Wednesday, August 25, 2010

thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving is nothing to laugh about.  Well, it is something to laugh about, in fact it is mostly laughs I have found out, in between bouts of exhaustion and wishing I had more hair to pull out.  But it is still serious business....

This weekend started out with big plans.  For the first time in my life I would actually be responsible for most of the meal, or at least the most important part...the dressing.  Most of you who will be reading this live in the south, so you understand the importance of the dressing (which has nothing to do with clothing, for those of you non-southerners out there).  My oldest daughter Jen and I had discussed the menu, and my youngest daughter Deb (or Wretch as I lovingly refer to her) had pitched in a few items she would be responsible for.  The men in the family made one contribution...the meat (ham from Steve and turkey from Parker).  We let them delude themselves into thinking the meat is the center of the meal, but the girls and I know the TRUTH...without dressing there IS no meal... 

 Soooo, we planned and plotted and bought the ingredients, and I drove over the day before Thanksgiving, after I had helped Steve burn the ham.  It wasn't really my fault...it was the meat thermometer that was 30 degrees off and the loose knob on the roaster that were at fault.   It had nothing to do with me forgetting to put the lid on the roaster for the first two hours the ham was cooking, or trying my mathematical skills at adjusting the temperature to make up for lost time (let's see...if the roaster is set at 300F for 25 minutes per pound, and it is open for 2 hours, then shooting the temperature up to 450F for a few hours should make up the difference, right?  This figures up algebraically as HTC = 350d / 0h x 450R x 4h.  At least in my mind it did.  I did notice as I drove off that there was a slight scorched odor wafting through the house, but decided that was the juices sizzling in the bottom, right?  WRONG....

 I went by daycare to pick up the twins, who popped big eyes at me then ran and launched themselves at me like missiles...(I live for those trips to pick them up)...then home we went to start cooking for the next day...after calling for pizza, Deb got there and we all spent a couple of hours that night doing some prep for the meal the next day.  Dessert was a done deal....I had planned to make several desserts, but a trip to the store during the week and I discovered that purchased desserts were an acceptable thing to do..all I had to do was unwrap them, put them in my serving dishes and no one would know the difference...well that was the plan, but I never got around to transferring them....I decided eating bought desserts straight from the boxes was ok, because if you leave the price tag on them, people are so impressed that you would spend so much on dessert that they don't mind eating them from cardboard.....

 We all crashed fairly early and were up early the next morning..but it was very odd that the only people with energy on Thanksgiving morning were the three-year olds in the house.  I was supposed to go hit a sale at Kmart with Jen and Deb but I opted out when I realized just how much food I had to prepare, and that wasn't counting the dressing.  SO while they went shopping (Parker went with them since I was staying home and could cook and watch the kids too.... because after all grammys have four arms and six legs and two heads with four eyes each....what you NEED to keep up with twins and cook a feast I discovered), I chopped and diced and peeled and mixed.  I made 6 pans of cornbread...it did look like a lot of bread for dressing but I figured I could freeze what I didn't use...then I mixed and cooked and boiled and stirred and baked some more....

 It was all going well I thought, when the kids got back from the store, empty handed because they didn't see anything they wanted.  (More to come about the shopping on Friday...)  The girls pitched in and we cooked and baked and chopped and boiled and stirred and whipped some more stuff...by this time I  wasn't sure what I was making, but it smelled ok so I figured even if we didn't recognize it, it would taste ok....

 Then the time came to mix the dressing....and I realized I didn't knowing stuffing about stuffing...so I threw together what I thought went into it....it smelled ok...although I found that I had to use 4 bowls to mix it in (Halloween candy bowls and the biggest mixing bowls Jen had) and the more I added to it, the bigger it grew....was this what dressing was supposed to do? ....it just kept swelling like a living, breathing creature.  I finally decided it had enough stuff in it and crammed it in the two biggest pans I could find....and shoved it in the oven on the same temperature I had set the ham for.....everything else was ready and about an hour and a half and three temperature adjustments later....we scooped around the edges of the pan (the only place it appeared to be cooked through) and gave thanks for the feast and family (I was secretly giving thanks that I got through the cooking of it or it would have been famine and family).... and began to stuff our faces and congratulate ourselves on how well everything had turned out (although the ham tended to crumble to dust when we attempted to slice it).

 After the meal, we dozed in a overcarbed fog and stuffed some more (cardboard desserts) then fogged again.  The three-year olds had never slacked up all day, until suddenly we realized that Dunc had disappeared, and we found him passed out on his bed....the carbs had caught up with him too....Mad had to be glued to the bed for her nap...

 That night as we sat around watching tv I thought how blessed I was that I had such a wonderful family....and how well the day had gone, and that I could cook a fairly decent meal when I tried....

 and how glad I was my plane karma hadn't morphed into cooking karma.... :-D
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