My boss gave us a half day off on Wednesday, which worked out perfectly for the Thanksgiving meal prep. I figured I’d knock out all of the side dishes on Wednesday so I could have a relaxing Thanksgiving that focused on socializing instead of cooking (no one likes a martyr). As I was halfway into the first dish, the kitchen sink decided that it was not interested in draining anymore. We took apart the plumbing under the sink in hopes that maybe that was where the problem was. Nope. James picked up a drain snake at the hardware store and tried that. A.) disgusting and B.) nope. We had to call a plumber (John Moore Services) to come on Thanksgiving morning. In the interim, I had cooking to do. So we set up a big orange bucket under the sink that we dumped in the backyard when full. Klassy. But it worked, so what the hell.
The appointment was supposed to be between 8 and 11AM, which would work out perfectly as far as getting the meal on. The guy showed up at 10 and was gone by 10:30, leaving behind a functioning kitchen sink and only setting us back $70. Whew. A word of warning (which perhaps everyone but me already knows): don’t put potato peelings down the disposal. Evidently the starch gets all bloated and shit in the drain and can effectively block the outflow. It was an expensive lesson to learn, and I’ll never forget it.
Another lesson I learned: you don’t have to cook a turkey to have a good Thanksgiving meal. We had a small group this year, so instead of messing with the drama that is roasting a turkey, I opted to buy a roasted turkey breast from Honeybaked Ham. It was glazed, pre-sliced and a great accompanyment to the side dishes (which are the best part of the meal, as far as I’m concerned). I don’t know that I’ll ever go back to roasting a turkey. Having to reach inside and yank the guts out, washing the thing, putting it in the oven at 5 in the morning, keeping a constant eye on the temperature…screw that. I’d rather hang out with the family and whoop it up. Also new this year was the dressing recipe. Tamale cornbread dressing. I used my own cornbread recipe and left out the cup of corn kernels but otherwise followed her recipe. It was a delicious, spicy side that nicely complemented creamy/garlicy mashed potatoes, haricot vert with shallots and cranberry sauce.
I’m grateful for this four-day weekend spent at home with James and the dogs. The weather is great, the food is delicious, the beaujolais nouveau is a delight, the house is clean, the candles are burning, there’s no schedule to keep. Life is good. I give thanks. I hope you’re having an equally nice holiday and are avoiding the pepper spraying throngs desperate to save money on plastic things made in China.