Saturday, November 27, 2010
It came and went
Thanksgiving morning dawned bright and clear. No wait, Thanksgiving morning dawned overcast and rambunctious. Actually, I have no idea how Thanksgiving morning dawned because I was finishing up the previous night's dishes, feeding the dogs, and tweaking the day's action plan, all the while slurping once, slurping twice, 24 oz of Peets should suffice.
By noon I had finalized the tables, arranged the chairs, delivered as much food as I could--gravy, pies, small container of sugar, pint of heavy cream, just in case, one more bottle of white and that cab I've been trying to move. I had prepped and glazed the ham and left it with detailed instructions about when to bring to room temp, when to preheat the oven and when to actually start cooking it.
I was off to take the dogs for their second walk. I could have saved the time and effort because the dogs can't count, but they can tell time. It doesn't matter to them how many walks they get, at 3, it is time to go for a walk and like a pack of head injury victims with no short term memory, they race around the house baying and shredding their toys, insisting that they haven't been walked. Of course, the walks are only ostensibly for them. I was the one who needed a 45 minute march around the fields to settle my mind and justify the amount of pie I planned to eat. I fed the dogs, washed my hair, only changed my clothes six times and by 3:45, I was over at the bf's with the whipped cream, onion casserole and broccoli all chopped and ready to steam.
The dogs were left behind and they hate Thanksgiving. All the food goes to someone else's house and they are left alone for six hours with the door to the back yard propped open letting all the cold air in.
The bf's family was all there. His sister and sister-in-law and I all worked seamlessly in his kitchen, chopping vegetables for the salad, measuring and heating milk for the mashed potatoes, rotating the different casseroles through the oven. We talked about books and recorded books and cooking early in the morning when the house is quiet and we can take as much time as we want to chop and measure and mix. They talked about their children and I tried to curb my impulse to chime in about my dogs. People who have children generally don't appreciate the comparison.
In case I have given the impression that the bf does nothing, that he is helpless or worse, unhelpful, let me correct that. He and his brothers like to have their "passive help" recognized. He stays out of the way, he agrees with me when I ask his advice, and other than that, he doesn't offer unsolicited suggestions or unwanted opinions. He says, "Gosh, that sounds challenging!" and "Wow, that looks great!" Every now and then, apropos of nothing, he exclaims, "You are amazing!!"
He also fried the turkey. There are so many things to love about a fried turkey. It doesn't require brining or stuffing, it is moist and delicious, and it is fridge to table in an hour. The only thing that is unlovable about it, is the open flame and 6 gallons of scalding, roiling oil. You could fry a turkey or you could defend your castle against bands of marauding Parthians. And it is not uncommon for the cold turkey upon contact with the hot oil to burst into flames. If any of that hot oil drips down into the propane, that starts a fire that is considered "beyond a homeowner's capabilities." You are cautioned against using marinades "which can cause explosions." The turkey fryer comes with 45 pages of warnings and statements of general alarm.
The bf and his brothers took the pot into the middle of the lawn where they watched it, monitored the temperature, regulated the flame and avoided burning anything down. They stood over it for an hour, in the cold wind and enveloping dark, sipping once, sipping twice, 24 oz of Guinness and your Turkey is perfectly done.