So Trillian woke me up at 6:00 a.m. yesterday, just like every day. She actually wakes me up about every three hours all night long, but the six o'clock wake-up is the one that sticks.
My husband had been sleeping on the couch for some reason, so I transferred him to the bedroom and we did a cat exchange so that Xena would be shut in the room with him and Trillian could roam the house free of the threat of being viciously hunted down and pummelled.
As I checked my e-mail, I went over my Thanksgiving cooking plans in my head. I'd been brining the turkey since the morning before in a mixture of apple cider, brown sugar, kosher salt, fresh ginger, garlic, cloves, bay leaves and orange slices. I figured it would need to cook about four hours (13+ pounds x 20 minutes per pound) with the stuffing inside.
After a few hours of surfing and reading, I started to get bored, which caused me to accelerate my food preparation. Even though dinner wasn't until 2:00 p.m., I went ahead and poured off the brine, rinsed and stuffed the turkey and put it in the oven around 9:30 a.m. At the same time, I started my dinner roll dough rising.
As long as I was in the kitchen anyway, I snapped the ends off the green beans and steamed them, then peeled and cut up the potatoes and placed them in a pot of water to wait for the time when I'd need to start applying heat. I mixed up the ingredients for cranberry sauce in a pan on the stove and prepared the brie I would be later be baking as an appetizer.
I know this sounds like a meal plan that would make Martha Stewart proud, but the reality is that Murphy's Law was in full effect. The rolls were tough - and I don't know why. I severely overcooked the turkey. The mashed potatoes were really dry because we barely had any milk. I hadn't bought enough green beans, so the green bean casserole was way too soupy and there was only enough for everyone to get a scant spoonful.
Did I mention that I managed to shower myself and the kitchen with red wine right as I was starting to serve the food? The white shirt I was wearing is now officially a dust rag.
Still, everyone complimented me profusely on the dinner. We had a nice time sitting around drinking champagne, wine and coffee, chatting and catching up. The cleanup was so easy that all evidence of the meal had disappeared by early evening (except for some wine stains on the edge of the counter that I noticed this morning). Oh, and there's an extra pumpkin pie in the refrigerator.
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy having people over for dinner. I think I'm due to throw another dinner party soon.