Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Keep the Pooper Down

Let's talk Turkey

And then, Let's talk about how I can't finish anything.

First please discuss what kind of MORON gets drunk on Thanksgiving and wakes the next morning with dishes piled to the ceiling, cheese left out over night, and a total inability to form a lucid thought? Okay, I admit, that last part may be standard operating procedure but the combination doesn't bode well for post-Thanksgiving clean up efforts. Thank goodness Hubby had it together enough to put the chocolate cake in the microwave (aka: the cat proof storage unit) because the chocolate cake, man it was good. Actually, I'm pretty sure my hangover is from the THREE pieces I had and not the 2+ bottles of wine that I drank with Elisa last night.

Lest you think that I am not a good host-ASS the drinking did not commence until the Orphan Thanksgiving was over and all guests had left the building filled with a whole new perspective on "The Crazy American". Elisa and Mike, who are not so much guests as essential fixtures in our house, arrived later in the evening rosy cheeked and fresh from a Family Thanksgiving in New Hampshire. This is where the evil begins. It ended with me in bed wondering why the THIRD piece of chocolate cake was consumed and exactly how many seconds will it take for me to fall asleep before I puke it all up. Under all of the Cake was a warm feeling. Largely left by ending our day with two of our friends a which capped off a pretty great okay day.

And this is where the Turkey talk ended. I wrote that bit Friday fully intending to edit pictures and do a proper post. The couch won out, and then the tivo after that, and then my book, oh - and don't forget the knitting. My intentions are always good.

Which leads me to the next topic - how I have developed a habit of NOT finishing things. The unfinished Friday post above is exhibit A. Exhibit B - my photo essay about Thanksgiving. Here is where it starts and ends:

11/23 Peapod, 6:30 am. Groceries delivered to my door - Priceless

11/23 Futureman, 9:30 am. He is ready to get his ass groomed.

11/23 Wh*le F**ds Market, 10:30 am. Time to Pick up the Turkey. They had Valet Parking! It was crazy. And can I just say, this was probably the most polite place in Boston on this day. People were so nice as they rammed you with their carts.

11/23 Chez Bookish, 12:00 pm. The cat has been picked up, the food has been brought in. Can you see how long it takes to get anything done here? This is why Peapod delivers my groceries. There are few things you can do in a city quickly.

11/23 Chez Bookish, 1:00 pm. The Turkey Brines a la Ann. (Ignore the mis-direction of the picture and just turn your head to the left...)

11/24 Chez Bookish, 4:30 pm. The food has been consumed. (See the ancient map on the wall?!)

My intentions are always good. However, I think that my expectations far exceed my energy/attention span (pick one, they both weigh heavily on my psyche.) Note to self: Do NOT attempt to create a photo essay during the one day of the year where you are the grand master with no prior experience.

Details on the Feast
The Feast went off....okay. I survived. That's about all I can say. I was exhausted and a bit disappointed. Going back to that whole expectation thing. Your advice was invaluable and, to be completely honest, kept me giggling and semi-sane through out the day. Like when I pulled out the turkey innards and did not realize that ALL of the innards were not in the turkey cavity - they were stuffed under the fold of neck skin. Yah, this was found at the 13th hour. I hope that sentence sounds as gross as it actually was.

Here's another grosser than gross description - I told Ann that I couldn't make the gravy with the gizzard because I might barf (ps - that Ann is the best - she sent me her phone number! I didn't have to use it...but it was a close one.) The recipe said to "pull the meat from the neck" and well, there is no way I could do that. I realized that I'm not so in to preparing a little turkey. It is sad. Very sad. Poor little turkey - even if he had a free range to range prior to being confined to my oven. I did not enjoy cooking him. I'm not a veg but rarely prepare meat in my home (Robby is a veg.) I have a hard time with the American meat industry...it's a nasty business. However, I could never get it together to procure my own meat (Although I do greatly admire people who can - Power to the People Liz.) I would be too busy barfing and feeling horrible.

Delicate bunny I am.

My favorite advice that I received wasn't listed in the comments. It was from my friend Jeff (he was one of the Easter boiled turkey eaters.) His advice,
"Just make sure the pooper is down and you'll be fine."

I couldn't have said it better myself. I think it applies to most things in life.

Rob and my favorite recipe: Portobello Mushroom Gravy. We have been searching the house for food to put this stuff on, it was that good. The recipe is from Eating Well Magazine. Have you all seen this? It's a great magazine, lots of good interesting recipes and loads of information about nutrition and food. I have gotten the past two issues and have really enjoyed reading them.

Least favorite recipe (can't remember where this one was from): Cornbread Stuffing. Dry, bland, blech. It could be improved with some fruit for sweetness and some time in the oven to crisp it up.

Each of our guest brought something from their home country, or something from the grocery store (chocolate cake, yum.) My favorites were Japanese Croquettes, basically a croquette of potato and ground beef. So. Good. And Chinese meatballs. I can't remember what these are called.

It was interesting to talk about Thanksgiving and describe it to everyone. I take for granted how much I know about American Holidays and what it means to live and grow up here. We discussed the American Indians, Slavery, the first settlers, and the origins of different foods on the table. One of our guests compared the American Indian Settler relationship in the US to the Palestinian Israeli relationship in the Middle East (he was Israeli.) Now there is a conversation time bomb. Overall, it was an interesting conversation filled with great people. Unfortunately I was still stressed about my 24 + hours of cooking. At one point I pulled out the globe (one of MANY maps in my house..I told you, I love maps!) and everyone talked about where they were from.

The most interesting fact that I learned: Cyprus is not only its own country but it is split in two and each side basically feels as though it independent of the other (in fact, the UN recognizes this separation.) So much so that there is surprise when a person from one side (a woman from my work) meets someone from the other side (one of her colleagues) and they discover they are so much the same! So interesting for an Island of 3,571 sq mi (9,250 sq km.)

Okay, this may be the chattiest Bookish Girl post ever.

Parting thought -

Keep the pooper down and you'll be all right.
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Blogger SheCrochets said...

I loovee the advice! Words to live by!

Looks like you did a great job on your dinner... and that you fully deserved to drink all that wine. Good for you. :-)

11/29/2005 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Carole said...

Sounds like a fantastic time. And so totally YOU!

11/29/2005 8:07 PM  
Anonymous elisa said...

Yay Mrs. Bookish! It says a lot about you guys that we could come over with the thought of hanging out "for a bit" because I was getting sick, and end up drinking that 2+ bottles of wine, 2 slices (for me) of that delicious chocolate cake, and lots of other tasty bits.

Oh yeah - good times.

And you set the most beautiful table, dude - go Team Bookish!

11/29/2005 8:13 PM  
Blogger Sandysknitting said...

What a great day! And here is MY thoughts on cooking for that day. IT's too much work to sit and enjoy when the meal is served. You've smelled it all day, you've created it, had your hands stuffed in places hands shouldn't be and it just loses it's appeal. It's later that the going gets good. All about time when you were on your 3rd piece of cake is when I am picking at the turkey. YUM.
I wish I were there.

11/29/2005 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Wow! Wonder woman, you!

Which Whole Foods was that? Central Square?

11/29/2005 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very impressed!!


11/29/2005 9:12 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Sounds like a rousing success to me. Thanksgiving is far more about sharing the bounty of your home with others than about a perfect spread of food. Well done all around!

11/29/2005 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Cara-ISH said...

Man I bet you won't do that again. I don't think I could've handled the turkey and it's innerards or the dinner table conversation, but I would've loved the chocolate cake and hanging with you!

You should've called Ann. I call her all the time. She loves to chat!

Saturday can't come soon enough, my pretty. Can't come soon enough.

11/29/2005 11:40 PM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

Cara's right, Ann does great phone (and Cara's fun to talk to, too, but it seems she'd be no help with the turkey talk). My advice would be to do turkey breast next time -- much simpler. It seems to me that you had a great time with your guests and that's what it's all about -- they'd probably have been happy with grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, really. You could be all fancy with the oyster crackers, even, instead of mushed up saltines (though that's my fave). ; ) Love you!

(Or just have CAKE!)

11/30/2005 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

ImPRESSIVE. It's hard doing the whole damn thing by yourself.

Shoulda had one of the guests pick the turkey neck meat off. My Asian guest Jon did the honors this year, and felt culinarily at home. Then you mouli the hell out of it until it is almost pureed and mix it in with the gravy. No one knows it's there. Adds great flavor. If barf is included, nullify all prior advice and toss the neck.

11/30/2005 3:03 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

So glad to hear you survived! I'd say two bottles of wine after that was rather reserved ;) (and even deserved!)

11/30/2005 6:49 AM  
Blogger maryse said...

congratulations on a successful thanksgiving. hearing about your hangover though made me feel sympathy pain. i'm getting old.

how about this -- next time you need to make a turkey i will come to your house and do the touching of the raw meat for you. and you can drink wine.

11/30/2005 7:00 AM  
Blogger EvaLux said...

Wow, that sure was a busy day :) But everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

Did you know that not only Cyprus is divided in 2, but that only the Greek part has joined the European Union on May 1st??? The Turkish part refused to join.

Cheers Eva

11/30/2005 8:30 AM  
Blogger Lolly said...

Wow, impressive indeed. The pictures are great. Very pretty table (and cool "ancient" map too!)

Ah, Cyprus. I wrote my undergrad thesis on that little island... still have not been there though!

11/30/2005 8:43 AM  
Blogger wenders said...

ROCK ON! Clearly, everything went okay if you ended the day with three peices of pie and good friends. :) And I can't remember if I posted it here, but FEATHERS. Turkeys have FEATHERS. I don't want to see them ON the turkey, but I have. UGH.

And on another note, my preggers friend had someone shove a cart INTO HER BELLY! Gotta LOVE Boston sometimes, eh?

11/30/2005 9:03 AM  
Blogger Martita said...

Good job! Congratulations!

11/30/2005 10:43 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Even though we had that home grown bird, I am envious of your lively orphan gathering.
I find chickens to be so much easier to deal with than turkeys...not so much barfing involved. ;)

11/30/2005 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

awesome job! sounds like everyone had a blast, 'cept maybe "mr i used to be free range" turkey... Ah well. Happy to hear the orphans enjoyed it. And now, I am curious as to what sort of chocol;ate cake is THAT good!

Being a newer reader, i didn't know you love maps. I'm trying to find tha perfect world map to get tattoo-ed on my back... Maybe you can help! (With finding the map; not with the actual process of inking me!)

11/30/2005 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Sage advice if I ever heard it :-) Sounds like you did a fantastic job -- I know that I'm already ready for a nap after all that cooking! Hope you are well!

11/30/2005 9:28 PM  
Blogger CynCyn said...

so....can we trade recipes for kick ass chocolate cake? the turkey is an afterthought anyway. it's the sides that count (potatoes, stuffing, pie, cake, etc etc).

11/30/2005 11:18 PM  
Blogger ann said...

sounds like you did a great job!!

ps. you are the only person I know who sends their cat to the groomers ---- aren't cats supposed to keep themselves clean??

12/01/2005 4:53 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Hey, it sounds like your Turkey Day turned out pretty well. Good for you for the multicultural guests. It sounded like a fun time. Don't stress so much over it, it all turns out good in the end.

12/06/2005 12:24 PM  

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