Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the time we ate Thanksgiving dinner at 8 pm

This story takes place on Thanksgiving Day about 15 years ago (give or take year). I was still married, as were the couple in this story.

My ex has been in the food business for nearly 40 years, since he was a teenager. he went from busboy to cook to waiter to restaurant manager to restaurant owner to food service director at various nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The man knows his way around the kitchen.

This particular Thanksgiving, Greg's brother was hosting the family dinner. They were expecting approximately 20 people for dinner. Greg offered to come over early and give them a hand. This was something he often did. He could make sure everything got finished on time and generally got the food on the table hot.

The plan was that dinner would be served at 4 pm. We arrived around 1:30 pm. We walk into the kitchen (which was tiny tiny tiny!), and what do we see? The TURKEY, sitting on the kitchen sink RAW!!!! And nothing else has been started either. No stuffing, no potatoes peeled, nothing. We just look in shock! Greg asks, "WHY is the turkey not in the oven??" "OH! We were waiting for you!" UH-oh!

Greg told them the turkey should have been put in the oven at 8 am and it will never be finished on time! So Greg gets moving. He cuts the turkey up, breasts, thighs, legs, wings. While he's doing that, I think I was cutting up veggies for the stuffing and trying to get that ready. He gets a roasting pan, and puts all the stuffing in the roasting pan, then places the pieces of turkey on top of the stuffing, covers with foil and gets it in the oven.  (By the way, this is a good tip if you have a really big turkey or even 2 turkeys to cook.  They fit side by side in the oven)

I'm not sure what his brother and sister-in-law were doing, if they were helping or in the other room, watching the football game. I honestly can't remember. I like to think they were a least lending a hand.

I don't think we actually ate at 8 pm, but it might have been 6 pm, a good 2 hours past the scheduled time. We probably had a lot of hors d'oevres to serve in the meantime. I think it was a long time before they offered to host a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner again.


Martha in PA said...

I always loved Thanksgiving Day when the turkey was in the roaster (that was in the basement for some reason... a REALLY big thing - this was the 60s), by 8am and the house smelled like turkey roasting all day long! We are going to my nephews, but I'm going to cook a small turkey too!!!

Vodka Mom said...

omg, I bet that was a LONG DAMN DAY.

Matty said...

As a kid, I can remember my mom putting the turkey in the oven at night and letting it cook all night long. What an aroma. It filled the entire house.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Wow, very impressed with your ex's skills!

The Retired One said...

I bet they were turkey virgins.
It reminds me of the time that we had my parents over for the first time when we first TG. I was so proud..the bird looked juicy and brown...we sat down to eat and when I scooped out the dressing...out came the bag of innards that I forgot to remove when we stuffed the bird..ICK! ha
Needless to say,no one ate much stuffing...but the turkey meat was still good. ha

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I didn't mean to make you cry!! I'm sorry!!! :)

Forgive me???


Anonymous said...

I don't have the patience for holidays. Never did. Given my grumpy personality, I wouldn't have thought of saving their asses, I would have suggested BURGER KING.

Joanne said...

At least it wasn't frozen. Turkey virgins -- ha ha. My SIL has the same credentials and just produced a book called "I Can Cook Turkey Dinner" - pretty much step by step.

Even at my age I need something like this.

Alix said...

Oh Joanie, I have a Thanksgiving horror story too.

When Larry and I were first married we hosted Thanksgiving at our house but decided to forego traditional turkey in favor of a succulent pork roast. Big mistake. As soon as I unwrapped the roast to prep it for the oven, it reeked the most horrible putrid smell... classic spoiled pork. When pork spoils, it doesn't discolor (at least right away), so I had no idea. The sell by date was still five days in the future. No doubt about it, though... I had a bad piece of meat and it was Thanksgiving morning, so all the grocery stores were closed. We got on the phone and started calling everywhere to see if we could buy a turkey dinner in bulk. The Marriott Sawgrass was having a Thanksgiving Buffet and graciously sold us pounds and pounds of turkey and all the trimmings. AND cheap. We couldn't believe our good fortune. We were sweating dinner bigtime with guests due to arrive in a couple of hours, but because the Marriott rescued us, we not only saved face, but had a great story to tell over dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving doll. I love you.

S3XinthePantry said...

It probably would have been easier to invite their 20 guests to YOUR HOUSE!

otin said...

six would have not been too bad. eight would have gotten me a little upset!

Joanie M said...

Martha and Matty, Oh I loved waking up to the smell of roasting turkey!

Vodkamom, yeah it was. I was supposed to be relaxing and there I was, put to work!

Maureen, yeah, Greg actually taught me to cook.

Joan (Retired One), I think it was their first time cooking a turkey. They had no idea it was supposed to take all day to cook. I think leaving the bag with the gizzards, giblets and neck is fairly common.

Joanne, I do it the easy way. I get my ass invited to other folks homes. I just need to bring 2 heads of bibb lettuce and a bottle of wine.

Alix, I never would have thought to call a hotel to see if they could help you out! I hope you frequented their establishment after that! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours also Alix and I do love you too!

Lynn (S3xinthepantry) Thanks for stopping by my blog! yeah, it probably would have been easier but it wasn't our turn! I shudder to think what would have happened if Greg didn't offer to come early and "help".

Otin, but the plan was to eat at 4 pm!!! Everyone started arriving around 2!

Hallie, Of course I forgive you! Tomorrow you'll probably have me lauging my ass of! I'll keep your soldier son in my prayers.

Dana, you might be grumpy but you're also hysterical!

Kelly's Ideas said...

Love to you

Joanna Jenkins said...

By 4pm, my family would have done a burger run :-)
Hoping your Thanksgiving is great this year!