Truth is, it was not just unburned and fairly warm, but also delicious because I used a lot -- a lot lot -- of butter. My guests left with pounds of saturated fat in their arteries. They even thanked me for it, which is one of the unexplained phenomena of Thanksgiving.
The turkey, even though no one really likes to eat turkey, is always the star of the show at Thanksgiving. I bought a fresh one from a local butcher and brined the shit out of it for 24 hours.
Bob's got good meat
The brine smelled so good, I was tempted to drink it. I reminded myself it was made of kosher salt and apple cider and would therefore taste very bad. But it smelled so good. It was a confusing time.
Brine. Drink. Yes. No. Yes. No. Damn.
We had a great group of family and assorted holiday orphans gathered around our Thanksgiving table. My parents and brother were here, along with Seattle Mom and Dad and family, L.A. Mom (remember her, Paris blog people?) and her family, our Egyptian friend who has bright blinky eyes like a meerkat, and one of our contractors, Dan the Man, who showed up in a suit jacket with his hair slicked back several hours before the meal was to start.
Dan the Man entertained Mom and I with stories of his childhood in Alaska while we cooked. For such a young guy, it's impressive how many times he's escaped death.
My mom wanted to put a salad on the table that included curry powder in the dressing. I told her I didn't think curry powder had any place in a Thanksgiving meal. She then sighed and told me to "live a little." I repeat -- my seventy-something-year-old mother told me to "live a little." That does it, I'm off to race motorcycles and maybe, if I have time, kill a hooker.
The last half hour before a Thanksgiving meal goes on the table is one of frantic mayhem. Thankfully, Mom and Dan the Man were happy to take orders in the kitchen. Amidst shouts of "MOM, CARROTS, BROWN, WHERE?" and "DAN THE MAN, MAKE THE ROUX THEN A LITTLE LATER ADD THREE TABLESPOONS OF TURKEY FAT AND THEN AFTER IT BROWNS ADD SOME OF THOSE DRIPPINGS AND STIR," we all got it done together.
My favorite parts of the meal were Seattle Mom throwing rolls at L.A. Mom who then tried to catch them in her mouth and the numerous suggestive mutterings of Dan the Man after Seattle Mom presented the five pies she'd baked for dessert. "Mmm... I'd definitely like to eat Seattle Mom's pie...." was uttered more than once.
I'm very thankful for all the people in my life, each of them fantastic in their own wonderfully bizarre way.
My family stuck around for several days after Thanksgiving --
Coco likes the low notes
Stratego is hard
We drove down to Olympia where we met up with some old family friends. These people are beloved to my family -- they're the fellow Ohio family with whom we took a Colorado ski vacation every year when I was growing up. There was a lot of reminiscing about those joint vacations while in Olympia, including raucous laughter about that one time we had to throw a flaming log off our balcony to avoid burning down our vacation rental condo.
A lot of the ski trip memories didn't include me because I was always the youngest and thus always in ski school. One of our friends said in Olympia, "I'm sorry, MJ, but I just really don't remember you being around much." Ski school sucks.
After all the memory sharing, our two families experienced the horror that is the Olympia Hands-On Children's Museum on a holiday weekend. It was full of dead-eyed parents desperate for two seconds of quiet and maybe some more turkey.
Coco refused to leave the construction area, happily selecting a pink tool belt and talking incessantly about Contractor God, Dan the Man, and Supermodel Neighbor, her three favorite construction buddies. I've got to get Coco out of the house more.
I randomly ran into an old friend at the Children's Museum. We just stared at each other for awhile, each afraid to be wrong, until she tentatively said, "MJ?" Then I confidently said, "Becca!" because of course I knew it was her all along. We chatted for two seconds until I realized I'd lost both my children in those two seconds (it really doesn't take long) and had to take off through the museum looking for them. Becca, it was great almost catching up with you.
We took a few walks with my family, too, one of which yielded a leaf roughly the size of Coco.
On one of our walks, we passed the B&B where Alex and I held our wedding reception --
We chose that reception location because it was across the street from where Alex and I totally made out for the very first time --
And now.... I've got some really big news.
(Anyone who just thought "pregnant" gets a sucker punch to the eye socket)
I haven't mentioned it in a long time because it was going nowhere for that long time, but Al and I never gave up trying to buy The Goddamn House. Even though we bought and settled happily into Banister Abbey, we couldn't let that other stupid needy house go. The saga has been long and frustrating but as of last week, after two years of arguing with people, WE OWN THAT BITCH.
The Universe told us many times to give up. We told The Universe to shove it.
It remains to be seen if that was a good idea.
(I realize I should update on the Banister Abbey renovations but honestly, at the end of a long day of thinking about nothing but Banister Abbey renovations, it's pretty much the last thing I want to write about. But I will, at some point, soon, or at least post some pictures then run away from the computer screaming.)
Street of Dreams, I am on you. Finally.