Apparently, we have rodents at 305. Tall, 2-legged, blonde rodents.
I called my mother and spent a nice hour on the phone with her, making The Dressing together. I won because mine was put together before hers. Of course, we wound up getting confused over a couple of things and I had to modify the recipe I originally put up. I forgot the Kitchen Bouquet! Thank goodness she was there to read me Grandmother's recipe in her own handwriting, with notations by Mom and me.
Then Pootie and I headed out to Wrightsville Beach, where his family (parents, sister and family, aunt and uncle and cousins) had rented a beach house and were all staying. (We opted to stay home and sleep in our own bed and just do day visits out there.)
I did a little cooking, then joined most of the group down at the beach, where Pootie was surf-kayaking (I'd have gone too, but I was on Turkey Duty). It was, as I mentioned, about 70 and warm - nice for being on the beach. I put the turkey in the oven and headed out.
|Our nephew, Benjamin|
|Cousin Alex took a tumble in the waves.|
|It's not a holiday until someone gets hurt.|
|Alex tries out the kayak. A few more years, kiddo.|
After we watched Pootie tumble around in the waves for a while, we headed back. I was met at the door and lit into by the Family Matriarchs. "Well, it's about TIME you showed back up here! When were you going to turn the temperature down on this oven? We were about to come and get you and see what you wanted done with this turkey (insert "Missy" here)". Whooo! Here's the deal. When I cook a turkey, I like a nice, crisp, dark skin. So I start the bird at 400F, roast it for about an hour, then turn the temperature down to 350 and cook it the rest of the way. I don't really care if Alton Brown agrees with me or not. I got back in (my) time to turn it down the rest of the way. But not before taking a little abuse from the women. Oh, well. It's also not a holiday until someone gets fussed at. Might as well be me.
While we were futzing over the rest of dinner, there was lots of milling about and chatting.
Calls were made to absent family members
The table was set
Stories were told (some true, some ...embellished...)
Games were played (and catnaps were taken)
Alcohol was consumed
Theo was left unattended (take my word for it, he'll be getting into trouble)
And the real turkey was taken out of the oven to rest.
|The skin is done to crispy perfection. And you just wait - this is not a tough, overcooked bird, I promise.|
Other food was prepped.
P's sister's husband Craig carved the turkey.
|See? Nothing dry and tough about this bird - (the turkey, not Craig. Although I guess he's not dry and tough either.)|
And then the eating commenced.
|The back of Uncle John. Oh - and that one, there? That blonde? Lora. Tried to start a food fight and got Benjamin in trouble with his Grandmother. (My mother-in-law was on a fussing jag that day.)|
After dinner, cleanup was of course, in order. I got up from the table and started to help, looked over and saw my husband, my nephew and P's cousin David sitting in the living room playing Risk. Not one of these goobers had lifted a finger to help with dinner. Bossy Andie felt it necessary to step in and say "Seriously? You guys are going to sit on your butts while the people who cooked all day clean up the mess? I don't think so. How 'bout you get up and help clean the kitchen?"
It actually worked! And I didn't even get in trouble from my husband for being Imperative Girl!
|David, "helping". I'm sure whatever he was texting was muy importante.|
|Truly, a little soft-shoe while you're cleaning never hurts.|
|You can tell the fast cleaning action by the blur. And no, I wasn't helping. SOMEONE had to photo document. Besides, I cooked the turkey, dressing, gravy and dessert.|
Then there was more game playing
More eating! David's wife Lora (the thinnest of all of us, of course, and the one who hadn't even been able to eat a full dinner because she was playing with her 3-year-old, Alex) returned to the kitchen for carrot cake.
Me: You're eating AGAIN??
Lora: (sputter, sputter - you #$#@!)
Well, you know, there hadn't been any bickering since the Oven Temperature Incident. Someone had to get the ball rolling again.
There was even more drinking.
Things started to get ugly.
Watching the debauchery wore my father-in-law out.
It was just as a Thanksgiving should be. Food, drink, a little nattering, and lots of love.
It was wonderful. Hope yours was, too.