Saturday, November 29, 2008

after the eating

The most glorious thing about having Thanksgiving at my house is the actual state of my house. The floors are all clean, the laundry room is neat, the granite in the kitchen is polished to a high sheen, and there are even tablecloths on both my tables. There is no dust, grit or grime to be found. Even the children's bathroom is still in a state where I will use it in a pinch. That, my friends, is saying something.

Last Sunday, I made a big meal for my side of the family. And I do mean big. There are five of us, plus my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend. I roasted a 17 pound turkey, made stuffing, three side dishes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and two pies. I worked for two days. Due to unforeseen circumstances, my brother and his girlfriend did not attend. I managed to not kill my mother. I was quite proud of myself. We had enough leftovers to feed a small army. The children happily ate leftover turkey, dressing and such for two or three days.

On Wednesday, the older two kids left for San Antonio, and I started cooking again, this time for hubby's family. I scaled the turkey down to twelve pounds, made a wonderful dressing with roasted garlic and mushrooms, changed the sides up to suit his family, and left off the baking, since hubby's mother brought lovely Marie Callendar's pies. I served it all with a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling and two bottles of Georges DuBoeuf's Beaujolais nouveau. Talk about wonderful. I fell into a pleasant stupor from the combination of turkey and wine. We watched Dirty Jobs, stared at Mike Rowe (well, we girls, anyway) and laughed a lot, then watched the Cowboys play the Seahawks. My lovely MIL cares nothing for football and was quite annoyed that we chose to watch the game. SIL and her husband are Seattle fans, while hubby and I and our nephew all pull for the Cowboys. Obviously, half of us were very happy campers when the Cowboys ran away with the game.

After everyone left and the leftovers were safely stowed in the garage fridge, hubby and I opted for naps. He woke up sick. I mean sick. I spent the last two nights sleeping in middle son's bedroom to avoid the plague. At least I think that's what he's got, based on the sheer amount of whining, moaning, and pleading coming from my bedroom. Of course, this raging sickness has given me the perfect excuse to avoid shopping for anything at all during the nuttiest shopping days of the year!

I have learned several things from this experience:

Number one: always, always offer to cook for Thanksgiving. No travel and a sparkling clean house are included.

Number two: middle son's bedroom is actually quite nice, and his bed is incredibly comfortable.

Number three: sleeping alone is preferable to sleeping with a sick, whiny, snoring man. I actually slept through the night, in the perfect temperature, without waking once because of snoring or a big hand being draped over my chest. I even read in bed until I fell asleep without once hearing, "What time is it? Aren't you sleepy?"

Number four: always, always offer to cook for Thanksgiving, because of leftovers. I haven't cooked for two days!

The dogs and the cats have been in hog heaven, too. Turkey! Stock poured over their kibble! Strange, wonderful people to scratch their ears and their bellies. Sleeping in middle son's bed with the mama! Who could ask for more?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and avoided all of the stores on Black Friday. Now I plan to sit right here on my sofa and pretend that Christmas is still more than a month away. I think I can get away with it until at least December 12th. But when our lovely daughter's birthday is over, I'll probably have to face up to reality and start decorating and shopping like the rest of the free world. Bah, humbug.


laurie said...

ps i LOVE leftover turkey so much that i am thinking of roasting a small turkey for doug and me later on this month.

and i won't even have to clean my house to do it!

laurie said...

you are hilarious. hilarious, i say! always volunteer to cook because then your house will magically be clean and you'll have leftovers???

did i ever tell you about the time i cooked thanksgiving dinner? some day i will. in the meantime, i will happily be a guest at someone else's clean house.

by the way, chateau ste. michelle gewurtzaminer is even better with turkey than their reisling--less sweet. try it with your leftovers, you martha stewart, you.

Babaloo said...

That sounds absolutely wonderful, Kaycie! Apart from the cleaning involved to get your house into such a lovely, clean state. You cleverly withheld that from us, didn't you! ;-)

I'm getting out the decorations tomorrow! :-)

Kim said...

Well, Babaloo, I have a small army of children to help me with the cleaning, so it's not so bad. Take my advice; stay away from those decorations!

Yes, Laurie, it's magic. Magic!! Since I read about your laundry escapades, I think you should probably stay away from the stove. The stove can actually hurt you. The thing about the riesling is that I actually like the sweet, especially with turkey. But I'll try the gewurtzaminer. We visited Chateau Ste. Michelle and did a tour and wine tasting, but I don't remember much. Too many wines.

Jennifer said...

Amen to all that!! I slept in middle daughter's bedroom last night and she definitely has the comfiest bed in the house!!! My house is also very clean, so much so that I am entertaining for college football this afternoon!

elizabethm said...

Well that sounds such a good holiday I think I will invite myself next year!
I am with you on the clean house front. I have just had a visit from a friend who is the original domestic goddess. I have never worked so hard as I did before she came but now she has gone it is still clean as clean and I love it! Not enough to do it all the time obviously.

willowtree said...

I agree with you about the whole clean house deal, nothing like visitors to ensure cleanliness.

PS. Marie Callender pies are my favourite!

Trixie Twatwaffle said...

You had two thanksgivings??? mmmm... that's a lot of turkey. Yummy.

And all the wine? Yummier. Can't wait till I can enjoy it again.

Oh - and please share this whole magically clean house thing. Hubby and I busted our "tushies" to get just our downstairs respectable for our guests.

-Ann said...

Sounds like two lovely days. I love the idea of a small army of children cleaners. I picture them with dustbusters in holsters and cleaning products strapped in bandoliers on their chests. It amuses me immensely.

Faye said...

My best friend left her husband and three dogs in their marital bed and moved into the spare bedroom to escape the snoring and have a little space. One of the dogs died and she was so concerned that hubby would invite her back. She too loved reading late at night, no snoring and plenty of room to stretch out.

Your strategy is the perfect one, Kaycie--stay put and cook and then enjoy all the benefits when company leaves. BTW, I'm having Mrs. C's dutch apple and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for breakfast in the morning. Yum!

Enjoy the calm before the Christmas storm.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I can taste your turkey dinner from here! Don't the dogs just love the smell of turkey as it roasts away.

CJ xx

Pamela said...

I can't take the snoring and restless leg. I need my sleep. How does a man sleep through all that?

My extended family was so big --that cooking used to be an institutional event.

My house would soon be a tragedy, too.

Now that my mom has passed -- the holidays seem to have gravitated to each of our own families. (There were 8 of us kids!)

Kim said...

Welcome, Jennifer! I had never slept anywhere but with hubby, other than the occasional business trip, since March, 1997. I may have to kick that kid out of his bed the next time hubby is sick. I couldn't believe how much better I slept!

Elizabeth, if you're ever in Oklahoma, I will roast a turkey just for you. I'll just need a day or two's notice, mainly because, like you, I love the really clean house, but not enough to keep it this clean all the time.

Some of these particular visitors had not yet seen my new house or some of the furniture we've acquired since moving, so I was doubly motivated. WT, are there Marie Callendar's restaurants in Australia, or did you have those stateside?

Margaret, I'm so glad you stopped by? The magic comes from my offspring. It's nice to have people who are subservient to you and trapped in your home! Just wait a decade or so and you'll know just what I mean!

That's hilarious, Ann! I wish I could get them to be that organized. Everything they do takes twice as long as it'd take me to do it . . . but, since there are three of them, in the end they're worth about an adult-and-a-half.

That sounds yummy, Faye, though I can't say I'd want it for breakfast. My mother sneaks into the guest room to sleep on occasion and I always made fun of her and told her that she and Daddy are old. I don't suppose I'll say that to her anymore!

It was yummy, Crystal. The dogs can hardly stand it when I get the turkey out, even the cold leftovers. I think they can smell turkey a mile away.

I would like to have seen those cooking sessions, Pamela. I bet they were impressive. My father had three siblings, and the get togethers at his mother's house when I was a child were unbelievable!

Cait O'Connor said...

That was such a good read and very funny! I do sympathise with your husband's sickness though as I have just had a bug too.
I agree with you about the clean house/leftovers etc.
Your food and drink sounded very tasty.

willowtree said...

Sadly there are no Marie C's here. We don't do pies in Oz, it the one thing that I don't like about Australia... I love pies.

Carolyn said...

All sounds deeeee-licious. Wish I could have been there. Sadly, our Thanksgiving is a distant memory, since us crazy canucks celebrate it much earlier than you do. I won't have my next award-winning turkey dinner until Christmas. 22 days to go and counting. Sniff.

ped crossing said...

The joys of a clean house, if only it wasn't so much work to get there.

I have been rejoicing that I didn't have to cook and clean. But it was also the end of the trimester and I was otherwise occupied grading papers.