“Yes! Yes! We Owe You! We Owe You!”
Hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving, and that some are actually giving thanks.
I’m taking a break. Today I fixed a deboned turkey for the second time in three days, so I’m pooped.
My church had a Thanksgiving party on Tuesday, and like an idiot, I volunteered. I got me a 12-pound bird, deboned it, made cornbread with bacon grease, made stuffing with fried andouille and onions, stuffed the bird, sewed it up, and roasted it. It nearly killed me.
This is the way to cook a turkey, though. It’s worth it, believe me. The meat is juicy and wonderful. The seasonings really get into it. The fat soaks into the stuffing. When the turkey is done, you get a big loaf of bird (much like Marvin). You can slice it like bologna, from one end to the other. No dried-out disgusting turkey carcass that sits in the fridge with a foil hat that doesn’t fit.
I stole the idea from myself. I threw a turducken recipe together for my book, and this is the same recipe, minus two birds. It’s even better if you stick a chicken in the turkey and stuff it with white bread stuffing, but it takes me two hours to get one bird into the oven, and I really did not feel like messing with a second one.
Today I’m having turkey, cream gravy with Marsala, green beans and fatback, disgusting oyster dressing (for my dad), yams with pineapple and a fried-pecan lid, cranberry relish, cranberry sauce (for my dad), pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and mashed potatoes loaded with garlic and butter.
The turkey stuffing is cornbread, fried chunks of Aidell’s andouille, fried onions, Marsala, salt, pepper, sage, garlic, beef broth, and butter. The cornbread was made with bacon grease. Very nice.
I am considering making a small amount of cornbread dressing without oysters, but I haven’t decided yet. It’s not like I need it.
The church party was wonderful. I had low expectations, because churches usually do a bad job with food. You show up with something you worked hard on, and everyone else brings crap, so late your food is cold when they arrive. They have no knives or serving forks. The beverages are warm. There’s nowhere to sit. You know how that goes. But my church did a good job. The rented a community center with a nice kitchen, and when I arrived, a professional chef was slicing up turkeys and hams and piling them in chafing dishes. We had moros, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, some weird chicken Chef Fabian made, various Latin and non-Latin desserts, assorted sides, and lots of soda.
People got up and gave their testimony. A friend of mine kind of freaked everyone out. He’s a mild-mannered guy who works at a cruise company. He started talking about his past life as a car thief and LSD addict, and it seemed like every time he told us something horrifying about his youth, he topped it a couple of minutes later. It was actually funny; I started telling people he was the devil. I said most of us would get up there and say things like, “I looked at Playboy once,” and this guy was saying things like, “…and then I ate a baby.” You would have to understand Christian humor.
The event made me think of Matthew 12:29: “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” Many of us had lost closeness with relatives and former friends, but at the community center, we were like family.
This morning I had to deal with the family member who does everything possible to ruin every holiday, so I’m very grateful for the people I spent Tuesday night with. I got calls at 4:12 and 7:37 a.m., complete with a badly slurred voicemail addressed to Doctor Something-or-other and containing the ominous sentence, “I have a situation on my hands.” Unbelievable. I was on my way to see if I needed to have the cops break a door down and take someone to the ER for detox, but as I left the house, I got an abusive, slanderous phone call, and once I realized there was no real problem, I hung up.
It’s funny, the way many families contain individuals who invariably cause horrible problems on holidays. There’s always some nut who shows up drunk and wants to fight in the yard, or who has a long list of grievances that MUST be recited right before you say grace. Sometimes it’s a middle-aged woman who gets a load on and embarrasses herself hitting on her niece’s boyfriend. Maybe it’s a vegan who thinks Thanksgiving is the best time for a self-righteous rant about turkey rights.
If you’re a jerk, why not do your job on an ordinary weekday after work? Why does it have to be Christmas, Thanksgiving, an anniversary, or a birthday? People realize that jerks need time to do their thing. We can give you a few minutes on a random Wednesday or Monday. Why can’t you be thoughtful and give us a rest on special days when we break our backs trying to unite in love and peace?
We need a new holiday. All Jerks’ Eve. We can do it in June, when people feel so good, a jerk can’t do too much damage. On All Jerk’s Eve, we will gather at places like Burger King and White Castle for half an hour, and the family jerks can spend ten or fifteen minutes whining and moaning because Daddy gave Bobby a nicer bicycle in 1952, or whatever it is they want to cry about. They can wear festive crowns of thorns and T-shirts emblazoned with the word “VICTIM.” At the end, we can all bow down and say, “We are the cause of all your problems, we take you completely seriously, and we salute your martyrdom.”
We can have a time of shopping discounts before All Jerks’ Eve, only instead of Black Friday, it will be the Solemn Week of Petulance and Despair.
I have to stop. I’m cracking myself up.
By the way, I’m really doing good with pecan pie these days. I use the recipe on the Karo bottle (dark), but I substitute sorghum (like molasses) for 1/4 cup of the syrup, and I add half a shot of good bourbon and half a teaspoon of corn starch. The starch is to compensate for any wateriness caused by the bourbon.
Very nice, even with a commercial crust.
Guess I better check the beans.Stumble it! Save This Page