The New Yorker:

Some stoves are made for Thanksgiving. My stove in New York is one of them. It has six burners and two ovens, which began to coöperate, more or less, in 2002, after five years of stealing each other’s heat—with the result that the people who love sweet potatoes (my daughter, for one) and the people who can’t manage Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes (my son-in-law) are finally happy, along with the ones who demand Brussels sprouts (my husband) and the ones (I won’t mention them) who ask for string beans. I am the only person at my Thanksgiving dinner who insists on braised red cabbage, but then I am the cook with six burners and two ovens, and I always get it.

I bought my stove with Thanksgiving in my head. I imagined large birds, basted and browning nicely at four hundred and twenty-five degrees in one oven, while apple and pear cakes rose, untroubled, at three hundred and fifty in the other, and the stock for my bourbon gravy simmered on top, surrounded by pots and pans of everyone’s favorite fixings. There was some discussion at home about the price of my new stove, but I didn’t listen. By my logic, I was saving money, having dropped my long-standing campaign to replace the painted-plywood kitchen shelves with serious maple cabinets. The stove arrived in the fall of 1997, and broke down for the first time a month later, on Thanksgiving Day, leaving sixteen irritable people eating tuna sandwiches and cranberry sauce at two long laundry tables from the building’s basement which I had squeezed diagonally, end to end, across my dining room, disguised under my mother’s creamy Belgian linens, circa 1930. The emergency repairman appeared in February. With my stove functioning again, I had what would now be called a transformative thought: Thanksgiving but not Thanksgiving. No one would get to vote on the Brussels sprouts or veto the cabbage. No one could say “What? No turkey?” if my corn-bread-and-pecan stuffing came spilling out of a couple of juicy capons instead of a turkey that was bound to be stiff by the time it was carved and on a platter. 

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