Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner, a revisited adventure

Years ago, I was the one who hosted Thanksgiving dinner. In 1988 I had 38 people at my place, I used the neighbors oven to bake things and her refrigerator to store things that were overflowing in my house. Had the whole clan over (there's a BUNCH more of them now and we'd have to rent a hall to have dinner together now).

Then I married The Engineer 15 years ago, and his moms favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. She loved the colors, she loved the turkey, she loved having everyone around the table, she loved the laughter, she loved the shouting at the after-dinner football games--it was just her most favorite day! Last year she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was due for surgery right after Thanksgiving, so we shared the duties and I hosted. We made 2 small turkeys--one at my house and one at hers--because she still wanted to get her hands in that bird, she loved the day THAT much. (What a hoot, running over to her place the night before to pick up my share of the stuffing!)

This year, we're celebrating without her. And it's all up to me to try to remember how to time everything to be ready at the same time as the turkey. Y'see, I still haven't figured out the eccentricities of the new oven after a year, I've forgotten if the turkey is usually done a few minutes before or a few minutes after the suggested time. Then there's the letting-it-sit-for-15-minutes, and the time it takes The Engineer to carve (he has to share nibbles of turkey with the cat, and that lengthens carving time), all while I'm making gravy and trying to keep the mashed potatoes and extra stuffing warm and moist. Hmmmmm, maybe I need to start an Excel spreadsheet? But, I didn't used to do it that way, I used to know how to this as easily as I know how to spin yarn. Either I'm getting old and foggy in the brain or I've become accustomed to leaning too much on technology and expecting that cooking large dinners can be cataloged and/or kept to a firm schedule.

Either way, no one will turn down the turkey when it comes 'round on its serving platter, and no one will comment if the mashed potatoes are a little cool or the cat is sitting under the table staring at us with his laser eyes because he wants more nibbles. So, it's all good!

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone! And remember why we call it "thanks giving".


Doris Sturm said...

Sorry about your MIL not being here to share her favorite holiday.

I'm sure everything will turn out delish! I remember cooking for a crowd and I loved it, but those days are gone. It's just Gizzy and me and I'll just pop in a chicken since I'm not a big meat eater, but I do love the smell of the backing fowl in the house. Old habits die hard!
... and eating alone, I can have my pumpkin pie first ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving!
Doris and Gizzy

Feisty said...

Oh Doris, I wish you could come up here for the holiday! Have a lovely dinner with Gizzy and give him a nuzzle from me.

Robin said...

I love Thanksgiving too. Love the cooking love the people gathered to share the meal. Be sure to raise a glass to your MIL and tell at least one funny story about her. She'll be watching over the oven for you.

Annie said...

I loved uour mentioning your staring cat with laser eyes. We have one like that and he does that trick every day!