Squawk Radio

Friday, November 11, 2005

Amy on Stupid Idea #3,465

Originally uploaded by EliBev.
I think, perhaps, I can legitimately plead insanity. Or at least Distraction by Conference Call. You see, I was at the beach this summer with my husband’s family, and I was saying goodbye to them while also taking a conference call. In between hugs and goodbyes and managing the call, I somehow managed to volunteer myself for Thanksgiving Duty. I’d hoped that the in-laws would conveniently forget about this, but they didn’t… And then I told my mom in a bid for sympathy, but she just muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “finally” before telling me that she and my stepdad would be happy to celebrate Thanksgiving at Casa Amy. Quickly the party expanded to include the brother and his girlfriend d’jour, the stepsister, the stepsister’s dad, and my dad and stepmom. Basically, I went from zero to twelve people with some serious Thanksgiving expectations before I could figure out an elegant way to extricate myself from this mess. (Note to self: Multitasking = Trouble)

I don’t intimidate easily, but the specter of serving up Thanksgiving dinner makes me want to run straight to the Vodka bottle. First off, we have to deal with the whole Stuffing debate. My husband wants his mom’s stuffing. My brother wants my mom’s stuffing. I want to make my own. (I’m such a rebel!) Then there is the turkey debate. Brined? Covered with cheesecloth soaked in butter and wine a la Martha? Straight-up fried? On top of all of this, my mom (God Bless Her Heart… and I do mean that in the snarky southern sense) keeps trying to take over the dinner as she believes that since I didn’t have my menu set early enough (October!), there will surely be a Thanksgiving Meltdown of epic proportions. It is like a Very Special Iron Chef Event – Battle of Thanksgiving! Watch our challenger as she tries to overcome the hurdles of obligation, tradition, “helpful” advice and medicinal martinis while serving up a notoriously tough bird and large portions of required carbohydrates!

Alas, I do exaggerate. A little. I *am* intimidated by the whole event, but I am also strengthened by the knowledge that (a) I am a crazy obsessive planner and will be doing a “beta release” of my Thanksgiving dinner this Sunday for my friends; (b) My family really is lovely and they will eat whatever I put out and laugh their way through it; (c) We have a lot of wine on hand for “emergencies”; and (d) We are going far far far away for Christmas so I only need to worry about this one big holiday!

For all my bluster, I’m looking forward to conquering Thanksgiving on my own… Or at least enjoying the process! What about you all? What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Do you have any special recipes or tips to share with a newbie? Any success strategies for maintaining your sanity while also serving up the perfect meal?
Elizabeth Bevarly, 7:11 AM