The Geek & The Chic

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

This was the first year in a long time that I actually cooked Thanksgiving dinner. Being single, you usually get invited over somewhere, or you go home. Of course,this year I've married and moved away from the people who would have invited me over for dinner, so it was a brand new world.

Husband and I decided to stay home this year rather than travel with everybody else on the roads and in the air. In fact, he invited soldiers over from his unit who would otherwise have spent Thanksgiving in the barracks with nowhere to go but the chow hall. In the end, we had seven people over for dinner, including one soldier who just arrived Wednesday night.

Preparations started Wednedsay night. We decided to have ham and turkey to be sure we would not run out of food. The ham went in the oven and I started cleaning. Husband helped. There were floors to be mopped, rugs to be vaccumed and I had to iron the tablecloth since it was all wrinkled. Our vaccuum had not been feeling well and we sent it out for repair. Thankfully, it was ready Wednedsay morning so I picked it up on my way to work. Husband vaccuumed, I mopped. Between food preparation and cleaning, we didn't get to bed until after 2am.

Besides the ham and turkey, we had yams (I love yams!), green bean casserole (I don't like it) and I made a corn pudding. I made cranberry sauce and we also had stuffing. Earlier in the week, I had baked a pumpkin pie as well as an apple one and we had butter cookies for dessert too. For the ham, I made a glaze with mustard, brown sugar and bourbon. The turkey sat in a brine for six hours so it would be very moist. For the record, Husband stated it was the best turkey he ever had.

But this is my trouble. I am a perfectionist. I wish I cooked for large numbers of people more frequently so that it would feel more second nature than once in a lifetime opportunity to perhaps poison people. And since it's poultry, I really didn't want to invite Sam and Ella to come over either so while I stress, I scrub away. Hey, at least it's therapeutic.

But back to the day. The turkey was ready at 3pm. Our guests were told to come between 330pm and 4pm. They were late. The side dishes were done before they arrived and at some point while I made the corn pudding, Husband gave me a beer. He said I was stressing. Of course I was! I couldn't find the whisk attachment for the mixer to beat the stupid egg whites; I hadn't eaten anything all day except for a cranberry muffin I'd made for breakfast, and I was making turkey (see Sam and Ella reference above) so by the time the guests arrived, I was loopy (but not obviously). The only indication I had that I was loopy was that the bag of stuffing I opened almost went all over the kitchen floor. No one noticed. I tell you it was as if the knock at the door was my cue for loopy.

Dinner went well. No one coughed and sputtered and dropped to the floor yelling, "J'accuse!". Food received rave reviews. Converstation stayed away (mostly) from work while the soldiers tried remembering to use first names. Football was watched after dinner and then all went home. After everybody left, I noticed we had two bottles of wine, a case of beer and a 12 pack of soda that we hadn't had before.

As for me, I was asleep by 9pm snoring loudly enough to wake the neighbors.


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