Nov 14, 2005

Happy Thanksgiv

Does that title bother you? It should. It did me. Let me explain how it came to be....

Some very dear friends of ours are moving before Thanksgiving. So we agreed to celebrate together with an early Thanksgiving instead. The plans were made, the date was set, we each knew what we were to make and bring. Then the actual day rolled around...

Can you say 'catastrophe'? It didn't help that I woke up in a horrible mood. So bad, in fact, that I had a meltdown around 9am. I locked myself in my room and had a good cry. Everything in the world was wrong - at least that's the way it looks when you're in the middle of a pity party. It also didn't help that I had two very rambunctious boys running everywhere and a very clingy and whiney little baby girl following me everywhere while making sure I didn't forget what her voice sounded like.

I'm feeling a little pressure about the whole turkey thing - you know, so as not to be perceived as a bad cook. I need advice and who better to turn to than my Mom. So, I call Mom for the turkey prep advice and ask when I should put my turkey in if I'm planning on a 6pm dinner. Mom informed me that noon would work well, but be sure to keep the oven temp at 325 so it doesn't cook too fast. Check. Item one marked off my mental check-list.

Oh yah, before the meltdown, I was trying to prepare a new pumpkin tart dessert for which I found out too late that I did not have all the ingredients. I call my Mom again, " Mom, how important is pumpkin spice, really?" I did not like the bluntness of her reply, "Very important, honey." Oh great! Now I'm in the middle of making a pumpkin recipe that's not going to taste like anything pumpkin because I forgot to buy a tiny $3 bottle of the magic ingredient. I may as well just serve tofu with Cool-Whip on top. I call my friend who's coming for dinner and ask her if she by chance has this insignificant little ingredient.

Meanwhile, I decided I would also bake a Thanksgiving cake. That was actually rather selfish of me. You see, I'm probably the pickiest eater on the planet and since I'm not a fan of pumpkin anything or many berry pies, I thought I'd make the cake so I too could enjoy a dessert. I decided to write with frosting on the top. We couldn't just have some random cake for dessert, this is afterall, a pre-thanksgiving celebration. There has to be some momento touting the event. So, ever so carefully, in my neatest cursive handwriting, I begin to write Happy on the top line and Thanksgiv on the bottom line. Apparently, I'm too dense to know how to space my letters out properly while writing on a cake. So, in my stubbornness I decided to leave it just that way. We would no longer be celebrating Thanksgiving...we would celebrate Thanksgiv. There, problem two solved.

Thankfully, my friend stopped by to drop off the coveted pumpkin spice and noticed that I appeared to be, shall we say, a tad bit upset, weepy, red-nosed, with a slight twitch in my head. I confessed about my break down and we commiserated together. What a difference that made - to have a friend who was genuine enough to sit and listen as I spewed my frustrations and in turn, listened to hers. I could sense the day was about to change. My biggest frustration was that this was supposed to be a happy day, why then, could I not be happy?

I decided to put the turkey in 15 minutes early, just in case. I didn't want to cut it too close. Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about that because our Thanksgiv turkey was done precisely at 2:30 - a full 3 1/2 hours early. I am so not Martha Stewart! I call Chuck and my friends and ask them if they could possibly make it to dinner an hour earlier. Everyone was sweet to comply. I was expecting my 14 lb. turkey to shrink down to the size of a Cornish game hen. Luckily, we had slightly more than that to consume.

This day was the test to the old saying 'your feelings aren't dependent on your circumstances'. I obviously failed the beginning of the day. But by the afternoon, I just had to concede and laugh it off. It's typical of me. What can go wrong, most often will go wrong. And since I'd already had a good cry, I chose to laugh the rest of day. Laughter truly is good medicine.

We had a great dinner, dry turkey and all. Gravy does wonders! Luckily, I'm not the gravy maker in this family. So, Chuck saved the day for all of us. My hero. :)


Jennifer said...

Some great advice from the turkey cooker in our family - ME. I defrost it for 2 days in the fridge, inject my seasonings into every nook & cranny - this you can buy in the marinade dept of your local grocery store; place said turkey into a large baking bag and tie up tightly, then follow the baking directions on the label that comes attached to the turkey :) The bag keeps it from getting too dried out and the injectible seasonings add more juice so you don't actually need gravy :)

And, in true Cori style, you managed to make it through yet another special dinner! I love how you decided to leave the icing on the cake 'as-is'. I couldn't have done it - it would have driven me crazy and my OCD would have set in. I would have had to have scraped it all off and tried again (and again, and again) until it was exactly perfect - centered and beautiful. But, then, there wouldn't have been anything to blog about and no great memories to reminisc about in later years!

Oh yeah, by the way, at least your breakdown had reason. My last one (the one I told you about) seemed to come out of no where and had no apparent reason for rearing it's very ugly head. And, things probably would have been ok had I locked myself away for a good cry. I just lost it, right there in the middle of the living room, and started screaming at everyone like a mad woman. I'm glad you were able to vent and get it all out there so you could enjoy the rest of your day :)

lisa b said...

Another one that's got me wiping tears from eyes from laughing so hard. Oh, this one hit close to home!

It's so hard to be happy for the holidays because of all the STRESS.

Thanks for lifting some of mine. Here's to more blessings to count for your happy Thanksgiv.

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