Friday, November 28, 2003

Thanksgiving wrap-up

Well, Thanksgiving dinner was a lovely feast.

Doug got out of bed to be Chef Doug around 5am. I heard him get up and the dogs got excited that someone was vertical. But there was no dog-taking-outness at that hour. It was all about Turkey.

He prepped the seasoning and sauteed the garlic (36 cloves) the night before and put them aside. The turkey was still slightly frozen, but seeing as it was being cooked unstuffed by stuffing (stuffed with bell pepper, onion and carrots to make a killer broth) we weren't worried. Frozen turkey can still be cooked safely, just requires a little extra time and good use of the digital thermometer.

I got out of bed to give him a hand. I had forgotten to wash the roasting pan, so I got that all set for him while he pulled the skin up from the bird and slipped sauteed garlic cloves between the skin and meat, positioning them in strategically tasty places. Then he rubbed the turkey down with the seasoning mix, stuffed the cavity with veggies and pre-heated the oven.

I went back to bed while he did his Chef thing, and he put the big bird into the oven at around 5:30am, at a slow cook temp of 225 degrees.

After we woke up, around 9, we figured we'd have forever to get a few geocaches done and then get back to make the fixin's. So we got ready light out.

I asked my mom to peel potatoes for us (towhit I received grumbles and protestations. Don't most houseguests OFFER help make stuff and do things to get dinner ready when they come for the holidays??? Jebus!) and only Doug, Geoff and I went Geocaching, everyone else opted to be lazy and stay home.

We did one geocache It started out kind of funny when we didn't figure out the parking coordinates. On the GPS screen we could basically drive up to it, the only problem was there was a house in our way and we didn't know where the trailhead was. So we spent time figuring that out, and then I realized the parking coordinates were in the cache description. So we drove to that after wasting about 15 minutes driving all around the general area, getting a tour of the backend of this particular town.

We parked and it was a 1.5mi (more or slightly less) roundtrip hike on a perfectly flat and paved (in most parts) trail. It was a gorgeous walk, lovely day, easy find. Very fun trip. Had it just been Doug and myself, we would have been in and out of there easy as pie.

But Geoff took forfreakinever to walk back to the truck. He was at least a quarter of a mile behind us the whole time, fighting invisible ninjas with double death stick action. It was kind of cute to watch but when one is trying to go for the geocache bodycount and get home in time to make stuffing, well. It just doesn't bode well.

We attempted a second cache. The print directions put us on one side of I-95 in Newburyport, but the GPS reading put us on the other side. Doug obeyed the GPS.

We found a nice little park where we thought the best parking access would be (quite a nice little find, I must say) and Geoff played while Doug searched. Doug was starting to get bear grumpy from lack of food and gave up when he realized there was no underpass to get us access to the other side of I-95 after all. We were scant feet away from it, but on the wrong side of things... we headed home.

Doug thought the turkey would have at least another hour to cook, but upon insertion of digital thermometer we discovered it more than ready. The sudden rush to get the side dishes made quickly then turned on. Mom willingly made a killer gravy (I suck at making gravy, damnit!) and I did the green bean casserole, stuffing and corn.

Jessie had made cranberries from scratch the night before (so damn easy and so damn good, why ANYONE would buy canned is so beyond me) and we feasted.

Doug was asleep on the couch and snoring within minutes of finishing. I didn't want to abandon my parents with the kids lest they be bad and fight (and interrupt my napping) so I forced myself to stay awake.

We had pie several hours later while watching the Simpsons. We watched Dr. Doolittle 2 which was abysmally bad.

Geoff crashed and then I told everyone I was going to bed. Before I retired I showed my mom how to find the movie channels on our remote and Jessie and my parents both said "Ooooh! Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!" which I guess they'd started watching while we were geocaching but they didn't get to see the whole thing due to my mother's forced conscription into KP duty with my old fashioned and not very sharp but seems to work just fine for me potato peeler (which I also got bitched at about because it's OLD and isn't an AUTOMATIC MOTORIZED potato peeler. Gah. Moan, moan, moan. I know what she's probably buying me for Christmas this year y'all).

I ended up watching HPATCOS with the family, because I'm a sucker for it, and didn't get to bed until after midnight.

7am and a needy dog came too early this morning.

So that's our story thus far.

Doug has to work today. He's planning on getting there at about 10:30 so he slept until 8:45. Hopefully tonight I can convince him that we should go out for a drink and ditch the kids with my folks for a couple hours.

As for us, it's raining, and I have nothing scheduled for entertainment during the day here today...

I'm hoping I can convince my parents tomorrow that they/we need to go to the South Shore to see my great aunt, who is not well. Doug has about 6 hours worth of videotapes he needs to watch for continuing ed credits, so he's looking for some everybody-out-of-the-house time this weekend. I'm hoping tomorrow would do good for him in that respect.

We don't have any actual holiday shopping planned, but I do need to go out and buy about a dozen pint glasses to put fairy lights in them for table centerpieces for our Christmas party at work. I'll keep the glasses. God knows we always need them. And I have to figure out what to put around them. I may get some small wreaths, and some tiny red glass bobbles (I think we have a box) and rope tinsel, put them on the center of the table with the glass in the middle and then do something with handfulls of that mini-confetti stuff in festive holiday shapes that I can just sweep off the table and be done with.

Hmmm. Lots to think about and five days to accomplish it.

More later.

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