Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful. Even for the chicken fat bath.

You know your Thanksgiving is a good Thanksgiving when having chicken fat poured all over you is a moment for hilarity.

My sister, Debbie, was in charge of the noodles this year, as she should be every year. Part of her magic involves chicken stock she makes herself.  She asked me if I thought she should skim some of the chicken fat from her stock.

I shrugged. "It's Thanksgiving. It looks like a fine amount of fat to me," I said. I'd used that same holiday logic to use half-and-half and butter in the mashed potatoes.

So we set about transferring the stock to the noodle pot. I was holding the noodle pot because it was too high when on the stove for easy pouring. And that's how I took a chicken fat bath. I even had a dollop of chicken fat in my shoe.

Luckily, the skimming of the fat resulted in a fabulous pot of noodles. And I got to change clothes. At the moment it happened, Debbie was kind of mortified and I was kind of shocked. My kitchen and living room full of guests, however, were highly amused.

We had about 30 people for dinner, which included the City Boy (Jeff) deep frying three turkey breasts and six drumsticks; roasting a pork tenderloin, making gravy, grilling a bushel basket of root vegetables and popping at least three champagne corks. ( I lost track after a while.) I made 15 pounds of mashed potatoes to go with those awesome noodles, Donnas rolls and sweet potatoes made from her garden harvest.
Aunt Shirley's dressing was devoured. I hoarded Lori's cranberry relish salad. Kirsten's mushrooms were a huge hit. I lost track of the appetizers, and despite my best efforts to send food away, my house is stil full of Nancy's dessert offerings, along with Jimmie's pies, Shirley's cheesecake and someone's pumpkin rolls. I made two loaves of apple-anna bread along with one of pumpkin bread. Two ended up in the freezer for later. Diana's ice cream remains in my freezer. (Ali is grateful.)

Right up until everyone left, Jeff worried that we didn't have enough food.

We were lucky to have Grandpa come visit. He came Tuesday and was quickly introduced to Alison's outstanding report card. We'd been warned that the 
school play generally results in every student's grade dropping -- without exception. Many a full letter grade. Ali had asserted that she would be the exception, and she was.

We continued to impress Grandpa with dinners out to Petit Chou, Flatwater and Boogie Burger. He was less impressed with the sou chef duties Jeff imposed on him but he was a good sport and helped a lot with the TD prep work.

It was really cold here. A few hardy souls gathered around the grill with Jeff, but most of us stayed inside, We spread out and had a great time. Paired with Duane Jaheway's mother, Joyce, I was victorious at euchre, so the whole day was great.

We took Grandpa to the airport on Friday and came home via the Edinburgh Outlet Mall. Jeff was looking for a new briefcase but Wilson's disappointed. Ali and I managed to find some nice stuff, though. 

We spent today getting a jump on Christmas. Alison's job is the tree and finding homes for our Island of Misfit Toys collection. The weather turned nice and Jeff got carried away with our lights. We wrapped as much of the magnolia tree that we could. 

I still have a bit of organizing to do downstairs. Thankgiving stuff needs to be put away; extra tables need broken down and pots that get used every five years or so need to find their resting places. I have only three extra serving/storage devices and we're missing a saucepan lid. But otherwise, we're good.

Tommorow, Jeff is threatening that we need to address the garage so my car will fit back in it. I'm not so excited about that. I'm actually looking forward to a day of just hanging out before heading back to work after my five-day weekend. 

It's not like I haven't been working, but I've barely even checked work email for the past few days. The yard is as clear of leaves as it's getting. The house was as clean as it will get for the remainder of 2013. I might put things back where they belong but that's as far as I'm going.

I discovered some corners I'd missed during my pre-Thankgiving cleaning while Christmas decorating, but I decorated around them. So if you come over, you might want to come at dusk or dark. And don't look too closely then.

But DO drop by. I have desserts to fob off on you. My will power is pretty much gone. Oh, there was one disappointment at Thanksgiving.

My young and vibrant nieces bailed on me. Not one of them was ready for the plank challenge. As I have made it to six minutes, I silently declared myself the winner. 

I would have showed off for everyone but I was afraid I still had chicken fat in my toes and that would have upset my form.


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