Which reminds me of our first Thanksgiving after we were married. We had moved to Kansas City that June when Bing finished law school. We rented a nice apartment which we shared, initially, with the former tenants, who were loathe to vacate it. There were approximately 3,421 of them – cockroaches, really BIG ones.
We had them murdered by the Orkin man. My love for all creatures great and small does not extend to bugs – or bats, as I wrote in a previous column. Faithful readers, of course, will remember that column. Unfaithful readers, probably not so much.
But I digress.
Two of Bing’s high school pals and their wives already lived in Kansas City, so we made plans to get together for the holiday with them. Since both couples were busy with small children, I volunteered to bring the turkey, potatoes, gravy and dressing. How hard could that be? I’d seen my mother fix Thanksgiving dinner lots of times.
“You helped her with it, of course,” a co-worker asked. “Well, my sister and I always helped her set the table,” I responded, somewhat defensively.
Sensing my lack of experience, my co-workers plied me with how-to advice. One said the best way to do the turkey was to put it in a paper bag to roast. So I did.
It came out white, sort of steamed, I guess. Consequently, the gravy was also white and, when we were all seated around the Thanksgiving table, it wouldn’t pour. It sat in the gravy boat like a lump of lard.
The dressing was awful, too. Bing said he’d watched his mother make dressing and knew just how to do it. He chopped up stale bread into large cubes. The roof of my mouth bled for several days after trying to chew them. The potatoes were runny – I should have provided straws to drink them with.
Luckily, the other guests provided sweet potato casserole, green beans, rolls and pumpkin pie. Of those offerings, all that I liked were the rolls (okay, so I’m a picky eater, so sue me). When we got back to our now-bugless apartment, I filled up on Hersey bars, so that the holiday repast was not a dead loss.
This Thanksgiving, my sister is here to help with the dinner. I will set the table and she’ll do the cooking. She’s conquered the art of preparing the turkey and the rest of the fixings. I’ve conquered the art of setting the table.
We make a good team.
Happy Thanksgiving, all!