Thursday, November 27, 2008

This is really long please don't waste your time reading it

Here's an entry that I started writing minutes after eating Thanksgiving dinner.  (My mother in law was still in the house snuggling with her little boy, my DH, who was snoring on the couch. LOL).  My fingers were flying over the keyboard and she was probably wondering why I was on the computer rather than in the kitchen doing the dishes.  The dishes can always wait.  Always.

The following entry will be full of whining and complaining.  Consider yourself forewarned.

So it is days like today that I absolutely hate.  Making Thanksgiving dinner definitely sucks.  I mean when you think of the dinner of all dinners what do you think of?  Thanksgiving dinner, right?  

What kind of holiday is celebrated via dinner anyway?  Who's idea was this?  I have issues with those pilgrims I tell ya.  Where does that leave a person who hates dinner to begin with?  How are people like me supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving if we hate making dinner?  

The problem is the fact that Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Thanksgiving dinner.  The entire celebration revolves around one meal.  You get one chance and that's it. Without the meal would it be Thanksgiving?  If I were to choose to not make a big meal (or even just eat a big meal) for Thanksgiving would that mean that we didn't celebrate Thanksgiving?  Like we don't believe in it or something?  Would people accuse me of being anti-Thanksgiving?

Here's my problem with cooking a big meal.  My family--we just don't appreciate it.  Myself included.  Too much work for not enough reward.  Now if I were to go to your house and enjoy a nice Thanksgiving dinner with your family that's completely different.  I would love that.  I would also love to go out to a nice restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner.  But with three kids it'd be more difficult and expensive than relaxing and enjoyable.

But you have family in town Amanda dearest.  Why not have dinner with them?  Yes, I do have family in town and we did get one invite from my sister.  But we always mooch dinner off of her.  During my last pregnancy she brought us dinner about once a week since I was practically dead and she didn't want my family to starve.  So I feel like we've kind of used up our dinner charity for a while.   My mother also lives in town but was fixing dinner for her DH and his family.  She, too, brought dinner once a week.  

So that left it up to me to create the big meal.  Because you can't have Thanksgiving without the big meal.  Great.  I love cooking.  I love being in the kitchen.  I love service.  I love feeling domesticated.  I love turning into my mother.  And to make it even more pleasant on myself, I'll invite my mother in law and her DH.

I'll keep it real simple and I'll survive this.  I will do simple.  No new recipes.  No unique twists on sweet potatoes.  In fact, no sweet potatoes.  Just the basics.  And just the things I know we all like.  I can make it easy on myself.  I have all day to do it right?  So what do I do?  I read two books in preparation for not preparing for Thanksgiving.  Pro-procrastinator, that's me.  Pre-thanksgiving night I am up to 3 am the night before reading Eclipse.

I did do a little shopping to grab some essentials.  The whole family helped plan the extremely simple menu (I wanted to make sure we were all going to eat what I make) and I made a shopping list and went to the store.  All set.  Time out to read.  I read until 3 am.  Did I already mention that?

The house was a mess.  More than usual.  So I drug my tired butt out of bed this morning and thought to myself, okay I can do this.  I forced myself to get the turkey out of the fridge and put it in the sink.  I think okay, if I just get the turkey started and the rolls out of the freezer I can read until 1 pm...

I enlist my fam to help clean up the house and my husband to wash the turkey and put it in the roaster because I can't stand to touch dead turkeys.  As he's doing this he tells me he doesn't really like turkey that much anyway.  Thanks hun.  Let's stay on task and not make this any harder for me than it already is okay.

So he gets the turkey in the roaster and I get the rolls out of the freezer (yes, Rhodes rolls, what did you expect?) and then make a plain strawberry jello.  My kids requested the jello and it's funny that they are so excited about it.  I usually don't make jello just because it's so hard to make LOL. 

I sneak upstairs to read and then shower and get dressed as my DH cuts up the potatoes and cleans up the kitchen.  Yeah, I know I'm lucky.  I wait until the very last second to pull myself out of fantasy land until I come downstairs and start making the green salad and set the table. My MIL is coming at 2:30 to make the gravy at my request.  I figured since we're going to the effort of making real potoates we might as well have real gravy to go with it and that's one of those things I've never made.

Soon the turkey is done, rolls are done, jello is set, green salad tossed together, mashed potatoes and gravy are ready and we sit down to eat.  I told you I kept it simple.  The next part is pretty uneventful.  I help Roman eat and laugh as he spits out the turkey and balk at the mashed potatoes and gravy.  He only eats the jello (with his hands).  Bella eats mashed potatoes, gravy, and jello.  I'm a little freaked out about the turkey because I know how long it's been in our freezer so I only eat a little bit.  I love, love, love, the creamy mashed potatoes and I love the salad too.  I eat like four rolls because I'm starving.  I haven't eaten much this week since I've been too busy reading.  I am glad I didn't go to all the extra work of making stuffing or real rolls or exotic side dishes or cranberry sauce or sweet potatoes or creamed corn or anything that would have taken more of my time.  It wouldn't have been well received by my kids anyway and my husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and me, well, if someone else wants to go to all that trouble well then I love that kind of stuff.

I didn't make any dessert because desserts put me over the edge of sanity.  Especially pies.  So I bought two pies and a quart of ice cream.  My kids loved the ice cream and ate like one bite of their pie.  Roman spit his out.  My MIL's DH loved the pie so I sent it home with him along with everything else but the salad and the rolls.  I didn't want any Thanksgiving dinner reminders in the fridge.  We don't eat leftovers anyway.   

I am trying to think of what to do for Thanksgiving next year.  I'm thinking that maybe we'll go to Utah.  My aunt Pat lives in Orem.  She is an amazing cook.  And she didn't bring me dinner while I was pregnant (aka almost dead) so that would be a viable option.  Either that or grilled cheese sandwiches. 


Emi said...

Or come to the Thanksgiving luau with me cause it was awesome!! and no work (for me at least)

Mama Yo said...

What a hoot - thanks for sharing. I did read it! A whole lot of work. I would NEVER EVER EVER do it own my own! I'm happy to make a few sides, or a side and a pie. But I'd NEVER do all that work on my own. A few years ago when my parents lived out of town, my sis, my bro, and their families and my family went to (up)Chuck-a-rama. It was crowded and I felt dirty, like I had sinned. It didn't feel like Thanksgiving... but it was better than trying to cook it myself!

Amanda said...

We considered Hawaii, thanks Emi, and we even considered Chuck a Rama. I knew it'd be crowded and it's hard to get everyone's food. I think we're just going to figure out some kind of other tradition rather than eating. Like napping or something.

mkmorts said...

Well, you could do like we did this year...bacon cheeseburgers on the grill with chips on the side. That way Mike is in charge of cooking. We didn't have family around anyway and didn't make it to Boise. Turkey dinner is overrated. No one really likes turkey, do they? Just the stuffing and mashed potatoes.

Amanda said...

Kelsey, I love your idea of cheeseburgers on the grill. Yum. John is also the griller in our family. We're currently out of propane, that's why there's not more BBQ horror stories on here.