Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey is a romantic notion but in reality, it's rather gross—the bones, the grease, the horrifically phallic turkey neck. And don't even get me started on the giblets. Needless to say, the less I have to touch the bird, the better.
This year instead off preparing a full-on turkey, I've pre-ordered a 'turkey roll.' What is a turkey roll you ask? It's a real turkey with the bones and icky bits removed for you by the butcher. You pick it up packaged all tidy-like bound together in a net. Some butchers (e.g. Wholefoods) will also pre-stuff the roll for you. The price is based on weight. For a four-pound (keep in mind, that's all meat, no bones) stuffed and rolled turkey breast for six adults, I paid just under $40. Reasonably priced and no shriveled turkey neck to haunt my dreams.
Minus making turkey soup using the bones, anything you can do with an ordinary turkey, you can do with a turkey roll—cook it in your slow cooker or roast in the oven.
To make the meal even easier I'm assigning each family member a side dish, e.g. garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing casserole, bread. I'll do the veggies and....to the shock and awe of my family, I am going to "attempt" to bake this pumpkin pie. If you don't hear from me after that adventure, you may assume it didn't go well.
Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, we're going to focus on family time because really, isn't that what this holiday is all about?
After a family hike in the woods (with a little leaf collecting and Geocaching thrown in for nerdly kicks) we'll return home to the aroma of a boneless turkey just waiting to be carved and we'll sit around the table and taking turns sharing our thankful moments. My poor kids are always forced into these “Sharing and Caring” moments. They pretend they don’t like it, what with their cries and protests, but I know that deep down they appreciate these special, special times.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
What are you thankful for this year?
Dissed by the ladies who lunch? Feeling flabby, frumpy, old and ugly? Is your boss a weinie who says “Nice work Karen!” while staring at your boobs...and your name is Jennifer!? Did you stupidly go bathing suit shopping?? Or do you just feel like a big ol' cry baby? If you answered yes to any or all, or if you just feel crappy, sappy or kind of unhappy* you are absolutely entitled to throw yourself a Pity Party.
It’s the easiest kind of party to plan. In fact, I’ve been known to throw one at a moment’s notice.
Here’s what you need to know to throw a successful “Pity Party.
Though you may certainly invite people to join your Pity Party of one, keep in mind that it’s difficult to truly get your “pity on” with others distracting you from your misery. If you must expand your guest list, be sure to limit your company to those who:
a) Have just been dumped or seriously humiliated in some way (toilet paper caught on a shoe doesn’t count)
b) Have extremely low self-esteem
c) Have recently had a horrifying beauty mishap (e.g. Hair colouring incident gone awry)
If you’re hung up on the whole party procedure thing, I suppose you could send yourself a little invitation.
What to serve?
No Pity Party is worth its salt without...salt
Chips, popcorn (but not that healthy air popped stuff) and more chips. A little dip is a nice touch. Eek! No dip and can’t face a trip out to buy some? Mayo with a little curry powder mixed in will do in a pinch. Crap, no curry? That’s okay. Just squirt the mayo right out of the bottle into your mouth, followed by a handful of Ruffles.
And of course, don’t forget these self indulgent refreshments…
Wine: But always remember to drink responsibly. Out of a glass is preferable. And with your clothes on. If glasses and clothes are not possible, at least close the curtains. Otherwise you’ll find yourself enjoying another party that involves Officer Bob, a cell and handcuffs.
Chocolate or ice-cream: Alternatively, you can have chocolate and ice cream with chunks of chocolate dipped in chocolate ice-cream with chocolate sauce, sprinkled with chocolate.
Yes. But not required. See *closed curtains* above.
Throw a copy of Sophie’s Choice in your DVD player, cry like a baby and be glad you never had to make that choice. Also sob a little because you love Meryl Streep and know you and she would be best friends if she would only follow you on Twitter. Is Meryl even on Twitter? God she’s a great actress.
Cue up a selection of sad songs on your ipod and feed off the melancholy melody. Do NOT dance. Doing so will make you feel like a giant loser which will only serve to heighten the pitying. If you insist on hugging yourself and sobbing while swaying to Wham’s Careless Whisper, make sure the curtains are indeed shut tight.
Personally, I enjoy loading up on sodium and cocoa while chatting with a best girlfriend on the phone. Be sure to choose somebody who will lend a sympathetic ear to your super pathetic tale.
Nobody likes a Party Hanger On-er, so after a few hours, it’s time to shut it down. After your self-indulgent snacking, sobbing, venting and possibly some deep introspection, you need to shake it off and move on.
~ Party Mummy – whose glass is usually half full, but during a Pity Party, it’s half empty and covered in greasy mayonnaise fingers prints....
*A Pity Party is reserved for minor irritations and irksome annoyances. If you’re truly sad or troubled, surround yourself with friends and family and tell them what is going on. Get help and get happy so you can re-join the party...the fun kind with upbeat music and dancing, with the curtains thrown wide open!
Back in the days of electric blue mascara and Friday Night Videos, the mere mention of a party would send me moon-walking out the door in my acid wash jeans before you could say “Def Leppard.”
My how things have changed. Just ask any one of your fellow mummy friends—If given a choice, would she rather:
a) Arrange for a sitter, bargain with her spouse over whose turn it is to be DD, find something to wear (a challenge since PJs or yoga pants generally aren’t considered proper party attire) and head out on the town
b) Lick a snail (the slimy part, not the shell)
c) Tuck in with a good book, lights out and in REM mode by 10 pm.
Chances are, most exhausted parents will choose C. (If they chose B, they have “issues” and you may want to reconsider including them in your social circle).
It’s not that we don’t WANT to connect socially, to share a laugh, dip some chips, or put our keys in a bowl and take our chances. It’s just that we’re pooped. Dark under-eye circles, can’t finish a sentence kind of exhaus...zzzzz
Partying is no longer the bitchin’ priority it once was. Sleeping for 6 consecutive hours is da bomb now baby.
However, if I may...
“Suck it up ya bunch of babies!”
So you work full-time, have a million and one errands to run, and are busy raising little people. Does that mean you should cheat yourself out of some quality social time? No!
Does this sound familiar?
A month before a scheduled outing or get-together: “Oh yay!”
A week before: “Better find an outfit. Um, yay?”
Day of: “Please let that black cloud open up and shower us with melon-sized hail stones so I have a legit excuse not to leave this couch....”
An hour before: “Hi Helen? It’s me. I have a splitting stomach ache, I mean headache in my...um, head. It’s probably contagious so I’m not going to be able to come tonight. So...bye. Phew. Honey, I think she bought it. Pass me the chips and the remote will you? And let’s crack open that bottle of wine. Oh god, Helen?? Are you still on the line....? Shit.”
If that rang a bell, you may be a Chronic Bailer. It’s a serious (and LAME) condition. When is the last time you went out with your girlfriends, met another couple for dinner and drinks or attended a party and you came home and said, “Well, that was a complete waste of time. I thoroughly hated that. I sure wish I hadn’t gone.” Never! Sometimes I have to remind myself of that (and a cranky hubby too) as were running around trying to get us/kids organized to go out.
It IS worth it.
So make the effort. You’ll be happy you did. Or, if you are a hopelessly chronic bailer, do what I do and host – it’s next to impossible to bail on your own party...unless of course you plan on hiding out in your basement or leaving a note on your door telling guests that your house is under Quarantine or that you’ve moved to Borneo. Save yourself the trouble, mix up a batch of Mojitos and enjoy your guests instead.
~ Party Mummy—Straight Up