Sunday, November 18, 2007

T-Day, minus 96 Hours

Here's a group letter that went out warning Thursday's attendees of the fragility of the day.

Dear ......,
As I seem to be the stand-in for the Master of Space & Time, I'll provide the following info as regards the events of the day for Thursday, Novenber the 22nd.

6:00 am until 12:01 pm: Much mayhem, activity, gnashing of teeth, mashing of potatoes, de-brining of Bird, and coaxing of bread all thrown in with last minute recriminations of menu choices, unpredictable and uncontrollable weather conditions, and general immature repartee as regards control of limited kitchen space by outsized personality types.

12:02 pm until 3:30 pm. : General calming of nerves and the emergence of social niceties will abound as fam & friends come to share the food and bare the truths of social gatherings. This would be the Window of Arrival for all company. Arrive early in the time span and you'll witness apparitions of a meal and mayhem of food prep. Arrive late in the temporal opening and you'll spy rosaries being fingered and candles being lit. I leave it up to you as to what you'd want to see. Your effervescent personality and calming tone is most welcome at any time, (insert guest name here)!

3:30 pm until 4:00 pm. : De-construction of Bird begins, depending on controllable oven temperature conditions. Worry-sweat rivulets start etching Grand Canyon-esque patterns in facial facade as "Is everything hot?" panic rises in cook. Be careful! He'll be sticking thermometers into anything not moving, so stay clear or he may stick you in the oven to finish the process. Food-poisoning release notices will be handed out at this time; next-door neighbour is a registered notary and she'll be providing seal and signature for a slice of the pecan pie.

4:00 pm until gout sets in. : Feasting, merriment, promises of fasting the next day, more feasting. The pies come out of the kitchen to the dining area. Sleeping is allowed wherever a guest finds comfort and a pillow to doze off. Hot compresses will be provided to all who request them.

Speaking of which. Tentatively:

1) Corn soup concoction with reduced red pepper sauce.
2) The Bird. Couldn't just get breast this year. Sorry, folks! We'll have to deal with dark meat and drums. It'll be a 12-14 from an Amish farm in Lancaster, complete with beard and straw hat
3) Mushrooms Berkley, that witch's brew of dark and boiling mystery.
4) Mashed Potatoes - Plain
5) Mashed Potatoes - Garlic
6) Some kind of Stuffing. Haven't finalized this as I hadn't planned on it until #2 happened.
7) Fried Chicken. Hey! The daughter's home and whatever she wants, she'll be getting.
8) The Ever-Loving Wife's delectably tart and fiery red cranberry homemade sauce.
9) The ELW's homemade bread, of which, IMHO, there is never enough loaves of.
10) Pecan Pie (done the egg custard, not the Karo Syrup, way)
11) The daughter's homemade Pumpkin Pie.
12) Double Vanilla ice cream to deposit on #11 & #12.

Wines of various colors and countries of origin. We'll start out, of course, with a stampulj of palette clearing homemade rakija. I'm sure there'll be a salad tucked in there somewhere for token nutritional purposes. A notice that there will be no one asking you if you want some personally ground black pepper. It'll be a DIY type of seasoning thing. But be carefully how you season! The cook will be personally insulted if you do anything more than a simple shake. Remember! He is armed with thermometers and is inclined to be using them.

Things will end with sherry, 12 Yr single malt, or port, if Remembrances of Things Past need some oiling.

Hope this helps,


As is usual, thoughts of the great gatherings in the past are fueling the worries of the gatherings to be. Good worries, though! This crowd is, if anything, forgiving of the foibles of humans and holidays and quite interested in garnering memorable stories, regardless of the levels of embarrassment. And aren't memories the most pleasurable gifts; so portable and so easy to roll out.

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I'm wondering if you mightn't be able to send me a care package with a slice of that delectable pie (ice cream optional)?
No fluffy pink marshmallow Jello fruit cocktail salad? No syrupy yams with marshmallow meringue? No green bean/cream of mushroom soup casserole? Oy. Pass the rakija please. And the thermometer.

Bonus points for leaving out the vegetables though! ;-)
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