Friday, November 23, 2007

post-thanksgiving wrap up

I survived my first time hosting Thanksgiving, although it was questionable if I was going to make it towards the end. Apparently, staying up until 1am cooking sides and then getting up at 6am to put the turkey in the oven, was not a good plan. And did you know that it's a myth that the turkey takes HOURS AND HOURS to roast? In reality, a 22.59lb bird only takes about 3.5 to 4 hours to cook. So basically I got up at the crack of dawn for nothing.

Oh, and I cooked the bird with the baggie of giblets in it. Totally not my fault! Before brining, I tried to reach into the bird's ass to remove the extra bits, but then decided that I wasn't feeling up to groping around the cavity, so I put jparks in charge of the job. He reached in, removed the neck, and then claimed that he didn't feel anything else. I kept insisting that there had to be more, but he assured me that there wasn't. Jump ahead to the next day when, after carving the bird, a plastic baggie was discovered. Not surprisingly it contained some cooked giblets. I was totally embarrassed, but also impressed that the bag hadn't melted. I guess turkey farms have gotten smart to how stupid some people are (read as: me and jparks) and are using melt-proof baggies.

All in all, I think the day was a success. We ended up having more food than could fit on the table and now have leftovers to last another week. The house handled having 13 people in it and no one seemed to mind having to balance their plate on their laps. It might not have been the traditional Thanksgiving people are used to, but I still think everyone had fun.

In closing, I would like to share some pearls of wisdom I learned from the day:
  • Make a list of the dishes you would like to make. When you think you have enough food, remove at least one item from your list. I promise, you will still have enough food (possibly even too much), but one less container to clean.

  • jparks and I hate cleaning. We need a regular cleaning crew.

  • Making cranberry sauce is super easy and the recipe can be made up as you go.

  • There is no one that can resist deviled eggs

  • Although goat cheese covered in sundried tomatoes and basil is totally resistible

  • Not only do turkeys cook relatively quickly, but they continue to cook once removed from the oven. Thankfully the white meat was fine, but the dark meat was not tender. In fact it was jerky like.

  • But most people don't like dark meat, so it was fine

  • And cats and dogs don't care if the meat is tough

  • Post Thanksgiving clean up is way worse than Pre-Thanksgiving clean up. What I said about needing a cleaning crew is now doubly true.

  • Screw shopping on Black Friday if you hosted the day before. Just give into what your body needs: sleeping late, waking up to a husband going to get you coffee, and a manicure/pedicure appointment.

  • If you are the hostess forget about taking any pictures. I'm not certain I even got one picture of the turkey. So upsetting.

  • Don't go to Target the night before Thanksgiving because you need a little break from cooking. You'll end up buying legwarmers. And then you'll put them on when you get home and decide that you love them. And you'll consider wearing them outside of your house. And a friend will have to talk you down from that. It's really a bad situation that's totally avoidable.
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