Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Play-by-Play

Sorry for the dearth of Thanksgiving posts at the height of the season. I didn’t want to have some half-baked standard post about Thanksgiving. I wanted to, ah, digest the whole experience.

Thursday dawned sometime at sunrise, and with it, the fevered preparation of “The Beans”. My wife always has “bean duty” at the major holidays. I am not sure if this was pre-determined or if she volunteers. But she does make some mean green beans. Usually more than fifteen people can reasonably eat, but she always thinks too much is still not quite enough.

There were three pies to bake; peach, cherry and pecan. No, not from scratch. But they still needed baking. There was also a ham that was to be heated and glazed. Sounds simple, and I can usually handle something like that. Usually. For some reason, I mis-read the timer and erroneously began the packaged glaze mix to boiling earlier than the instructions indicated. It worked up to a fine texture, but having started too soon, it rapidly took on the consistency of blown glass. Long brittle strings of it would trail from the spoon I was working it with, and before long it became a hard candy-like mass. It looked as though the only thing that was going to get glazed was the pan.

Finally, the ham reached the glazing point, and after a little bit of water and a frenzy of stirring, I broke loose a large percentage of the reconstituted glaze and drizzled it on the waiting spiral-cut ham.

After packing it all into the family hollowpoint bullet van, everyone was ready to go to the sister-in-law’s house for the family feast.

She had a gloriously baked turkey, signature sweet potatoes with gigantic-overflowing-toasty-melty marshmallows, macaroni casserole, and other enticing dishes all ready to be pounced upon by the waiting, drooling hordes. Well, I don’t know if anyone else was drooling, I certainly was. Her father-in-law and mother-in-law were there, along with her husband’s brother, his wife and daughter. Then my mother-in-law, my wife and trio of daughters. Then of course, the other residents of the house; Russell, her husband, the Aggie daughter and Junior-in-high-school son. I KNOW he was hungry. What seventeen year-old boy isn’t?

The meats, sides and salads were all excellent. As expected. The desserts were, as usual, a huge temptation. I was planning on stopping when I was satisfied, which I initially accomplished, to a certain extent. Then Russell’s dad goaded me into a contest involving lemon squares. We both won, just by playing, but since I ate more, I think I took Pops in the final count. Then the olives called me away from the inordinate amount of lemon-flavored sugar that I had just inhaled. I had scarcely recovered from that, when the pudding pie was unveiled. How could I let mere teenagers consume so elegant an offering?

I couldn’t.

Then the peach pie, after the “oh look, olives!” to battle the pudding pie. Ugh. I had been doing so well, and now I wished Walmart was open so I could go buy some BIG coveralls. Or elastic waistband sweatpants. Or a tarp.

I finally stopped somehow, and then the “girls” divided up the buffet for transport to other refrigerators. On one of the three trips to the van to load up the cargo bay, I realized that we were quite possibly bringing back more food than we brung.


Stepsistaahhh said...

My Turkey Day experience this year included a turkey who decided to 'pop' his thermometer out about an hour early. That would have been okay but I actually BELIEVED the him...or her...whatever. So, about 30 minutes later when I went to carve the precious bird is when I saw the 'pink' liquid at the bottom of the platter. WOW!!! Back in the oven...had to crank it up. Everyone said it was good...I don't know...when I cook a bunch of stuff like that, I don't eat much. Too bad that I do major cooking every day...I would probably be little enough so a person would have to hang a bell around my neck to find me. As it is right now, I wear an armadillo.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a perfect Thanksgiving Day and typical of any family get together where food is involved you probably did take back more that you brought. What a wonderful story.

A Real Man

invigilator_tex said...

"BIG coveralls. Or elastic waistband sweatpants. Or a tarp."

or perhaps....



aA said...

mr. invigilator...


the tarp is as much indignity as i will bear! if i stooped (sorry for the visual) to a muu muu, i would rather feed myself to a tribe of New Guinea cannibals.

and depending on how many there were, they'd even have leftovers to "brung" back to their huts.

invigilator_tex said...

An Asmat turducken of sorts...

A Texan stuffed with a turkey stuffed with cornbread.

I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

invigilator_tex said...

Even that sounds better than Stepsistaahhh's turkey tartar.