The (Almost) Thanksgiving Meltdown of 2012

I knew this was going to be a great Thanksgiving when I woke up, headed to the grocery store for no particular reason and then as I left was greeted at my car by the most cheerful Thanksgiving herald.  A woman smiling ear-to-ear who waved cheerfully and shouted “Happy Thanksgiving!!”  This delightful Thanksgiving muse had blessed my day and it was going to be fantastic.

For Thanksgiving I had a simple to-do list:

  1. Smoke turkey breast
  2. Take photos to show Dad using funky photo app on iPhone
  3. Take normal photo in case Dad didn’t quite see how glorious aforementioned smoked turkey breast looked
  4. Post photo to FB to incite envy – both at the gorgeous golden turkey and the artistically taken photo
  5. Call Dad to wish him and CJ a very Happy Thanksgiving
  6. Politely inquire about how his cooking is going

I went over the checklist several times with a proud smirk on my face as I prepared the grill and lit up the briquettes that would ultimately lead me to a personal grilling victory.   The fire shot up.  It was gorgeous.  I took my celebratory red carpet walk into the kitchen and grabbed the thawed breast.  As I freed it from the Butterball wrapping, several questions winged through my head.  “Why is there so much liquid?” “Why is it wrapped in a stringed net?” “What the…?”  I grabbed the Butterball casing that declared this to be a “Turkey Roast”.  “Ok, ok, play it cool.  No need for the Thanksgiving Meltdown 2012: The Return of the Meltdown – a sequel to Thanksgiving Meltdown 2011 where we discovered the turkey was actually pressed meat and not a couple of delicate turkey breast slices in a lovely gravy.”  It seems that when I grabbed the small turkey thing at the store I only read as far as “Turkey -st” and my brain filled in “Brea-” refusing to see the actual “Roa-”.  Unfortunately, this happens more than I care to admit, which results in a lot of surprises of the “almost, but not quite” variety.  I see what I want and then my hand grabs the thing right next to it.

I honored this mix-up by declaring half-heartedly that I’d ruined Thanksgiving, then I troopered on to find the roasting pan.  I could do this.  About 10 minutes into cooking the roast, I noticed a smell in the air and then smoke began to drift out of the oven.  Something at some time had spilled and it was a very  stinky something.  Roast out, oven cooled, and then oven scrubbed.  Back in with the roast.  We never could identify what had spilled, but we both were sure it wasn’t ours.  Still, looks were passed since there was a lot of “something we didn’t spill” for someone not to know who it belonged to.  “Breathe, it will be ok.  No Meltdown 2012.”

An hour passed and it came time to fix the sweet potato casserole.  It’s just not Thanksgiving in the South without this delightful sweet marshmallow concoction.  I peeled the yams and as I looked at the peels, I lamented not having a composter (you see, if I just created a compost pile outside, Sam would move in, so I need something a little more contained or just beagle-proof).  After staring and refusing to throw the peels into the trash it was decided, I needed to slowly send those down the disposal.  A few seconds in, water and chopped-up peel were excitedly spraying up from the other side.  I skulked into the computer room where my answer to “How is it going?” was something like, “Great.  I mean if you count breaking the sink.”  I decided at that point that any vegetable that needed to be washed would just be done in the bath tub. “No meltdown” was my less-than-enthusiastic sounding battle cry.

After some Googling it became apparent that Roto-Rooter could be avoided.  Jay removed the trap or the “p” pipe or whatever it’s called.  We agreed I’d be the best to clear out the muck, since I don’t have the sense to be grossed out by it.  Incidentally, I’m the one you go to for dead critter removal.  Don’t tell Sam that it was me who took the last 1/3 of her baby bunny.  I cleared the pipes of sweet potato, who knows what, and an odd 3” slim metal thing that had to have been there for years giving unwilling food bits who hadn’t accepted their sewage destiny safe harbor.  Covered in a brackish stink, I scrubbed down and continued on.   No meltdown.

Sam threw-up.  Jay took care of it.  No meltdown.

But really the breaking point came when I went to free the yeast rolls from the oven and I threw the entire tray up in the air and all the rolls skittered on the floor.  You see, I really like yeast rolls and I treat myself to them once a year.  Seeing their little yeast corpses on the floor nearly caused me to snap and collapse to my knees.  “Oh delicious yeast roll, what have I done to you?” Jay gave me a big hug.  “I’m eating one. I don’t care. It’s the thing I love best.”  Jay knew better than to look surprised. Yes, that’s gross, but too bad! I was having a bad day and I didn’t do it at your house.  Plus, people need germs and this over-Purelled sissy world is only producing sickly people with pitiful immune systems.  Eat dirt. (Or so I told myself to justify standing there brushing my roll and blowing on it. 5 second rule!  Screw you MythBusters! You don’t know! )

The rest of the dinner went without a hitch or a full blown meltdown.

And that’s when I came down with this cold.  Please, pass the tissue. More NyQuil STAT!

4 thoughts on “The (Almost) Thanksgiving Meltdown of 2012

  1. Charla Doughty says:

    Oh sweetie…what a day! hope you are feeling better soon…
    love you a million…and by the way I laughed at your misadventures…sorry but other peoples near meltdowns give me sadistic vicarious reasonsto be grateful for my very quiet life.

    • Beth says:

      Thanks, CJ! I’m with you – other people’s meltdowns are hilarious and I’ll probably laugh this time next year, because whatever happens then will have to top this year’s.

      Love you! Hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. Two words for the rolls “street immunity” – you are bound to have some!
    This is the first year I haven’t been nuts cooking Thanksgiving dinner – I had to take over for my mom for my dad and uncles/aunts (basically all the seniors near where my dad lived who didn’t have their children around). Even the first couple of years after my dad died it was crazy get the dinner ready.(and I seems to always be almost sick…and went downhill the next day…so much for vacation fun)
    This year we drove to dine in leisurely in the afternoon with my daughter and boy friend – both are doctors – he is on call and must stay 20 min from hospital – so we ate out at a lovely slow paced place – and they sent leftovers home with us. If it never happens again, at least I’ll have this one to remember!
    I do hope you feel better.

  3. Beth says:

    Now that Thanksgiving sounds perfect and also free of flying rolls. At the end of all of the adventures for the day my husband asked, “Hey, are there any Indian restaurants open on Christmas Day?” Being clever, I could tell what he was really asking was “can we make Indian food for Christmas?” (Wouldn’t that be a shock once he realized his plans had been foiled and he hadn’t avoid another kitchen sideshow.)

    I’m feeling a little better. Thanks for the well wishes. I’ve become a bit of a NyQuil lush these past couple of days as I count down the hours until I can bask in congestion free glory. I may need to look into Nyquiholics Anonymous soon. Hopefully, I’ll be done with this cold before it gets to that.

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