Thursday, November 23, 2006

Countdown To Thanksgiving Dinner II (Yep, Still Cooking, Still Updating)

[Posted by reader_iam]

(Continued from here.)

7:50 a.m., central

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! It's going to be a temperate, pretty day here in Southeast Iowa, and if things go all right, maybe we can even squeeze in a walk.

I stumbled downstairs to be met with this greeting: "I am grateful for my mom and my dad and my dogs, NUMBER ONE! I am thankful for my family and my pets. That includes you, Mom."

Heh. For a moment there, I thought my son was confused as to which category I belonged in--my expression must have been priceless. Laughing hugs all around.

I Am Thankful for a sense of humor. And my espresso machine. I'll stop back in a bit.


9:10 a.m.

And two of the three of us are already in tears. Because of this:

"Well, Mr. Cawley [?], a lot of turkeys don't make it through Thanksgiving."

I must interject here--not a single fowl will meet a foul end at our house today. There'll be plenty of excess, but of the meat-free type. (I'm sure someone will share some leftover turkey with me, the omnivore, post-holiday.)

Back to that video: I watched very little television during the time that WKRP in Cincinnati graced the airwaves, but that was a show I tried hard not to miss (even though for most of the time period, I didn't actually "live" with a television). I saw this episode when it first aired, and I must say that it was the first time I ever peed over a television show. (Wait, that's gross--and not what I meant. Let's try this again.) I saw this episode when it first aired, and it was the first time I laughed so hard over a television episode that I almost had an accident. (M-u-u-u-ch better.) Oh, I loved that series, and especially that episode.

If you haven't seen this, please stick with the part in the middle which, if you didn't see the whole show at the time or know the end, you might think is slow. Patience Is A Virtue. (Even I had forgotten the priceless Hitchcock reference... .)

Anyway, a BIG thanks to Ruth Anne, the Maternal Optimist, for providing the YouTube link, which I saw when I went to check in on some blogfriends, for whom I Am Thankful.

Some more links to others in a bit ... I am now at the last possible minute to start one particular dish which I've decided to make via crockpot today (yes, folks, I'm cheating a lot this year). Back in just a few ... .


9:33 a.m.

An announcer during an outcue to a commercial break in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade just excitedly informed us about upcoming highlights!--Barry Manilow, John Hall and Daryl Oates! Be still my ears!


(I do love that parade, I'm perpetually 3 that way, and so there. Love the production numbers by true theatre people, with real voices and actual talent. Reminds me how pathetic so much of what passes for "performance" today really is. Is that snobby? So shoot me. Remember my background... .)


10:25 a.m.

Lest you think I have been shirking preparations for this evening's dinner, I hasten to reassure you that things are moving apace. The pecans are roasting for the sweet potato yam sweet potato yam whatever!--dish, which is already cooking away. (More about the yam/sweet potato thing later). Anyway, as soon as the pecans are done, I can turn up the oven in preparation for baking the pie, which is ready to go in. I've already sauteed and seasoned the mushrooms earmarked for a green bean casserole. Other items are in various stages of prep or pre-assembly, but I'll spare you most of the gory details. Time for a cleanup break...soon.

First, I want to note that there are bloggers out there who actually wrote some substantive pieces in honor of Thanksgiving Day, in contrast to my own inane approach. SippicanCottage urges less complaining and more gratitude. The editor of Webloggin has some nice thoughts about his or her memories of Thanksgivings past and his hope for his children, and in the future. Pastor Jeff weighs in with some history and prayers, and Mark Daniels approaches the holiday in different ways, over a series of posts. Taylor Marsh offers thanks for the soldiers mixed with...well, read it for yourself.

On lighter notes: forever-digital is celebrating the freedom to freely listen to Christmas music (I'm with her; maybe more about that later) and lists some of the things that make her grateful. Over at Blue Crab Boulevard, Gaius--who will be feasting on pizza today, his celebration being deferred to Saturday--informs us that wild turkeys attempted to flee New Jersey by train yesterday. I wonder if they've heard of that WKRP episode?

Finally, over at Althouse, Ann is serving up Thanksgiving Fish and the traditional Thanksgiving Squirrel.

Whew! I Am Thankful that I remembered to rescue the roasting pecans amidst all of that.

Now, time to get the pie in the oven.



A Macy's Thanksgiving Day emcee tells us that clogging for one-half hour is equivalent to jogging seven miles!

I relay this to my husband.

"Huh?" [Startled, then skeptical, look, accompanied by a guffaw--yes, DH is one of those people who actually "guffaw," a rare thing, really.]

I repeat it.

"I thought you said blogging." [Guffaws continue.] "I was going to ask, what silly computer junkie geek came up with that rationalization."

A real wiseacre, that one. I Am Thankful for him.


11:40 a.m.

At last! Barry Manilow is highlighted during the parade! Singing "What the World Needs Now," natch. Can Hall & Oates be far away?


12 noon

Oops! Holiday mishap #1. I sort of cracked the top crust of the pie as I was maneuvering it out of the oven.

I Am Thankful for whipped cream. (The "real" kind, of course. Which reminds me...I'd better get a metal bowl into the freezer. See, sometimes clouds really DO have silver linings. Heh.)


12:33 p.m.

TPMmuckraker blows the lid off the presidential turkey-pardoning scam. Can vegetables be far behind? Extreme Mortman says the choice of turkeys to pardon was a strictly political, partisan one. A former Christian Science Monitor editor posts his annual "be thankful for" column (#1 is my favorite, though it's a close call).

The Thanksgiving-related links keep dripping in over at Memeorandum, which, bless its heart, is busily staying on top of some serious things happening in the world for which no one can be thankful.

I Pray For Lebanon.

(See Rick Moran's place, where ongoing updates are being posted, and also Michael J. Totten posts from yesterday.)


2:14 p.m.

Most of the side dishes are done (or as done as they can be until the last minute reheats, additions, browning, topping or whatever). I won't do the mashed potatoes until the next-to-last minute, because I like them pretty much straight to the table, so that will have to be done near the end, while the Harvest Vegetable Pie is cooking (the layering and stacking of which in phyllo is looming). At the very last minute, I'll ignite the spiced stewed apples, for effect.

Next up: Clearing the "flat vertical horizontal space" in the dining room so that it becomes a full dining room table again, setting out all the china, and laying out the "pickled and brined things" tray, along with the cheeseboard and assorted fruit, etc. Then I'll nab a quick shower, assemble the pie and throw it in the oven, finish everything else and do the potatoes.

That'll pretty much keep me dancing for the next couple hours as things rev up around here. And revved up I am: I've decided to need to have just a "touch" of Tia Maria, to take off the edge from all that espresso I've been knocking back today.

(By the way, I Am Thankful for one of my very closest friends in all the world, who shall remain nameless, with whom sharing a Tia Maria toast [via "long distance," for the past decade] every Christmas Eve is one of the great traditions and blessings of my life for 20 years. If you check in from Philadelphia--or some far flung place around this vast wide world--I'm tilting an early one in your direction, dear.)

Before I start on the almost home-stretch, I also want say that I Am Thankful that Amba's feeling cheerier and also thankful for her commenters, but if I may so, WE are the fortunate ones (thankful, too).

I Am Thankful also for some long-time blogfriends (from before I came to Done With Mirrors) who didn't have Thanksgiving posts to link to, but to whom I want to send holiday wishes anyway: Icepick (I'll try to get to that meme post of yours), XWL,
Bill and Pooh, who's so busy with his new job that he's scarce around the blogosphere, though you can sometimes find him at Kakistocrats.

Most of all, of course, I Am Thankful for my family--and their endless tolerance of my eccentric ways** (who cooks Thanksgiving dinner essentially with a laptop on the counter???)--and my friends. My cup truly runneth over.

Thanks to Cal and our readers, as well: Here's wishing everyone out there the best Thanksgiving possible.

Finally, God Bless America, which provides us with so much freedom and opportunity for which to be thankful.

Gotta dash and dance ... if I can still move, later, I'll check back in.

(**Well, there are worse eccentricities than semi-liveblogging Thanksgiving--such as marking the spirit of the holiday with this "prayer"; I Am Thankful that hate hasn't twisted me.)