Tag Archives: gravy

Our Thanksgiving Dinner

For the record, I did tell everyone:  I am not a good cook during the year so you should not expect anything different on Thanksgiving Day.  My husband was in charge of smoking the ham.  And I was in charge of everything else.

We have the exact same holiday dinner menu for both Thanksgiving and Christmas:

Ham, Mashed Potatoes and gravy, dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, homemade mac and cheese, dinner rolls and apple pie.  The same. Every year.

Except this year, my husband INSISTED on using fresh green beans for the green bean casserole. I told him no, my kids told him no – but we didn’t win.  So we had fresh green beans. I got to hear Christina complain for the entire 30 minutes it took her to cut them up.  And yes, I totally agreed with her that opening up two cans of Del Monte Green Beans would have been so much easier. The problem is that my husband assumed way too much.  So we just took the freshly cut green beans and mixed them with the rest of the stuff and stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes.  Which resulted in a green bean casserole with hard, uncooked beans.  I will reiterate that I said it was a bad idea.  (and my son insisted on a do over the next day).  Even though I now know we are supposed to COOK the green beans first I am not doing that again.

The mashed potatoes were gummy.  My son didn’t know what gummy really meant until he put the spoon in the potatoes and the whole thing literally came out of the bowl. Now he has a real life experience of what gummy potatoes are. (For the record, this is one of two times per year that I actually peel real potatoes).

I usually use Stove Top Stuffing.  This year someone at work raved about how good Kroger brand dressing was.  So I made my poor husband scout the store for 3 hours until he found some frozen cornbread stuffing. I should have read the instructions in advance. I know Stove Top is done in 5 minutes; had no idea the frozen kind took over an hour.  Which meant it was ready to eat 45 minutes after we finished eating our meal.

Have to remember that when you put the marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes and put the oven on Broil – you need to keep an eye on it the whole time.  Not a good idea to do that and then walk away.  I knew this – I was just so upset that my damn green beans were raw that I was distracted.

The gravy from a jar and dinner rolls from Sara Lee were perfect.  And Marie Callender made a great apple pie, as usual.

The ham was great and even the pets had some for their dinner.  It did make everyone pretty thirsty.  Abbey had to wait for Boca to finish drinking.  I did tell Boca to hurry but he just looked at me and still took his sweet time. Abbey just patiently waited and waited and kept looking at me to do something. She should know by now that even I am scared of the cat.

Abbey water

Happy Merry Christmas Eve Day

And Happy Birthday to my best friend, Karen.  We already had the conversation of “Damn, girl!  Doesn’t it suck to have a Birthday the day before Christmas?” And it does and it always did.  But I sent a BONA FIDE Birthday gift with all the Christmas gifts.  Yep,  even went to the Dollar Store to get the birthday wrapping paper WITHOUT the baby giraffes and bears and a matching ribbon and everything.  And as a bonus, I got four times the points on my fuel card with the gift cards.   So for everyone who has a birthday in December, Sucks for you (as my daughter would say).   I was actually born on Thanksgiving Day many years ago.  And trust me, no one wants to eat Birthday cake with turkey but we did. So you can see why I always envied those with the summer birthdays.

I did all my holiday baking last weekend.  And what a weekend I had! As an early Christmas gift I was all alone from Friday night until Sunday afternoon. My poor confused dog tried to get me to go to bed around 4 am on Saturday but noooo – I had the house to myself and was taking full advantage of it!  Thought about a food run around 2 am but decided I was too damn old to do that.  But thought about it.  Taco Bell, specifically.  And I finally removed the six pairs of shoes from under the back patio steps.  I could have left them there until Spring but decided no one else was going to do it.  One pair was my daughter’s orange flip flops. I am going to miss how colorful they looked against the white snow.

So now I am making my grocery list for Christmas dinner.  That I just found out we are having tonight because my son has to work a 13 hour shift tomorrow.  (In his defense, he offered since he said he didn’t have a family – we don’t count and I’m okay with that.  In fact I plan on sleeping in until at least 11 am Christmas day anyway).  I am going to try a new Sweet Potato Casserole recipe and I continue to struggle with gravy.  I wish my mother or someone could have taught me how to make homemade gravy when I was younger.  Now I have either the packets you mix with water or the jar.  Both suck but it’s all I have. I know you are never too old to learn but I already went through this with having to learn how to clean an oven at age 42. I don’t think I can deal with something like that again at my age.

And my annual Christmas letter has been mailed. Three pages long and just to verify that my letters are not boring, it included this paragraph:

“I am also so happy to announce that both my kids are gainfully employed.  Most probably due to the following conversation that happened a few months back:

Me: You had better step up on your job search.  If you aren’t going to commit to college, then you have to work.  That is your only option.  No discussion.

Kids:  We are TRYING to find a job.  It just isn’t that easy.

Me:  You both have cars; we provide food and housing.  As parents our part is done.  Find. A. Job.  Don’t you dare embarrass me in our annual Christmas letter by making me write that you are unemployed, living at home and sucking the air from your aging parents. Everyone already knows we like the pets better, so trust me; you do not want me to make this the main topic of the letter.”

And cat piss.  It also included a reference to cat piss.

May you have a wonderful Holiday Season.  The Merriest of Christmas’s and a non-drama, everyone acts their age and you get everything you wanted under the tree day tomorrow.  If not, just hit the after Christmas sales.  Or do what I do – have “To Lori From Lori” gifts under the tree.

snowman