Tuesday, November 24, 2009

T Minus 2

We’re staying home for Thanksgiving this year instead of making our usual trip to Mom’s house in Oregon. The upside—I won’t have to drive 14+ hours in holiday weekend traffic. The downside—I get to cook Thanksgiving dinner (and I don’t get to see mom, of course, though she’s perfectly welcome to come join us).

So for the past few weeks I’ve been harassing asking Scoob what he would like on the Thanksgiving menu. When we go to mom’s there’s always turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and one favorite side dish for each of us. Scoob goes for the candied yams, I put the smackdown on anyone who tries to touch my green beans, and mom gets more stuffing. Oh, and there’s usually a peanut butter pie for my birthday, which isn’t until late-December, but mom feeds me at Thanksgiving since she knows she won’t see me on my birthday.

It’s a lot of food for 3 people, but we manage. Somehow.

However, I am not mom. I have about 2 feet of usable counter space in the kitchen (I seriously want to smack an architect or two whenever I try to do anything more complicated than boiling water) and no dining room or dining room table to speak of, so I will not be putting on quite the same spread.

So anyhow, I’ve been asking Scoob what he wants and he really doesn’t seem to care, which even though that should mean easy-breezy meal prep I am oddly disappointed. It’s a holiday for crying out loud, it can’t be just like any other day! So Scoob finally relented and said he wanted me to cook the Cornish game hens we’ve had in the freezer for who knows how long and I said, okay.

Then it dawned on me… If I make Cornish game hens for dinner on Thursday, I’ll be cooking all weekend because there won’t be any leftovers! Oh, hell-to-the-no. So last night I changed the game plan and braved the grocery store to fight blue-haired bittys over frozen turkey carcasses and Stove Top stuffing. I know, it’s sacrilegious, but I’ve never made stuffing from scratch and I’m not about to experiment with it for the holiday meal. It would never be as good as mom’s anyhow, so I’ll just stick with what I know.

I won’t be doing mashed potatoes but I did pick up some sweet potatoes for a recipe I want to try. And I found yet another recipe I want to try, similar to something that caterers brought in for sales conference lunch last week. So clearly, I’m not above experimenting at a holiday meal. I just won’t experiment with stuffing. It’s intimidating somehow. Probably because I know mom starts hers the day before and that right there just seems like way too much effort. One of these days I will have to figure out how to make it. Anyhow, I refuse to feel bad about it because it’s not as if we’re going to starve, ya’ know?

And if we can manage to peel our bloated selves from the sofa, we’re planning to brave San Francisco’s Union Square on Black Friday. I know. What’s become of me? I keep telling myself it’ll be fun and the crowds won’t bother me because I don’t intend to actually shop at Union Square. I’ll just keep telling myself that. We’re going for the tree lighting in the evening, but if I end up as a stammering madwoman pulling out my hair, Scoob can ditch me at Haight–Ashbury and I’ll blend right in.

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