spite of their differences to give thanks for what they have. I thought it was a great chance for the canned cranberry sauce people and the homemade cranberry sauce people to meet at the dinner table and accept ALL the cranberry sauce options we had before us.

I considered all the other rival groups in history that been unable to transcend their differences – the Sharks and the Jets… the Hatfields and McCoys… the Montagues and Capulets – and realized this was indeed an opportunity for the two cranberry factions to finally come together.

In the interest of peace, love, and brotherhood, I decided to bring a can of cranberry sauce to my next Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family. While my traditional cranberry sauce brethren simmered their whole cranberries, sugar and orange zest on the stove top, I unsealed my canned cranberry sauce with a can opener, gently slid it onto a plate, and then sliced it into circles.

As I proudly set my plate of canned cranberry slices onto the buffet, I beamed at one of my nephews and offered him a slice of canned cranberry goodness.

He studied my cranberry sauce, and then in the true spirit of the holiday, he looked up at me, and said,


©2014, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Da Holidays

It Ain’t Over ’til the Fat Lip Sings

I’m one of those people who buys a lot of toys for my dog.


Maybe I do it out of guilt for those times I leave him home alone while I run out to go shopping, do errands or whatever. So what if I bribe my dog with squeaky, fuzzy and tuggy things? I do the same thing with my kids and they seem ok with it.

However, while I have been able to somewhat successfully teach my kids to put their toys away, I have had no such luck with my dog. I actually can’t get my husband to put his toys away either, but that’s another blog post.

Our dog Monty has a bin in the kitchen where we keep all his toys… and due to my guilt induced dog toy-buying sprees, he has a lot of them. This means that when he leaves his toys around, there can be upwards of seven assorted rubber Frisbees, several petrified semi-chewed dog bones, a half dozen formerly furry things that are now stiff with dried dog drool, and a couple of squeaky squirrel things on the floor of the family room and kitchen at any one time.

It is, quite truthfully, a dog toy mine field.

Fortunately, I have gotten used to looking down when I walk around this area so as not to trip over or step on the dog, his toys, or the occasional pile of doggie puke.

Unfortunately, I am not always so observant, and one morning as I was walking and talking to my husband on the phone, I failed to notice one of the larger dog accessories right in my path. How I could miss a rubber bone that was almost as big as my leg, I’m not quite sure.

But before you could say “Down Boy,” I was sprawled on the floor with a fat lip the size of Texas.

Now, I know there are some women who pay a lot of money for lip fillers to plump up their pouts. But I have been blessed with big lips so this was not really a feature I needed to enhance.

Peeling myself off the floor, I ran into the bathroom to look in the mirror. There was no disguising it. I had Trout Mouth.

“Is everything OK?” asked my husband when he called me back. “I heard a yell, a curse, and a thunk.”

“I fell on the dog’s bone and I got a fat lip,” is what I tried to say. But that’s not what came out.

“I thell on the dog’th mone and I got a that lit.” I said emphatically.20141111_093717


“I THELL and I got a THAT LIT.” I repeated.

“You thell?” he wondered. “What’s a thell? Honey, you’re not making any sense.”

I decided to try a different tact. “I tritt on a mone!”

“You tritt? Huh?”

I thought that maybe I should just simplify to get my point across. “I hurt my lit.”

“What is a LIT?” he demanded.

I sighed. This was almost more painful than the lip itself. I was at a loss. Was there any way to communicate to my husband what happened that did not require the use of an F or a P?

“I got hurt.” I told him.

“Oh. Are you OK?”

“Yeah. But I got a that lit.”

He sighed. “I’m sorry honey, I just can’t understand you.”

I threw up my arms in defeat and then thrust the phone at the guilty party.

“Here. Talk to the dog.”

©2014, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under It's a Dog's Life