Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving was a relative success in the Chesapeake Bay household, all things considered, where such things to be considered include the fact that at 4 a.m. that day, I bolted upright out of a deep sleep in a panic, sprinted to the icebox, and poked Mr. Butterball, only to be met with what felt like a solid block of Thanksgiving is cancelled this year ice.

You see, something as simple as planning a turkey to defrost is made ten times more difficult for CBW who refers to herself in the third person when telling unsavory stories she prefers to block out, whose children are utterly convinced there is a magnetic field surrounding her which causes Murphy's Law on Steroids in even the most mundane daily activities.

Her ADD does not help matters, even if her doctor refuses to admit that she suffers from it.

(CBW need only refer her doctor to this blog for proof, but she won't remember at her annual physical tomorrow.  Sure, she could write it down, but she'd leave the note at home or lose it.  Also, we need to get back on track because these parentheses give CBW permission to go on. And on. Loaded with ADD-like thoughts.)

Let's examine this otherwise simple act of defrosting a little more carefully, shall we?

First of all, serving a previously frozen turkey does require some planning, a word which is not to be found in CBW's vocabulary.  At all.

So when she was in the Food Lion the week before Thanksgiving and saw the frozen Butterballs on sale at 67 cents per pound, rather than ask someone if they would still be on sale the next week, and not contemplating the state of her freezer, she heaved the closest one she could grasp into the cart without looking at the weight--which happened to be exactly the same as a baby grand piano.

Next, let's talk about numbers.  Numbers and CBW go together like a plugged-in appliance floating in a bathtub full of water.  They shouldn't even be in the same room together.

Somehow or another, CBW did manage to notice the price of said turkey, which was $14 and some change.  Not too bad for something that's going to feed a crowd, she thought.  Let's heave this small piano bird in the cart and take it home to the freezer until next week.

She focused solely on the number involving the price rather than the overall weight of the bird, which, as we've established, was excessive. This number--the weight--might have given her a clue as to how long the thawing process would take.  But for now we were only focused on the price, which was not excessive, it was excellent.


The third challenge was her freezer, which has not functioned properly since she purchased the fridge over ten years ago for a while now thanks to The Magnetic Field.  Even her own very mechanically inclined father declared it was Not Salvageable and it would be cheaper and better to just buy a whole new icebox.

But CBW is stubborn when it comes to letting go of things that don't work things that still work. Even if they cause her deep strife because they don't work properly.

In this case, though, it isn't that her freezer does not freeze things, it's that it freezes them so solid that a nuclear event could not thaw out any contents, a well-established fact that CBW completely forgot.

But none of that mattered at the time because all she could focus on upon returning home was the size of the bird relative to the small opening in her bottom loading, overloaded freezer drawer. It is not at all an exaggeration to say that often the children struggle to wedge a half gallon of ice cream back into that freezer.

The whole refrigerator is just very, very vexing--nigh on impossible to describe. Suffice to say we open it very seldom, close it very quickly, and usually pray that whatever needs to get in will somehow get in there.

A piano-sized turkey is not something we generally are wedging in there.

After more than a few cuss words finally hoisting the bird into the freezer and pushing until her eyes and ears started to bleed from the strain, CBW finally managed to stuff the bird into the freezer and shoved the door to.


Days go by.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving CBW completed the reverse exercise to retrieve the baby grand bird from the freezer and place it in its home in the regular part of the refrigerator for the next few days.

This is otherwise known as the thawing out part of the Thanksgiving turkey process.


More days go by.

Every so often CBW would press her forefinger into the bird to see if there was any give.

There never was.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, she consulted the Butterball turkey label some reputable sources to determine if she'd allotted enough days to thaw out what she thought was a 14 lb turkey.

Remember when CBW said she doesn't plan and has ADD? numbers are not her thing?

She wasn't kidding.

Somehow CBW forgot that the turkey cost $14 dollars. It didn't weigh 14 pounds. It cost $14 dollars.

(And some change.)

When she more closely consulted the price tag, imagine her surprise to discover that the turkey weighed 20.5 pounds.  That's 20.5 pounds of turkey that had been submerged in the Arctic Tundra section of a wildly malfunctioning/over-functioning freezer, which meant that even if it were subsequently submerged in the depths of hell, which is where CBW felt she was at exactly 4 a.m. Thanksgiving morning in a flaming inferno, Mr. Butterball was not going to thaw out any time soon.

All these facts and realizations flung themselves together in the stew pot known as CBW's brain at precisely 4 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.

CBW, never one to panic since these things always seem to happen, went to Plan B and filled the sink with water, submerged Baby Grand Butterball, and went back to bed wondering what normal people were dreaming about in their peaceful pre-Thanksgiving slumber.

And later that morning, after several hours submerged in water, Baby Grand Butterball was all thawed out and set for the oven.

The End.

Not really.

But it's the end of the turkey drama which nobody really cares about knew about except me.

Everything turned out fine after that 4 a.m. panic attack drama.

Later that morning I made the green beans, brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, apple and sausage stuffing, kale, and the aforementioned monstrous turkey.  My mother made the bread, the salad, the gravy, and the desserts, thank goodness.

My father made his world-famous fried oysters as an appetizer.
Lord, they were good.

My mother made several delectable desserts.

These were TO DIE FOR!! She said she pounded a million Oreo cookies
for the center.  Chocolate pudding mix was also involved.
After one bite I fell out into a chocolate-induced coma.
They were heavenly.

This is my mother's famous salad that includes goat cheese, fruit
and nuts.  It's Chesapeake Bay Son's favorite.

My mother's apple pie.
(Does anyone else notice that the only food I am photographing
 was prepared by my mother?  I am.
We'll get to the reason why in a bit.)

Baby Sis joined us.  Middle Sis was in Georgia.
This is my mother making gravy since by this point
I had surrendered and was ready to open a jar, pour it into a bowl, and call it a day.
Remember, my day began with a 4 a.m. near-cardiac event.

Here it was about 3 p.m.

Here my son dons the traditional Thanksgiving garb: shorts, sweatshirt and bare feet.
The Pilgrims would be proud.

Notice my orange Thanksgiving lights behind CB Son.
These were also my Halloween lights.
As we speak they are still up and on.
I wonder if I can pass them off as Christmas lights....

Ah, yes!   Here is the #1 reason why CBW does not photograph her food.
This is The Turkey after she lost patience and carved it
immediately upon coming out of the oven.
Presentation (along with patience and carving) is not her strong suit.

My two favorite people in the world, Son and Daughter.
Also, I really need a haircut.

In spite of all the behind the scenes issues that most of the family never knew about, our Thanksgiving was fantastic.

How was yours?


Anonymous said...

CBW--you made SEVEN other dishes besides the turkey and had that beautiful table setting for the dinner ? I must bow down...of course you enlisted some gravy-making aid at the finish line..who wouldn't ? Baby, Thanksgiving with all the trimmings is a MARATHON...
Lovely photos of family, and CB son looks great!

DeniseinVA said...

Happy to hear all turned out well. Great post and a fun read.

deborah said...

Ah, the Thanksgiving drama of the dreaded turkey...mine was a lack of vision at the grocery store. Instead of looking at the price, I saw the weight instead. $45 worth of turkey breasts instead. I'll never live it down.
What a wonderful feast you prepared for a wonderful meal with wonderful people! So glad you enjoyed your day!

Mental P Mama said...

I think you did a stellar job! And even I may have had a few nightmares about that demonically possessed fridge of yours. Q w a a

Fighting Mermaid said...

This was the first year that I didn't have to run scalding hot water into the turkey to defrost at the last minute...of course I didn't cook mine until yesterday. It does taste better when you don't have to do that. Glad your's turned out well.

Daryl said...

less stressful than yours ... for sure ... and i need a hairs cut too .. gonna do that next Tuesday ... i think i drooled over the salad .. it looks so yum ..and send some of those cookies this way please

Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving Dinner was an intimate family event with all the right food and warm regards for one another... good indeed.

But, it was Saturday's meal with family, neighbors, and friends passing through, 12 in all, that may be remembered most.

Longing for all that floats, flutters and crawls among the shores of the Chesapeake, we had us a real Urbanna like seafood festival. One fool I know ate the following, no lie:

- 1 lb of well seasoned, fresh steamed shrimp
- 3 Old English crab muffins saturated with cheese and butter
- 2+ servings of seafood pasta complete with bay scallops, shrimp and whatever else our neighborly cook managed to sneak in there
- 1 bowl of New England style clam chowder (okay, the fool didn't eat this, but it was available)
- 4+ Red Lobster style cheese biscuits basted by the fool himself with more than adequate amounts of butter and garlic
- 2 obligatory servings of green beans
- 3 bottles of Yuengling Lager
- 1 sip of Rolling Rock
- 1 gulp of Sangria
- lemon bars (lost count)
- 1 slice of German chocolate cake
- and few laughs

Perhaps the only "smart" thing the fool did all day was run 14 miles in the morning, prior to dinner - purging before binging; or just making room. Oh, and he didn't fart once.

The fool also highly recommends 2 of the 3 movies he watched this past week - Skyfall and Lincoln. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

So other than a trip to D.C. to pick up the son, a trip to Richmond for a modern dance performance and a third excursion well outside the town limits, Thanksgiving week was rather uneventful.

Happy Holidays!


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Favorite Coach: 14 miles? After that you should have treated yourself to a least a full glass of sangria (plus everything else on the list). Until this very moment I always said I had no desire to run more than a half-marathon ever again. The End. But now you have me thinking...maybe one day I'll try for 26. Or at least a little more than 13.1. And if I do, please be sure there are more than a few gulps of sangria at the finish line.

Happy Monday, all.

Country Girl said...

I think your hair looks great. And your baby grand turkey seems like it was a hit. Which is what that frig of yours needs.

Country Girl said...

ps - would your mom be willing to give out the recipe for that awesome-looking salad?

Meg McCormick said...

I would love Mama's salad recipe! I, too, purchased a crazy-on-sale turkey the week before Thanksgiving - but I got the smallest one and shoved it in my freezer, then drove to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. We might all be ready to try turkey again come Christmastime... So, what did you do with the leftovers??

Meg McCormick said...

Oh, and by the way - it isn't Thanksgiving on my side of the family if someone doesn't make the scalloped oyster casserole. This year my aunt threw it together with 4 dozen oysters, and my 3 boys proceeded to take such big helpings that there was barely enough for everyone else. But, they LOVE it!

Dghawk said...

A good time was had by all, and everything was gobbled up (don't groan too hard, I couldn't help myself).