Thanksgiving Helpline: Last Minute Questions and Updates

The most labor-intensive part of the cooking is the stuffing, which took 30 minutes, start to finish in The Haas Test Kitchen this morning.  Is life a battle of desire against what’s right?  Are we fated to repeat childhood’s lessons until we are old?  Where are the salted peanuts?  Why can’t I find the salted peanuts?

8:45 A.M.: Place two sticks of butter in a large pot and melt over a low flame.  Chop three onions, four celery stalks, three carrots, and half a celeriac.  Place vegetables in pot.  Crank up heat to high.  Weep uncontrollably without knowing why.

8:55 A.M.: Take a loaf of corn bread and cut into cubes.  Add to vegetables.  Stir.  Take a jar of peeled chestnuts, slice them up, and add to what is in the pot.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Lower flame.  Check email.

9:00 A.M.: Add a cup of chicken  broth, four raw eggs, more salt and pepper to taste, and a handful of chopped up parsley.  Look at dog.  Crank up heat.  Check email again.

9:10: Turn off flame and add a quarter cup of white wine.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.  Allow to cool.  Ask myself: Are Friday’s sales worth the hassle of shopping?

9:15: Stuff two 12-pound birds.  Cut a stick of butter into pieces and place these around the bird.  Dust bird with salt and paprika.  Cover birds with cheesecloth.  Place in pre-heated oven (350 degrees). Periodically, baste turkeys with chicken stock.   Around 3: 15 P.M., remove cheesecloth, crank up heat to 400 degrees.  Remove birds from oven at 4 P.M.  Cool.  Eat.  Question dad about his role in the Civil Rights movement.

12:26: Lowered temperature to 325 degrees and keep turning it every hour or so.  Basted with stock.  Brussels sprouts immersed in water and chicken stock and will be fired 20 minutes before birds served.  Very busy reading, “The Dark Heart of Italy,” while awaiting arrival of guests.  Wondering about the meaning of existence: Metaphorically, is it about the stuffing?  Or the turkey?  Or…the sides?

1:56: Still awaiting arrival of guests, which will then become, awaiting departure of guests.

3:14 PM: Guests arrived approximately seven minutes ago.  Within the past seven minutes, an entire bottle of rum has been emptied and combined with fresh limes, sugar, and sparkling water: Mojito’s.  Lots of loud conversation, most of the appetizers consumed, and the turkey awaits.  What is the meaning of life?

5:41 P.M.  Calling it a night.  A tad dry, but both birds big hits.  Stuffing the biggest fave, duh.  Only 364 days until next year!  Ah, but wait, the pies!

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