Monday, November 27, 2006

The Feast

According to our project manager, Jer, Yummy the Large needed to be dealt with beginning at 8:30 in the morning... We had some breakfast, started the coffee and by the time I went upstairs to grab something, Jer was on his way down with Yummy in a bucket.

Our project manager had spoken to a friend of his that used to be a chef. His chef-friend suggested that Jer brine Yummy the Large, so Jer went out and bought a bucket for our 22.5 lb friend and the brining process was in motion. BFWW and Jer did not want to leave him out on the back patio for the animals to get, so they put him on the balcony off of their bedroom... which is why Jer was coming downstairs with Yummy in a bucket.

Preparation of Yummy the Large officially began at 8:33. Kim was scheduled to work on Yummy the Large and then had a break scheduled until 11:30 (I think). So she and Jer went to work - draining him, rubbing him with a mustard/olive oil paste and plastering him with a cheesecloth soaked in olive oil. Before we knew it, he was in the oven. Then Jer did a wonderful thing - he suggested that he and Dave take all of the kids for a walk.

They left and BFWW and I spent the entire morning talking over coffee. This is what we were meant to do in life as friends - spend countless hours together over coffee and just talk. The conversation never gets stale. We never have any quiet moments that are somewhat awkward and one of us has to think about what to talk about next. It just flows and we are both just so happy to be together. We talked until they all came home, then got lunch for the little ones and the real busyness of the project began.

We had lots and lots of dishes to prepare and lots of hands to help. And Jer had the entire situation under a time-management schedule - that made it very easy and much less stressful. In addition, BFWW and Jer have friends that live just down the street and they were also coming for dinner. James and Joy were preparing half of the side dishes and would bring them over when they were ready. At 12:45 James brought over our appetizers - cheese and crackers. We snacked on cheddar, bleu, brie and one other white cheese while we made the rest of the food.

Dinner was scheduled for 3:10. At around 1/1:30, Jer checked Yummy and found that he was already almost at the correct temperature. Uh Oh. Also it was at this point that Jer broke his digital thermometer by allowing it to touch the side of the oven and get too hot. So now we had to improvise. What do we do with Yummy? Do we take him out? Leave him in? Turn the temperature down? We opted for the latter and hoped for the best while we continued to get the rest of dinner together.

I don't remember what order we made things in or who did what, but I do remember standing at the oven for a loooooong time stirring the gravy (Yummy came out around 2:00). I stirred and stirred and stirred. I tasted. I added sugar to combat the saltiness. I stirred. I added some orange zest to give it a little brightness. I added more sugar. I stirred. It was quite a situation:) In the end, the gravy barely was touched and it was a bit too salty.

Finally, dinner was ready. Georgia and Ryann were in bed, the feast was ready to begin. Oh my goodness - I cannot even begin to tell you how exciting this was. By the way things looked, this promised to be the best Thanksgiving meal I had ever had. And it did not disappoint.

Turkey. Green bean casserole. Creamed spinach. Cornbread/sausage stuffing. Mashed potatoes. Potato casserole. Rolls. Sweet potato crisp. Cranberry sauce. Glazed carrots. And my two most absolute favorite things of the meal: Corn casserole and apple sauce souffle.

Almost everything had cream cheese and butter in it - must I tell you anything more about the food? It was good. Very, very good. I ate a lot. It was good.

We cleaned up, put the enormous amount of left over food in the refrigerator, fed Georgia and Ryann dinner and parked ourselves on the couch. Jer and James started making turkey soup and we spent the rest of the evening talking with BFWW, Jer, James and Joy.

Nora and Ryann also spent a good deal of time begging us for pumpkin pie. The adults definitely needed to wait for that for a bit, so we held off. We had pie and coffee just before the girls went to bed at 7:30/8:00. James made homemade pumpkin and apple pies and they were fabulous!

At around 9:00, Jer said, "I think its time for dinner." I sat there in sheer amazement that one could actually think of eating more food after the feast that we gorged ourselves on. Yet, I could understand completely. I think almost everyone then ate a bowl of turkey soup, while I opted for corn casserole, sweet potato crisp and applesauce souffle. And then we may or may not have had after dinner dessert:) And more coffee.

James and Joy left around midnight and we chatted a little while longer with BFWW & Jer. Jer decided to go to bed, while Dave, BFWW and I decided to watch Survivor because we couldn't wait to find out who got voted out. It was a good show and afterward we had a brief strategy meeting on how we would have played the game. And we hit the sheets at 1:30...

Remember the coffee? Yea - that wasn't such a good idea for me. I had a really rough time trying to go to sleep that night. Dummy - I shouldn't be drinking regular coffee at night no matter how tired I am - Brilliant, eh?

It was the feast of my dreams.


kkoois 2:21 PM  

ah, the memories...

i'm getting full all over again just reading about it. that was a great meal. but, i must say, i am getting a little sick of eating stuffing and green bean casserole for breakfast.

Jen 2:25 PM  

Ah, Jer's time schedules. I love having Jer in the family. He almost makes my look calm and laid-back. And he does dishes.

Cousin Jen 4:05 PM  

Can I have the recipes for the apple souffle and corn casserole? They sound so delicious. We really didn't have a FEAST this year, so maybe I can dream about the next one...........

melissa :) 8:06 AM  

Sounds absolutely fabulous. *That* my dear is what Thanksgiving is about - having incredible friends your are so thankful for (& everything else). I'm glad you had a fantastiastic time. :)

And I 2nd Cousin Jen - I'd like those recipes too! I could use them for CHRISTmas Eve dinner! :)

Carol 8:35 AM  

Yummy the Large sounds absolutely yummy and large!
I double-second the recipe request. OK - now I have to start a blog about our favorite holiday recipes. Everyone must join in!
Jer can come and do my dishes anytime, but time schedules stress me out.

Heaven Sent 11:17 PM  

Sounds extremely yummy and fun. And Jer is a man after my own heart... BUT I don't think I could ever do a whole meal because I'd be no fun to be around! Sounds like you guys all had a great time!

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