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Thanksgiving Recap

Monday, November 30, 2009, 03:14 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

Thanksgiving with the Den Parents was a rousing success, but not without a few glitches to keep it interesting. While there were no attempted homicides, there were challenges.

I baked the famous pumpkin cheesecake on Wednesday evening. Despite my intentions, I ultimately chose not to prepare my vegetables while the cheesecake was baking, but rather relaxed instead. I knew I would have plenty of time to prep the veggies Thursday morning.

The Den Mother’s Mother usually plans for a 1:30-2:00 start time for holiday dinners. With that target in mind, I showed up in her kitchen at around 10:30 and got to work. I had scarcely begun to dice the turnip and peel the potatoes when DMM opened the oven to check the turkey and pronounced, with no small degree of astonishment, that it was done. WTF?

The 20-pound turkey had gone into the oven at 8:00. To avoid last year’s crisis in which the turkey cooked much more slowly than expected, DMM decided to only partially stuff the bird and roast it at a temperature 10° higher than usual. Still, who would have expected the damn bird to be done in less than three hours?

The choices were before us: either have Thanksgiving brunch with turkey and stuffing, or turn the oven down to 180° and hope that the Den Mother could morph into a vegetable-cooking madwoman. We opted for the latter option. I shifted into overdrive and got everything done at 12:30, which wasn’t too bad under the circumstances. For those keeping score at home, that was two hours to cook mashed potatoes, Amish turnips, baked acorn squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots, and green beans without the garlic and almonds because by the time I started those, I was too whipped to worry about it. By the time DMM had made the gravy and baked the dinner rolls and DMF had carved the turkey (which was surprisingly juicy and tender for having sat there in the warm oven for two hours), we sat down to eat at 1:00.

It was a most delicious affair. As I looked at the amount of food on the table and the seven people sitting around it, I realized that I inherited DMM’s tendency to make enough food to feed a small third world country, should one unexpectedly arrive for dinner. After washing all the pots, pans, and dinner dishes, we dug into the desserts: the aforementioned pumpkin cheesecake, plus DMM’s pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies. That’s right, we had enough desserts for each person at the table to eat half a pie/cake, with one half left for the third world country. Like every other American family, we have lots of leftovers. Personally, I find Thanksgiving leftovers almost more enjoyable than the original dinner because it’s so much easier to prepare them.

The best part of the day was the company. My family are a laid-back bunch who laugh a lot, and even though we were mindful of others we love who weren’t there, we had a raucous good time.

I hope each and every one of you had a similarly warm and wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Categories: family, holidays
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