Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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The Thanksgiving We’ll NEVER Forget!

It was 1997 and hubby and I were living in Dallas. We were getting married a month later. I was in college and you know how broke college kids are. No one could afford a trip home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so most of my classmates saved the money for the big one. we invited a couple of our friends over for Thanksgiving. Joey and Charlanne were dating and both in my class. We all had a good time together, so it was kind of a no-brainer to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.

They came the night before and spent the night in our guest room. Joey brought his smoker and we were going to have smoked turkey. YUM! He set up the smoker at the bottom of our stairs  on the pavement with the plan that he’d get up in the AM and tend to it. Unbeknownst to us, the sprinklers came on in the night and put out the coals. Rather than waking to a delicious smoked turkey, it was a half-cooked, food poisoning invitation! Oh well, at least we have a ham too.

And yes, it does go on from there. I’ll give a little background here first. I do not and never have liked sweet potatoes. I don’t know if it’s texture, taste or both, but i’ve never been a fan. But for Joey, they are a Thanksgiving must have, so he made some. He put four of the biggest sweet potatoes I’ve ever laid eyes on, in a foil loaf pan, along with maple syrup and marshmallows and put it in the oven.

Did you know those foil loaf pans arent’ made to hold 5lbs of stuff? Yeah, they’re really not. when I took it out of the oven, the sides buckled and turned into spouts, spewing hot sticky goo everywhere! thankfully I had on jeans, otherwise I think I probably would’ve gotten 2nd degree burns on my legs. I dashed to the shower and hosed myself off, jeans and all. Remember what I wrote about sweet potatoes? Yep, that ‘incident’ cemented my dislike for them.

Even for all of the misfires, we had a great time with Charlanne and Joey. A year later when we were moving out of that apartment, I was still finding sticky spots under the cabinet doors (sticky goo really splatters!).  And it has given us years of good laughs, as well.

I hope your Thanksgiving doesn’t involve any food problems like ours did. I hope you enjoy your family time together and you are able to take the time to give thanks for the good things in your life.

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Happy eat-til-you-can’t-see-day!

Hello my friends! I just wanted to post a note and tell you all to have a happy Thanksgiving. Even if you’re one of my UK/European friends, I hope you have a fabulous day. I am thankful for all of you who keep me going. You make me think about things that I hadn’t thought of for a while, give me a laugh, or a helpful tip and I thank you for it. 

I hope your day is blessed with good health, friends, family, and no accidents in the kitchen! Oh, ok, since I said that, I guess I”ll just have to share a story of a Thanksgiving we had about 13 years ago.

We were living in Dallas at the time and I was in college. I had classmates from all over the country and you know poor college students don’t have the funds to fly home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they normally save their cash for the big one.

Two of my best friends were from New York and going home was out of the question. My husband is a retail manager, so going back home to Oklahoma for me was out of the question as well, that whole black Friday thing and all. So we decided we would have our own little Thanksgiving celebration, just the four of us. Great!

So, I got a ham and our friend Joey, was going to smoke a turkey. MMMM! Joey set up the smoker at the foot of the stairs to our apartment, got it all ready and was going to let it smoke over night. Joey, and his girlfriend Charlanne (one of my BFF’s) stayed in our guest room so Joey could tend the turkey early in the morning, and they wouldn’t have to worry about transporting it an hour away.

It was a great idea. The problem: at some time during the night, the sprinklers came on and put out the coals in the smoker, so when we woke up all excited about this delicious bird that was waiting for us, well, it was only cooked about halfway through. Blech, can you say food poisoning? My husband and Joey tasted some of the meat on the outside and said they thought it was fine, but me? Well, I said thanks but no thanks, I prefer to keep my insides right where they are and don’t care to spend the rest of the weekend praying to that porcelain god for forgiveness for being so daft as to think I could eat something like that!

The bird went straight to the dumpster outside, it was too big for my garbage can.

Guess what! It doesn’t end there. Nope, not quite. So Joey, oh I love Joey, he was just the greatest guy, insisted that we have sweet potatoes. I never liked them, the taste, texture, smell, everything about them repulsed me, but they are tradition for many people and who am I to buck a tradition like that  for such a good friend? Joey bought I think 4 of the biggest sweet potatoes he could find and prepared them in a foil loaf pan. Have you ever seen big sweet potatoes live and in person? those suckers can be heavy, a pound each at least! Joey made his gooey sweet potato creation with maple syrup and marshmallows on top and put it in the oven to bake. When the timer went off, I opened the oven and attempted to remove it from the oven. Did you notice I said attempted? Those foil loaf pans are not designed to accommodate that much weight and as I was taking it out of the oven, the sides buckled and created a spout for this hot, sticky, nasty mess to spill all over my legs (thank God I was wearing jeans) and the floor! Amazingly, I managed to get the pan to the counter before I spilled the whole damn thing and made a mad dash for the shower and jumped in clothes and all! All I could think of was burns from that sticky stuff! When i returned, in clean clothes, I found everyone standing there looking at the mess wide-eyed and in complete disbelief at what had happened. I’m sure I was quite a sight running from the kitchen to the bathroom as if I had something up my, well, you know what I mean. We cleaned up the mess and had a lovely dinner. But I must say, if I never liked sweet potatoes before, I absolutely detested them after!

We moved out of the apartment about a year later and I was still finding sticky spots on the under sides of drawers and cabinet doors! Sheesh, what a mess! I can honestly say, I have not had any other Thanksgiving fiascos quite like that since. Unless you count the time that my grandmother and great aunt were going to come to our house for the very first time and I turned up with strep two days before. But that wasn’t my fault, and they just went to my brother’s house.

Anyway, all that to say, I hope you don’t wear hot, sticky sweet potatoes, or have your bird only half done and get food poisoning!

I am thankful for all the blessings of my life, even the ones I don’t necessarily want!

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And so it begins….

Today is Thanksgiving and now the holiday stuff really begins in earnest.  I’ve been doing some Christmas shopping here and there the past month or so, maybe even longer.  When I see things I know my kids will want or like, I snag it and put it back. I don’t even know that they need anything else, to be honest.  I know they have way too much already in the way of toys, so I’ll probably just hold off on anything else.  I think Santa will be bringing the good stuff this year and mom is giving the clothes, you know, the boring stuff!

I wrote an earlier post about feeling guilty for having only my in-laws over today.  I’m not feeling that any more.  they all got along just fine without us.  And to be perfectly honest, it was nice just the 6 of us here having a nice quiet meal to celebrate family and give thanks for our health and each other.

I bought a spiral cut ham, made mashed potatoes and fresh green beans and a green salad and we called it good.  And it was just enough to get us all good and full.  Which is the point, not to have so much left over that we’re eating ham and mashed potatoes for weeks on end!

One recipe I tried today was new. The name that’s on it is Topsy Turvy apple pie.  It’s basically an upside down apple pie.  You put pecans and a blended sauce of butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in the bottom of the pan, then put a crust over that, top with sliced fresh apples and the second crust and bake.  When you serve it, invert it on a serving dish so you see the pecans and caramel sauce. All I can say is O.M.G.! It was so good!  My father-in-law was raving about it and I was pretty happy about it myself.  I love apple pie and there are so many variations on that theme.  but to hit on one that is just hands-down a knock-out makes me very happy.  Served warm with vanilla bean ice cream and I’m a happy girl!  I’m so full from eating 5 hours ago, I probably won’t have dinner!

My suggestion to you, if you see a recipe that looks interesting to you, don’t be shy, try it out.  And if you’re afraid you’ll have too much of something, it’s a great way to make friends with your neighbors, school teachers, firefighters, etc.  I love to bake, but the problem is, I like to EAT it too!  Many times, I’ll get in that baking mood and make a batch of cookies and rather than freezing them for later addition to my thighs, I’ll share them with my neighbors.  Or, if you want to keep them for yourself, you can alway freeze them.  Be sure they’re cooled completely and put them in a freezer storage bag and press out as much air as possible.  sometimes I even double-bag it, just to prevent any freezer burn that may occur.  Also use a sharpie and write on the bag what is inside and the date, that way, you won’t have any questions.  Like I do sometimes when I get something out and think, ‘now when did I put this in there?’

Enjoy and have a very happy Holiday! Or if you’re Canadian, have a great weekend!

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Let the pig-out begin!

Well, that was probably a bad title, since we’re having ham tomorrow!  I always enjoy holidays with the food and the family.  This year will be a bit different and I’m actually kind of conflicted about it.

My husband’s parents live 2 hrs away, and yet they have never come over for Thanksgiving or children’s birthday parties, even though they’ve been invited countless times.  They moved back a few years ago, so it’s not like they’ve been there the last ten years, but still.  I really love my in-laws, they are great people, I just don’t understand why don’t come over when have the opportunity.

They have decided they really are not happy in that town and are going to move back to Idaho.  Hey, I’m with that idea. You have to be where you want to be, really.  They accepted our invitation this year, which made me really happy. 

Here comes the conflicted/guilty part.  My husband is a retail store manager and has to be AT work at 2AM the day after Thanksgiving.  Normally it’s my parents, us, and my brother and his family for holidays. There is a lot of food and merriment.  This year, because my husband has to be at work so early, and his parents are coming, I told my family, that we’re just going to be low-key and have dinner w/his parents.  It’s really no different than alternating families every year, like many people do.  I guess the guilt/conflict comes from the fact that we are going to be at my house, in the same town as my family.  I guess I need to just get over it. His parents are going to leave sometime after we eat, so they won’t be staying overnight. And we will see my family, my mother is going to take my kids to spend the night at her house and I”m going to brave the Black Friday crowds for a few bargains.  I will go to my brother’s house since my mom will be there. Ugh. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do.

On a better note, I’m going to try a new recipe or two.  An apple pie called Topsy Turvy apple pie, you put pecans and a caramel sauce in the bottom of the pie dish, put the crust over it, bake it and when it’s done, you invert it on a serving plate, and serve it upside down.  Sounds delish!  And I’ve got a cookie recipe I may try if I have time today. My boy doesn’t like apple pie, can you imagine?  Normally Thanksgiving involves about 3 or 4 desserts, but with just us, I thought a single pie and some cookies would do the trick.

Wish me luck.  And tell me I’m not crazy for feeling guilty, please.

 

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