Over the years I have cooked in spurts and bouts like some people exercise and diet. Ha! I'm like a Weekend Warrior of Cooking - do it like crazy, then Monday morning wake up sore all over. And I blame Thanksgiving.
It happened the first year I was married when I decided to make a big Thanksgiving dinner for friends. It wasn't Thanksgiving Day, but just before so we could celebrate our small running groups' friendship. I slaved over turkey, dressing, gravy and string beans. I also made a pumpkin pie using my mother's amazing pie crust recipe. Mike added his mash potatoes, for which he is famous. The amount of work was staggering, but I was excited.
Finally when the six of us were seated around the dining table, Mike carved the turkey. With the first slice he got a strange look on his face. "Mmm, looks great, honey," he said, with the sort of false smile of a man who doesn't want to disappoint his new wife.
Soon plates were served, and my husband and good friends tried their hardest to eat what I had to admit (though reluctantly) was an inedible meal. The turkey was well on its way to being turkey jerky. The green beans were still crunchy, the gravy filled with lumps, the dressing like saw dust. I chewed and chewed and attempted a fake, completely-in-denial smile while our good friends pushed their food around their plates. Though let me just say, they were scarfing up mashed potatoes like there was no tomorrow. But finally my disappointment (and maybe even my pride) took a back seat and I said, "If I'm not going to starve to death, you better pass me the potatoes."
Everyone's eyes went wide, then they burst out laughing like an audience at a play. After that we had a good laugh and fought over the last bites of mash potatoes. But let me just say, despite the disastrous main course and my husband's fabulous potatoes, my pie was perfect.
During this Thanksgiving Season, I feel thankful that I have such lovely friends and family, in person and here on this home I have found on the Internet! I'm also thankful for someone other than me cooking Thanksgiving dinner.