Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time out for a Thanksgiving meltdown

Never let it be said this is a blog devoted to depicting an unrealistic depiction of a perfect life. We now take a break from the Thanksgiving countdown to bring you . . . a Thanksgiving MELTDOWN.

The Symptoms

I wake in the middle of the night and worry: What if my turkey sucks? What if I forget some key ingredient? What if I leave one of my dishes or appetizers in the refrigerator and forget to ever bring it out? (This happened to my mom once.) What if people start flinging ambrosia at me?

I continue in my wakened state to do stupid things like count silverware in my head.

I obsess over the fact that in my Thanksgiving countdown, the numbers of the posts are going UP! Isn't this sort of a logical problem?

I focus exclusively on what I have NOT done. Let's run through that list:
Made my pie crusts. This is an obvious do-ahead, but I've just run out of gas every night. I'll probably end up cranking them out as I bake my pies tomorrow afternoon.

Ironed table linens. This is huge. They have been laundered for a week and just sitting there. Gaaahhhhhh!!!!

Thought about my centerpieces. I know—what kind of hostess am I?????

Cleaned the house. My house cleaner comes Wednesday morning, but she doesn't deal with the miles of piles, which are my main problem. We might have to resort to the strategy I used when I hosted a friend's wedding: Everything in the closets! At least Sophie is old enough now that I can coach her not to tell anyone who remarks on how nice the house looks "Just do not open any of the closets!!"
I know, I know. What an idiot I am. I should get a friggin' life already. It is, after all, just a dinner. Right. OK.

So back to the version of my life where I have it all together. Presenting . . .

The Menu!

sliced baguettes w/ duck rillettes & cornichon
pita chips with smoked trout pate & basil leaf
goat cheese phyllo tarts
baby carrots
green onions
radishes with butter and salt
stuffed mushrooms (Jim's bringing)

roast turkey and gravy
sausage chantrelle stuffing
buttermilk mashed potatoes
whole cranberry sauce
spicy cranberry relish (Lisa's bringing)
smoked salmon (Jim's bringing)
corn pudding
sauteed fennel with white wine and parmesan
sauteed green beans (Matt's bringing)

apple crumb pie
pumpkin pie
bourbon-pecan tart
sweetened vanilla whipped cream

The Bright Spots in All of This

This is my favorite new prepared food item. It is truly the bomb. I like the idea of pate but eschew all organ meats solely on the yuck factor. This is made with just duck breast, duck skin, and duck fat and has a rich roasted duck taste. Sophie would probably eat the entire jar if I would let her. Once I am past the holidays, I want to learn to make my own, but until then I am ridiculously happy with this. You can order it from amazon.com.

These pretty organic miniature colored carrots. If we can't have fall-colored leaves in California, at least we can have fall-colored carrots.

These beautiful yellow chantrelles. This time of year we usually have the standard orange chantrelles, but these yellow ones are a nice change and will enliven my stuffing.

But the real bright spots will be my guests who share my Thanksgiving with me on Thursday.

I Think It's All Going To Be OK


Purple Flowers said...

I always come back to your blog time and time again to get a chuckle. And you never fail to produce it. Happy Thanksgiving to you, family and friends! :)

Kate said...

I'd say it's all going to be OK - it looks positively wonderful! I love that you really know how to celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving!

Elizabeth said...

All sound delicious (except the ambrosia). I've been reading your blog for a while and decided to stop being a stalker. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!