Thursday, November 30, 2006

My two thanksgivings, part two.

My strategizing this year focused on one problem: how to have a nice Saturday Thanksgiving dinner for four and not be overwhelmed with leftovers when my kids were leaving the following day!

When I called Whole Foods to reserve a turkey for Friday pickup, I was reassured: "A number of our customers are having Saturday Thanksgivings." So is the world changing with all our broken homes...

Melina and I were delighted to find that, as we'd hoped, the Friday morning after Thanksgiving is an excellent time to visit Whole Foods, it was almost empty. I had a big fat gift card (because Bob and I play there every month) which made paying $2.99 per pound for our turkey breast less painful. We also bought 1.5 pounds of halibut (for Friday night dinner) for $26.78. After tossing a (very few) more treats into the cart, the total was almost $150.00.

Melina baked us two wonderful challahs (using our family recipe). We ate it for Shabbat dinner with raw sugar snap peas and halibut with lemon, pecan, and parsley sauce.

In order not to be left with two much pie, we employed strategy number one: we cooked our pumpkin and lemon meringue pies Friday and started eating them immediately.

Strategy number two: don't cook any foods that nobody needs to eat. I bought one sweet potato but the person who was going to eat it unexpectedly bailed, so I didn't cook it.

Note to self: an eight-pound organic turkey breast, stuffed, turned upside down (Melina noted: "Actually, that's right way up as far as the turkey was concerned"), loosely tented in foil, cooks in 2-1/2 hours at 350 degrees. If you don't eat the skin, you don't have to worry about what it looks like. I.e., no basting.

Mike the neuropsychiatrist-welder graciously accepted a last-minute invitation to come help us Hoover up the meal and was perfectly on time. We ate sumptuously, listening to Stan Freberg's "The United States of America," our holiday classic.

As we started working on the pie course, the doorbell rang. It was Menticia and her sisters and mom! They were selling jewelry out of a catalog to raise money for the cheerleading squad. I invited them in and all ate pie! An excellent strategy: have unexpected guests.

We had all been about to head into the living room for a brief concert by Mike, who is also my singing student, and who has been "hired" to sing an evening of rag-time songs in a month or so but who has never sung in front of anybody before. So Menticia, her sisters, her mom, Melina, and Zed sat and listened while I banged on the piano and exhorted and Mike sang. "What do I do with my hands?" he asked.

Then our unexpected guests left and we became, unexpectedly, a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting - Zed sang, and Melina sang and played the guitar, and then all four of us sang "Ain't We Got Fun?" and we really do got fun, and then we had to rush out the door cause I had a gig at the Celtic Cafe in Winston-Salem.

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At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent strategies...especially the one about starting in on the pies immediately. I love pie. It's probably my favorite dessert. My mother was an excellent baker ...her crusts were delectable. For family birthdays , everyone got their favorite pie. My dad always asked for sister and brother-in-law got lemon meringue...hub asked for cherry crumb...and my fav was apricot crumb. I have never made a pie for 2 mother did not like to teach anyone anything [no patience], and I decided that if I learned to make pies as delicious as hers... hub, my kids, and I would end up very, very fat. Sounds like your second celebration was wonderful.~~Susanlynn, who could really go for a slice of pie right now


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