Wednesday, November 17, 2010


So I just looked at the calendar and realized that Thanksgiving is happening in a week! When did that happen? Did I mention the family is coming here? Here's a tale of Thanksgiving 2007, when I last hosted the event.

I need to preface this whole story by saying that my mom doesn't think that I can cook, which was half the reason that I wanted to host Thanksgiving - to prove that we wouldn't be dining on cereal and Lean Cuisines. We'd be eating real food, made by me.  Back in 2007, I was still living in an apartment.

As I was getting ready for the event, my friend, Amanda, told me that the one time she made a turkey, she'd bought one with a pop up timer, so if I'd just get one of those, I'd be golden. Sweet. Butterball Pop Up Timer Turkey on the list. I had a recipe for Yukon Gold mashed potatoes that I wanted to make from Real Simple, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, Stove Top stuffing (whatever, I'd never made stuffing), cranberry sauce, caramel rice krispie treats, and corn, probably other stuff too. My sister and mom were both bringing pies, and bread.  Lunch was slated to begin at noon, so I thought people would show up at 11ish or something. 

Sometime in the early morning, I pulled that gross stuff out of the inside of a turkey (YUCK!!) season it and put into the roaster into the oven. Around 9 a.m., I was doing a load of laundry when my parents arrived.  9 a.m. is nowhere close to noon in case you can't tell time.  It's completely different.  I needed trash bags and saran wrap or something like that, so I sent my dad to the grocery store.  My dad has never met a stranger - I figured he'd be gone for 45 minutes.  I needed to run downstairs and throw clothes into the dryer, my mom asked what she could do?  I suggested she start peeling potatoes.  My mom failed to mention that she is a champion potato peeler.  I was gone for about 2.2 minutes.  She had peeled half of a five pound bag if not more in my absence.  No joke.  I picked up a potato and started peeling and glanced over at my mom who was whirling away.  I said something about how she must have "the good potato peeler."  We switched.  The lightning fast peeling continued.

Elizabeth and her family arrived sometime close to 11, because that's normal and expected.  When Elizabeth arrived we kicked food prep into high gear. One problem - my apartment kitchen was small and not open at all.  Insanely small.  And then things start to get amusing, sort of...

My mom: "Rebekah, what do you want for Christmas?"
Before I can even say a word....
My sister, Elizabeth: "A bigger kitchen." 
The three of us in there was a tight squeeze. At some point my mom decided we should check on that turkey - not her first rodeo. 
She opens the oven door: "Rebekah, where's the pop up timer?"
Me: "On the turkey." And I was only trying to be halfway sarcastic.
My mom looked at me, and said: "Well, I don't see one here.  Where's your meat thermometer?"
Me: "Did you ever give me a meat therometer? I don't own one."

So yes, a 15 pound turkey in the oven for 8 - 9 people and no way to tell if it's done. Until my mom says that if we can twist the leg and it nearly comes off it's done. (My timer was almost up too FYI).  The leg thing worked and the turkey was great. I have since acquired a meat thermometer.  Thanksgiving got substantially less exciting from there - my sister brought this awesome French Silk Pie from a bakery that is now closed - it was so piled high that my knife disappeared.


Elizabeth said...

Okay, I don't remember the "bigger kitchen" comment at all. But this post still had me laughing out loud!

chrissyrudd said...

You have a blog!!! How did I miss it? Very funny! I too can't believe the big day is THIS Thursday! Hope your brine goes well (I can't say "brine" without mentioning how much I HATE Martha Stuart...)! My mother in law hosts it, and she keeps trying to steal the making of my party potatoes so she can martyr herself and make it look like she did everything. Ack. I think I'll need a couple bottles of wine!