Friday, November 24, 2006

The Thanksgiving Debacle

Wherein The Disembodied Telic Entity really tries to wreck the holiday, but Aunt Helen subdues the Evil One.

So I mentioned that Thanksgiving wasn't going well for us. My Grand-Aunt saved the day, but it was nearly a disaster.

[Cue wavy video with descending audio scale transition to flashback to Thanksgiving Eve....]

First, I baked the first apple pie, and then threw the turkey in, thinking I'd bake the splenda pie when the turkey was done. Forgetting, of course, that the turkey was an all night, right-up-til-dinner thing.

No prob, I'd have the pie ready and waiting to go in as soon as the turkey was done, and it could bake while everyone was eating (it takes 50 minutes).

In the morning, Kate says to me, "Hey, did you know your pie is hard as a rock?"

Sure enough, I poke the crust and it's like steel. Break-your-teeth-on-it kind of hard.


Forgot to butter the crust before it went in the oven. I'm a little rusty, since I really haven't been doing any baking in several months.

Ok, no prob, I'll toss it and make two pies and bake them both while everyone is eating.

Just then, BANG!

There's some kind of small explosion in the oven. Big enough that the oven door blew open a little.


I look in, and the lid to the turkey pan, which is pyrex and was made to be and has been used in the oven half a dozen times before, is nothing but the metal frame. The fracking thing had shattered. All over the turkey.

I'm in tears, just hysterical. Now we had planned to go to Aunt Helen's anyway because her dinner was going to be around 1, but we were going to have our own big dinner later because it's our first since we bought the house, and we wanted to have our first Thanksgiving in OUR house, y'know?

Problem with just going to Aunt Helen's is that there is a young Marine fella living next door whose wife is bi-polar and just left him to go back to her family in Seattle, and he's left here all alone with his two year old daughter. The guy's helpless. He can barely cook a hot-dog. We had invited him to have Thanksgiving with us, because we feel so bad for him. He's a little off, and like I said, helpless, but he's a good kid.

Aunt Helen's met him a few times at our cook-outs, but we could hardly just invite him over to someone else's house.

Fortunately, Aunt Helen has a soft-spot for Marines, having been one herself back in the late 50's. (She was discharged after about 6 months because she got pregnant. They really used to do that!)

Kate drove over to talk to her about it, and of course I'm further upset because I'm feeling like she bailed on me in my hour of need.

Anyway, Aunt Helen says it's OK, and she would have invited him anyway if we weren't having our own dinner, and eventually I calm down and all is well. We had made so much stuff, that we had to take my car over with Dave (the neighbor), his daughter, and me, while Kate took her car, loaded down with food.

Of course, Aunt Helen has her three kids, their spouses, and her two grandsons and one grand-spouse, along with Uncle Luis (Aunt Helen's ex-husband) and has more than enough food to feed us all without our food. I think we could have fed an entire batallion of Marines with just the left-overs.

It's all good now, but it was quite the mess at the time.

I'm glad it's over.

Hope yours was less stressful.

6 Eloquent Orations:

On 11/25/2006 09:06:00 AM, Blogger blipey waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Sorry to ear about the stress. But, hey, as long as everyone got fed, you saw some family (without punching any of them) and watched a little football it was a success.

Things happen. Last Christmas, I was baking pies (pecan) at my sister's. She neglected to tell me that her oven was possessed evil anti-cooking spirits. So, I've got 2 pies ready to go and luckily the oven isn't wide enough to put both in at the same time.

I put one in at a (I thought) preheated 350. Now, I know better than to trust an oven and I usually have my trusty thermometer to check the actual temp instead of relying on the oven gauge. Don't have it this time (not my house, I forgot).

Supposed to be in for 30 minutes, I uually check at 20 to see what's up. So, I'm watching a football game and ten minutes later I see the signs of fire. That's right, fire. Rushing to the oven, I pull out the pie to find tht indeed it is on fire.

The oven chamber is almost self-cleaning hot, I'm guessing 800-900 degrees. The molasses looks like it has been hit with a torch in some sort of creme brulee mishap. I know have a pie that is burned black down about 1/4 inch and completely uncooked inside that. And the crust a blackened bomb casing.

Still with no thermometer, but with a second pie, I decide I can beat the oven. I turn it on to "warm" and put a meat thermometer in to check it. Now a meat thermometer doesn't have a high top end, but it shuld be able to register an oven on "warm". It pegs the thermometer (at 225 degrees) but doesn't seem to be overly hot.

I bake the second pie for 20 minutes, pull it out let it finish cooking on the counter and it is decent.

We later find that Audree's oven chooses random temperatures to heat at, no matter what you set it for. Nice.

This story ha no purpose other than to make you feel better. Do you feel better? You better, or I'll come over and burn your pies.


On 11/25/2006 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Redzilla waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

I don't know what the wizards over at Pyrex have been doing, but I have had 2 difference Pyrex lid explosions. In both cases they were lids that were serving a function they'd served many times before. On that occasion, they just decided to shatter. Never on my T-Day turkey, though. That sucks dramatically.
(And as a wife of a Marine--thanks for looking out for the neighbor :o)


On 11/25/2006 07:38:00 PM, Blogger Kristine waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

You poor thing!

I wish I had a Thanksgiving (or Christmas/Halloween/Easter) disaster to recount, but my mom grew up during the Depression and I inherited all her recipes plus cooking pans (iron).

The worst thing that ever happened to me was me trying to make Kathei (Persian rice cake) and ending up with mush, and hummus that still tasted raw no matter how long I cooked it.

I'm glad all came out well in the end. It's great to have a savior aunt, isn't it?


On 11/26/2006 02:13:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

My Dear Blipey,

You do indeed make me feel better each and every time you grace this blog with your presence.

Please do forgive my absence from this blog since Thursday. I have a post about that in the works...

Kisses to you as always


On 11/26/2006 02:25:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Hello, Redzilla!

Thank you so much for stopping by. I've been reading over at your blog, and I find it highly entertaining.

As your blogometer no doubt informs you, I've only read the first nine months of archives (each and every post!), but I look forward to the rest later this evening perhaps.

Among my favorites thus far are this one, this one, this one, and of course, JohnWatch 2005.

Though I completely understand your being upset by the fish tank gift for Christmas, I have to tell you:

The inside joke you had going that was behind the gift itself was pretty funny.

Don't tell me how the JohnWatch thing plays out, I want to read it in the order in which it was posted.


On 11/26/2006 02:28:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Hello Sweet Friend Kristine, so lovely and always thoughtful.

Savior Aunts are indeed necessary to salvage sanity in such times. I am truly grateful for her kindness and open heart and open home.

What would we have done without her?


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