Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ah, the F*cking Holidays

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind the holidays to a certain extent. Past that threshold though I am decidedly un-festive.

Part of the reason for a "festive threshold" is the amount of time I get to "enjoy" with my children. They have the whole week off for Thanksgiving along with two full weeks for Christmas. It tends to be a lot of kid time for me. It goes better if there are activities, but I am not one to plan so far ahead so I get stuck and the kids end up at home with me doing nothing. This time was a little better.

The first weekend F had a birthday party to attend. We got his friend the requisite Lego kit as a present and then we had F make a birthday card. F claims his favorite subject in school is art - I don't believe it. I also don't think he has a future writing for Hallmark.

Thanksgiving is always a "festive" start to the holiday season. We have been hosting since we were first married so he have the whole show pretty well down and we don't deviate much from the script. (Mostly we stay to script because change tends to make A a little "nervous.")

This year was pretty uneventful, except for the one brief blow-up by me and the subsequent silent treatment from A (a marked improvement from past years.)

The table looked much better than last year.

Last year.

This year. (Great job, honey.)

This year I convinced A that we should do the turkey on the grill. Last year, when we had two turkeys we did one in the oven and one on the grill. People really liked the grilled turkey and I like to do stuff on the grill so hey, why not again this year?

I prepared the bird by stuffing with onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, carrots and apples. Then, the piece de resistance, I took Nueske's bacon and shoved six strips under the skin on the breasts and laid a few more strips on each of the legs. While watching Martha Stewart (who generally I abhor) on the Today show on Wednesday, she provided a wonderful tip - take cheese clothe and soak it in two sticks of melted butter and a bottle of white wine, then lay it like a blanket over the turkey covering the whole bird - no need to baste. It worked like a charm. You take it off for the last hour of cooking and the turkey turns a golden brown.

I set the coals up for indirect heat and put a pan of water and some of the leftover turkey stuffings in the middle.

Kingsford makes this awesome Hickory charcoal that gives it a wonderful flavor.

While the turkey was cooking away people were arriving. My aunt comes and always brings this great pheasant dip.

Each year she claims it's made with a different type of bird. This year it was allegedly made with Ivory Billed Woodpecker. Apparently, Ivory Billed Woodpecker is kind of spicy and really good.

After a little over four hours on the grill the thermometer hit 180 degrees and we were done. RIGHT. ON. TIME! I am very proud.

How beautiful is that!?

And then right before I carved it.

Then, after the carving was done.

And, on the platter.

F said a little prayer he wrote in school.

The kids were exiled to the kitchen table.

And then we ate. (No pictures - you don't want to see my family cramming food down their gullets and I didn't want to put down my fork to grab the camera.)

On Friday we went over to my sister's house for dinner. No one wanted leftovers so we opted for Chinese food. I, again, ate my rapidly increasing body weight in lo-mein and sesame chicken. At the end of the meal we cracked open the requisite fortune cookies. This was mine.

How incredibly accurate. (And it's even better if you add "in bed" after it.)


MM said...

Try fried turkey next year. We always gave one fried and one smoked. The smoked one is actually better, buy the fried is s lot more fun to do.

t-odd said...

I have to say, I am a little disappointed in this post. It's not even mildly humorous. I had higher expectations, but I think I got bogged down in photos. It will serve as a good review for next year, I guess.

cat. said...

*i'm* disappointed that you don't put stuffing inside the turkey.
it's called STUFFING.

Molly said...

No photos of stuffing and pie (aka the best parts of Thanksgiving)???? The bird is just the enabling dish to allow you to eat the rest of it!

Charisa said...

I like the photos. So there is really woodpecker (as in the bird??) in your dip? That is simply amazing. how does one even get a woodpecker to make the dip? nice fortune by the way - very fitting.

Beth said...

Your fortune is humorous enough! HAHA!! :) Very impressed with your skills in the kitchen/on the grill by the way. Geez. Can you teach me something please? ;)

rr said...

you ARE martha stewart. That bird looks freaking awesome, I'm coming next year and bringing Sky so she and Finn can put their little heads together and make us sweet christmas cards.

D said...

Why do people keep putting *'s in the best words?

Meg Runs said...

There is NOTHING wrong with the silent treatment! I'm easily amused and I LOVED this post, the pictures are hilarious but I especially love the heart-felt birthday card...

Question Authority. said...

Oh, you and your Normal Rockwell family. Give me a break.

jk. Sorta.