What runs through your mind when you read a social media post that says “Happy Thanksgiving!! I’m sooooo thankful for my wonderful family, my blessed life and waking up every beautiful morning!” When I read those touching statements last night, I was thinking “LIAR!!!!!” Family who probably never had to help, my blessed life being a dumbass and running around last minute because of said dumbassness while cleaning up a water leak and waking up this morning feeling like I’m 100 goddamn years old because I spent eight solid hours getting dinner ready.
I admit, I’ve made posts throughout the year when my family has had dinner and wine ready and on the table when I get home from work or when my daughter brought me flowers at work because both examples were sweet and thoughtful and deserved acknowledgement. Hopefully, it also encourages the behavior to be repeated. Mama didn’t raise no fool.
Some Thanksgivings have been relaxing and wonderful. They were the ones where we’ve been invited to someone else’s house or my family wasn’t working and home to help with the dinner. This year, reading those happy, sappy, sweet Thanksgiving greetings made me roll my eyes because it hurt too much to extend my middle finger.
Our family dinner included just our family of four, which I enjoy the most. Unfortunately, everyone was working from 6 am to 6 pm except for moi. Let’s go back to where the blessed event all began…
Saturday afternoon I headed to the grocery store to pick up all the turkey dinner fixings. I had a turkey thawing so it should’ve been a stress free trip. The store was busy with all the other procrastinators but it was kinda nice being the only one not rushing through the store in a panic. Until the baking aisle. No canned pumpkin. No canned pumpkin pie filling, either. What in the fuck!!!! I should’ve remembered this from every other fucking Thanksgiving and Christmas that I’ve scrambled to multiple stores to find it the day before I’m supposed to make a pie. Now, I’m calling myself a dumbass and rushing around the store like every other person while hoping to find an end shelf with a display of canned pumpkin. Nope, nope, fucking nope. I really didn’t want to go to another store. Then I spotted the real pumpkins. Huh. My husband’s favorite pie is pumpkin. I’ve made fresh pumpkin pies before but it’d been a looooong ass time. I decided I’d make a fresh pumpkin pie and make my husband’s love for me grow even more. So I happily grabbed a fairly large pumpkin, Crisco and the rest of my dinner ingredients and paid.
I made the stuffing that night so I could be ahead of the game. I’d have a lot of time the next day while the turkey cooked to get the pies ready. Right? W.R.O.N.G.
It was a medium turkey so I relaxed in bed and read later than usual. I got up, grabbed a coffee and came home. Stuffed the turkey and got it into the oven. Then I googled how to cook the pumpkin. Bake it. Easy peasy. I cut it into slices because it was too big to halve and put in the top oven. I scooped out the innards and put them in a bowl so I could clean the seeds for roasting later because my family loves them. While the pumpkin baked, I looked up the recipe for the pie filling. Oops, I totally forgot that it’s not just pumpkin. I needed condensed milk, spices, brown sugar and eggs. I knew I had spices because I’ve made it before. I started digging through both my spice cupboards and then had to find MY ladder because someone stole it and took it to the shop….asshole. I have my own ladder because a) I can’t see or reach the top shelf of my cupboards and b) so that everyone knows it’s mine and doesn’t steal it. So after wasting precious time looking for MY ladder, I frantically searched for the spices and found only the cloves.
So, off I head to the store. Actually, two stores because the first one was out of condensed milk. No biggie. I had an hour until the pumpkin was cooked. The second store had everything I needed and I was at the point where I said fuck it, and just bought a tin of pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice.
I got home, scraped the cooked pumpkin off of the skin and mixed up the filling. I made the pie crust and put it in the fridge before rolling. While the crust was chilling, I peeled potatoes and got them boiling. Then I remembered I had to clean and steam the brussel sprouts.
All of a sudden, I noticed that I was standing on a soggy anti-fatigue mat. Guess what? The hose on my sprayer tap came loose so every time I turned the water on, it also leaked under the sink and the mat was soaking up the water pouring out from underneath the cupboard door. Those mats sure are absorbent. I phoned my husband, who should’ve known to randomly check that it was functioning properly, and asked how he fixed it the last time it happened. I tightened the connection by the spray nozzle thingy, looked at the clock and threw some towels down in front of the cupboard and left the mess for later because I was running out of time.
I got out the dough and rolled it out. As per usual, the dough didn’t roll without cracking and sticking to the roller in strips so I had to Frankenstein those bitches together in the plate. I poured in the filling and got them in the oven to bake.
I checked the brussel sprouts and remembered I had to make cheese sauce for them. I looked over and spotted the bowl of pumpkin innards and seeds and thought, “Fuck all y’all” and dumped those fuckers in the trash and hid them under a plastic bag so my family wouldn’t see them and question my devotion.
So, shortly after that my family arrived home from work. I’m pretty sure the high-pitched, panicky tone of my voice alerted them to the fact that if I had to ask for help, someone wouldn’t be seeing the next beautiful morning. My oldest started shredding cheese and making the sauce. My husband was setting the table and poured me pre-dinner wine…which after inhaling that glass in one shot, I realized I should’ve started THAT earlier. My youngest was scooping out the stuffing and I made the gravy and then carved the turkey. We didn’t eat until 7 pm, however everything turned out delicious and the pies (which we ate the next day because everyone was too full from eating so late) were magnificent.
By the time dinner and wine were finished, the girls washed the dishes and I packaged the remaining unused pumpkin for future pies, I was exhausted and sore. It’s amazing how much the anti-fatigue mats help in the kitchen.
It’s the next evening and I’m still in pain, taking too much Advil and smelling like my grandma because I’ve broken down and used the stinky pain relieving cream.
So back to the social media shit. After writing this cathartic rambling, I realized that as soon as my family got home and was able to help, they did so without whining about it, took care of all the clean up and they liquored me up really well. THAT is what Thanksgiving is about and I love my fucking family.