#NovembertoRemember: Not As Easy As It Looks

19 Nov

For my November to Remember post, I thought deeply about doing something that my friends could participate in as well. After much deliberation, and taking into consideration the dark emptiness of my wallet, I decided to take up a friend’s offer of making a traditional Thanksgiving-ish dinner.

Easy-peasy right? Well let me tell you, I have never been so grateful to my mother and grandmothers for putting in all their hard work in front of the stove during the holidays.

I wish I could say I had the grace and ease that my family appears to experience while making Thanksgiving dinner. To them, baking enchiladas, tamales, beans and rice, plus the Thanksgiving turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and countless other items have always been expected and delivered perfectly during the holidays. Sohow hard could one turkey and some sides be?  Before we started cooking I was extremely confident about the outcome of our little dinner, however, as time passed the reality became very apparent; especially after my friend and I realized it would be 4 hours to bake ONE turkey.

My friend Alec, who is quite experienced with cooking, and I decided to make mashed potatoes, stuffing, rice crispy treats, and one turkey for our Friday night Thanksgiving feast. My hopes were high as we traveled the aisles of Safeway grabbing just a couple of ingredients for our meal. He had already gotten a turkey a month before, and it had been defrosting in the fridge the previous day. When we arrived home I unpacked the groceries as fast as possible, too happy to contain my excitement. As we lifted the turkey like a small child into the sink, we both focused our attention to the directions on the package.

Looking at each other slowly, we realized this Turkey was going to take forever, and then we proceeded to glare at a clock that read 7pm.

“Well we better get started huh”,  Alec laughed.

I chopped some veggies and cleaned up the kitchen, but, honestly, I left the heavy hitting to Alec, who had cooked a turkey (although smaller than this one) before. Although I was in charge of making the rice crispy treats, which ended up coming out superbly, waiting four hours for the turkey and stuffing to cook was grueling and tortuous. As soon as I had thought an hour had passed, I would check the clock to find that only about 20 minutes had passed. Nevertheless, Alec and I watched Howl’s Moving Castle, while we tried to keep our eagerness to eat at bay.

Finally, the clock gifted us with the image of 11pm, and I jumped to my feet as soon as I heard the timer go off. Oh how beautiful this turkey and stuffing would be right? I only imagined the most perfect bird to have finished baking in the oven, nothing short of gourmet. I really do not know why I pictured a feast such as this.


Def. possible and totally not unattainable

Alec said I should wait in his room while he took the turkey out to cool for 15 minutes. Of course, I listened to what he said, trying to keep my excitement from showing too much. I could smell the food wafting into his room and the torturous wait would soon be over, I kept telling myself. Finally, after the 15 minutes were up I could wait no longer, and dashed to the kitchen, only to find this sitting on the counter.



Ok. So. Um. It did not look exactly how I imagined. But it only matter how it tasted right?

Ok. So. Um. I put a spoon full of stuffing (which had cooked inside the turkey) into my mouth and waited for the flavors to explode on my tongue. Well… the only thing I could taste… was sage. We had REALLY over seasoned the stuffing with sage, that it was nearly inedible as ‘Thanksgiving stuffing’. After trying the overly potent stuffing, I began to become discouraged but I still held out hope for the turkey; the turkey we had defrosted, seasoned, and prepared for nearly 4 hours. Alec sliced off a giant piece for me and… It was delicious! YAY! We did something right! Alec asked me what I thought of the stuffing first, and we burst out laughing, knowing we had created a disaster. The turkey and dessert were pretty good, though. Although in our fury of cooking we completely forgot about making mashed potatoes altogether. In the end, although my first experience cooking a Thanksgiving-ish meal was not the most successful, it was pretty hilarious and memorable. I’ll be sure to give a hand to my family when they are in the kitchen from now on.

p.s. For future reference, I would scratch sage from any and all cooking if possible. If you decide to use it, use it sparingly.


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