Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Thanksgiving on Monday

I got a turkey at the auction Saturday.

A big turkey.

In point of fact, a large part of the reason I even bid on the enormous thing was because of its ludicrous size…or more specifically, the proportion of the bird-size to the kid-size.

This young turkey-wrangler looked to be about dead even, weight-wise, with his fowl. But I tell you what, he handled that big old bird like a champ. And I was so charmed by his moxie that I was all, OK, I will DIE if I don’t bid on that stupid turkey.

I know. Just call me Poker Face McEmotionless. Ahem.

The next day, said bird (all twenty-plus pounds of it) was delivered to the Den by the boy and his father – the freshest turkey I have ever had my greedy faux-chef hands on. My plan had been to wrap it well and put it in the freezer for Thanksgiving…buuuuuuuuut…well, upon reflection I found myself asking, you know, how often does one have the CHANCE to cook and devour a turkey THIS fresh?

PLUS, Vanessa the Great’s mother had sent some beautiful pie-pumpkins over from her garden (my own pumpkins…are not looking too good again this year…there are a couple there, but they’re still green and I think the vines themselves are losing the Powdery Mildew wars again), and they had been mocking me on the counter.

You know how they do.

Oh hai! Going to work are you? Ya, well, we’ll just sit here…GETTING READY TO ROT BEFORE YOUR VERY EYESnever mind us, we’ll just chat with the FRUIT FLIES while you’re gone…ignoring us…alllllllll day…”

I despise mouthy food. You guys are SO gonna be PIE! I growled back at them. And then they shrugged at me like, eh, what-EVER! and I VOWED that OH YES, THEY WOULD BE PIE…!

AND THEN, Sunday afternoon I went out into the garden and found that the green beans had gotten busy while I wasn’t looking and I had this impressively large basket of stunningly gorgeous green beans.

So that was how I came to be cooking Thanksgiving dinner a month and a half early, on a work-a-day Monday.

I roasted the pumpkins in the morning, turned them into pulp and put the turkey into the oven on my lunch hour, and put the pies (I ended up with four of the things!) in the oven right after I logged off for the day. Every twenty minutes, I’d ladle the increasingly luxurious pan drippings over the bird; what started out as “just” coarsely chopped onions and green apples and a butter rub on the bird began to take on a torturously rich scent. Every time I’d open the oven, at least one Denizen would appear as if by magic to check on progress.

And then, just like at “real” Thanksgiving, everything was happening at once. The turkey was resting on the counter driving everybody nuts with the aroma, I was slapping people’s hands away while whipping the potatoes into glue, burning the gravy and charring the green beans.

And then I threw a bunch of dishes on the counter and bellowed, “FINE! JUST COME EAT OR SOMETHING, GEEEEEEEZ!!”

Because nothing says Warm Fuzzy Family Moments like the mother of the house having a psychotic meltdown over something like splotches of gravy on the range fan or there being too many dirty dishes on the counter so there’s nowhere to put a buffet-style meal service.

How would we know it was Christmas, if Mommy wasn’t standing at the bottom of the stairs screaming at the top of her lungs about how she has HAD it with BLAH BLAH BLAH and would it KILL YOU PEOPLE to yadda yadda yadda and OHMYGAH, THEY WILL BE HERE IN {X-MANY} MINUTES, WILL YOU !!!!!!PLEASE!!!!!! STOP HAVING HAPPY LIVES AND HELP! ME! WITH! THIS!

(Bonus points for turning right around and going, “Nonononono, not like THAT, do it like THIS OH FER @^*&@’S SAKE, HERE, LET ME DO IT YOU ARE USELESS GO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!!!!”)

Anyway. The Denizens didn’t have to be told twice. Meanwhile, we had coerced invited Vanessa the Great and Significant Other to stay and help us eat it, and we grown-ups older kids retired to the relative peace and quiet of the dining room to, um, dine (if consuming turkey at a table where to actually sit and eat we had to shove a six pack of Mason jars, some folded towels and other oddments out of the way first can be considered ‘dining’…sigh…Once Upon A Time, I swear, my house had at least a semblance of organization…).

And then we ate until we were halfway to sick.

And then we had pie.

With orange-chocolate ice cream I made a few days ago.

Because there was a bag of ice in the freezer, and I needed the room but didn’t want to just waste the ice and oh look, I HAPPEN to have some heavy cream here in the fridge…!

This morning, I packed up one of the untouched pies, made some whipped cream while my coffee was brewing, and took it to the office for the team.

This team doesn’t do a whole lot of that kind of stuff (yet) and a few of them were slightly taken aback by it (“This is for…why? Oh. Um. Is it…OK…for me to…?”), but I think they’re willing to be brought around.

It was awfully nice, having a little “preview” of the impending holidays; while I wouldn’t want to make a habit of attempting that kind of dinner on a work day, it was a really nice change from what has become our “usual” on working days – which is more like foraging than dinner.

And I won’t be sad about all the leftover turkey, either.

No, not sad at all about that



PipneyJane said...

So, having eaten the turkey you bought for Thanksgiving, what are you going to do at Thanksgiving?

- Pam (I must stop reading your blog in the morning. You're making me ravenous!)

Hester from Atlanta said...

Warm Fuzzy Family Moments - you mean FFF forced family fun? Sounds like a good time was had by all. Yes, "a freshly prepared for eating" turkey is so good, so tender, moist and flavorful. Love you blog. Hester

Colleen Mole said...

OMG we need food p0rn (photos) to go with this post! Mmmmm....me hungry even though I just ate lunch...

RobinH said...

Yum. Now I'm thinking about pie.

Anonymous said...

So you are going to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. We Canadians have ours on the second Monday in October. Once that's out of the way it's onto Hallowe'en and then downhill to Christmas. We don't eat the bird twice in four weeks.

So enjoy being multi-cultural. We'll let you share our holiday.