Thursday, November 26, 2015
Happy #Thanksgiving from @AuthorTinaGayle
Thanksgiving, are you tired yet?
The day starts early because I have to get the turkey in the oven.
That silly bird weighs over twenty pounds and is a royal pain to wash, stuff, and lift. It uses lots of muscles to get the damn thing inside the stove.
Oh, darn, I forgot to reset the racks so I have to set it down, get out the hot pads, and move the metal shelf down a few runes. Now, I faced that bad boy again and wrestle it into the oven.
One chore down, off to the next item on the list - dressing. Why we call it dressing I will never know it has no ruffles or frills. Okay, bad joke.
Being from the South, I fix a cornbread dressing. This requires a number of steps. First, you have to make the cornbread. I handled that task yesterday so I cut up the onions and celery, add a stick of butter and sauté them.
Oh, yeah, I put some eggs and a whole chicken to boil, not together in separate pots. Eggs are for the dressing. Yes, they go in the dressing.
The chicken is used for the broth and for some of the chicken meat. I like meat in my dressing too.
As you can see the dressing is a completely separate dish, these are just the parts that make it happen.
Are you tired yet?
Now what else is on the menu?
Mash potatoes, yes, not everyone likes dressing so you have to have both mash potatoes and dressing, also gravy, rolls, pumpkin pie, green beans casserole with those crunchy onions on top,
Oh, yes, not everyone likes pumpkin pie so you need to make several different kinds of pies and chocolate lush. (Heaven on a plate.)
What else? what else? Cranberry sauce - (Let me warn you never start making it from scratch or you'll need to make that to, though, I agree it taste better. Luckily, I did that yesterday.)
Now, let's see china, crystal, silverware, are they all clean and ready to go? I look at the items sitting on the breakfast table.
Damn, I forgot to iron the tablecloth.
Worn out yet just thinking about everything to do?
Great, so let's get the potatoes onto boil, start mixing up the bean casserole and down another cup of coffee.
The eggs are done, the onions and celery are ready.
Luckily, again, I planned ahead. Did I mention this will be my second full day in the kitchen, not counting the week I've spent preparing the house for guests.
Well, isn't all of the chores part of Thanksgiving?
Now, let's see where was I? Oh, yes, working on putting together the dressing. The crumbled up cornbread, chopped eggs, sage, sauté onions and celery go into a bowl.
The chicken is through boiling and needs to be deboned. Fun chore, which provides the meat for the dressing and broth. With the extra, I make chicken and dumpling. Oh, forgot that on my list of items I cook. Not hard, just add a can of mushroom soup and flour tortillas.
Once, the dressing is ready I sit it aside. It can't go into the oven until after the turkey is done. You see, I only have one oven so shuffling around the dishes that need to go in the oven is another balancing act that you need to consider when cooking thanksgiving dinner.
Are you tired yet?
Hope not, because we still have the green bean casserole to make. Luckily, I spend yesterday making the pies - pumpkin, pecan, apple, and the chocolate lush.
I believe I can take a small break from cooking and work on setting the table.
Darn, I hate ironing. Wonder if anyone would notice a wrinkled tablecloth?
"Yes, mother," I mumble because she tells me they will. Even though, my mother has been died for ten years, she still is with me in spirit and like all mothers is a noisy voice in my head. So I pull out the ironing board and get to work.
Once finished with that task, I move to stack of dishes sitting on my breakfast table. Having pulled my china and crystal out of the boxes in which they were stored yesterday, I silently thank myself for having washed and dried everything the day before so I'm ahead of the game.
Now, the fun part of setting the table and deciding who sits where, after twenty minutes the task is done and I can head back to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.
Yes, well, with the turkey hogging the oven and the other dishes waiting in the refrigerator for their turn, I glance down at my pjs.
Guess, it’s time to pull myself together.
I head back downstairs just as the buzzer goes off saying the turkey is done.
Now, the race begins.
Taking out the turkey, I put in the dressing.
I grab another cup of coffee and the doorbell rings.
Hellos and hugs, the joy of having a crowd of love one’s home is only dampened by the need to get the food on the table.
With everyone’s help, the day turns into a feast of laughter and shared memories. I can’t help but cherish these moments.
Then when all the bellies are full, other commitments draw my guests out the door.
A smile, a kiss, and simple “I love you,” and they’re gone.
Turning from the door, I see stacks of dishes and leftovers to store away.
Thankful that the day is over, I drag myself to the couch for some football and a nap.
Exhausted, I settle back and smile.
"Thanksgiving, what a wonderful day. Hope you have an awesome day too."