Call mom for recipe. Get annoyed because she’s going into super detail and you’ll never remember it. Ask her to just email it to you. Forget within two minutes that any of this ever happened, letting the recipe languish in email purgatory until the end of time.
For the brine:
Vegetable broth…all of it the store has (you may get into a fight with an old lady over the last remaining ones, but don’t worry, you can take her).
A bunch of herbs, it doesn’t matter which ones
Whatever allspice berries are
Totally forget about how you were supposed to brine the turkey until the morning of Thanksgiving.
For the turkey:
Proudly remove your 16-pound turkey from the fridge even though your spouse INSISTED it is too big for your family considering the kids refuse to even try it. Gently stroke it and tell it “don’t worry, Gerald, I’ll eat you.” You named the turkey Gerald. It’s not weird.
Be determined this year not to wuss out. Mentally give yourself a pep talk for five minutes. Then shove your hand into that turkey’s butt and pull out its innards like the Kali Ma guy pulling out the beating heart in that Indiana Jones movie.
Replace the innards with, like, an onion? Sure. And a cinnamon stick, for the smell. You didn’t really research this part.
Throw it in the oven at 350 and just naively assume it will be totally fine for the next three hours.
Open bag of sweet potatoes.
Realize sweet potatoes are garbage and run back out to the store to get the regular edible potatoes.
Alternative method: Send spouse to store and when they start to complain begin hurling cans of cranberry sauce at their head.
Peel 82 potatoes (even though there are only four of you), sustaining multiple scraping injuries in the process. Feel sorry for yourself. Peep into the living room to see if there is anyone in there who can witness just how much you are sacrificing for this stupid holiday. No one is. Pour glass of wine. Take long swig. Set down glass and promptly forget about it for the next 49 minutes.
Chop up the potatoes using no discernible method or standard unit of measurement for the pieces. Some will be a tiny sliver. Some will be a third of the potato. It’s fine.
Awkwardly throw them in a pot of hot water because you never learned how to properly drop things into a pot of hot water. Keep poking them with a fork to see if they are soft, but not too soft, because apparently that is a thing. Drain when they seem softy enough. Pour back into pot, spilling a fourth of them on the floor (where your dog will retain third degree mouth burns by immediately trying to eat them). Drop, oh, I don’t know, a giant ladle of butter in there and a pint(?) of milk and all. the. salt. Mash it together using that old-timey potato masher thing in your kitchen drawer that never lets you shut the drawer. Taste. Add more salt.
Pick a vegetable. It doesn’t matter which one. No one is going to eat it. Chop it up using the potato method. Butter a casserole dish. Throw vegetables pieces in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Add more. A little more. Eh, throw some Monterey Jack on there too. Sprinkle some bread crumbs on top. Smother with melted butter. Throw in the oven at…um…350, why not? For probably 30 minutes. When your house starts smelling like a disgusting cooked vegetable, it’s done.
Deep Fried Stuffing Balls
(This one is a legit recipe because it is a GAME CHANGER)
½ cup of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp milk
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
3 cups prepared stuffing (from a box, obviously…like you aren’t busy enough)
Get out three bowls. Put flour, salt and pepper in one. Beat the eggs and milk together in another. Mix the bread crumbs and cheese in the third. Scoop a ball of stuffing (about the size of a meatball) and cover it with the flour, dip it into the egg and milk bowl, and roll it around in the bread crumbs. Then carefully lower it into some hot oil in a large saucepan (or deep-fryer if you fancy) and fry until it is brown on all sides. DO NOT EAT IMMEDIATELY. You will regret it. Let it cool for five minutes, ya animal (not based a real experience I had three years ago).
Remove from plastic. Dump on plate.
Oh, and there’s your wine! You totally forgot. Start chugging.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I actually laughed out loud at this! Thank you!
I have never cooked anything more complicated than a TV dinner, but if I were to ever cook Thanksgiving dinner, I’m pretty sure it would go exactly as you just described it.
Thanks for the laugh and the great writing! Happy Thanksgiving!
(P.S. I would definitely try a little bit of everything you described.)
Thanks for reading and laughing. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I made someone smile. Except wine. 😁
Ha ha! I hear ya!