OldDogNewTits












Today’s entry is short and sweet. I just revisited my Thanksgiving post from last year and it still stands. I have a special place in my heart for Thanksgiving because it serves as the prelude to the holiday season. As the overture to the grand production at the end of each year. And we all know how much I love overtures and grand productions.

Still, I want to say a quick thank you for several things. So, as I said at my own Thanksgiving Day table at my own home today …

“I am thankful for my family and my many friends. I am thankful for not having any kind of bizarre health crisis hanging over me this year. And I am very thankful for the many people who stepped up to carry me last year. Also, I am thankful to have found a writing outlet for myself right here. It really helps to keep my head together. Or so I think.”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Your readership means a lot to me. I hope your hearts (and stomachs) are as full as mine is right now.

* * * * * * * * * *

And, Mel, since I keep forgetting to promote our new project, I’m going to do it right now. My friend, Mel at AccordingToMags.com, and I are co-authoring a semi-monthly parenting column at manilla.com/blog. So far, we’ve had two articles published. So, I guess I’m thankful for that, too. :)

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Pay attention, my friends ...

… because this may well be the first and last blog entry you ever read from me offering recipes and help in the kitchen. Maybe it’s all the health craziness and anxiety I’ve been through the last month. Who friggin’ knows? But, for whatever reason, I felt inexplicably compelled … both after Thanksgiving and after Christmas … to create something really delicious and rib-sticking … from scratch … for my family.

And thus was born the opportunity for me to test drive the following two recipes, both of which had the word ‘carcass’ in their names. (That’s always a plus in cooking, right?)

After Thanksgiving, I made Turkey Carcass Soup. It involved a multitude of ingredients (nearly all of which needed to be purchased) as well as lots of chopping and dismembering of an Avian skeleton.  And, bear in mind, I am neither Julia Child nor Julie Powell, making aspics with calves’ feet and cleaving through marrow bones like lumber.  Still, if I had to single out the hardest part of this recipe, it was absolutely locating uncooked barley at the grocery store. It took three employees to find it for me … considering that the first two didn’t even know what it was.

After Christmas, I made Turkey Carcass Gumbo. That was today.  And it took me five hours. I even had to make a roux, which  was no small task and (shaming my name as a native New Orleanian) was a first-time effort. But I did it. And I’ve heard nothing but good reviews from five tasters so far. Pretty good for the short order, Hot-Pockets-are-my-Specialty cook who needs repeated lessons in simple rice making. (Right, Ashley?)

For both recipes, I used a carcass from a fried turkey. Yeah, I know that’s kind of cheating … in that there’s so much fatty, salty, seasoned goodness already seared into those bones. But, hey, these were the birds with which I had to work. So, don’t besmirch me the good fortune to have dined well for the holidays in the first place.

Oh, and while I’m at it, I should probably also share the gingerbread recipe I used this season. All of my children’s teachers got a little care package before they left for the holidays.

Every one of my close friends is reading this post with their mouths hanging open right now. Either wondering why I’ve been holding out on them for so long … or what past Shirley MacLaine-ian life has taken over my body in the last month. (MotherMeetsTheRoad, eat your heart out!)

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No, it’s not Milo … but wouldn’t that have been hilarious?

Anyway, I promise I’m fine. I’m just having some fun and making a mess with my kids in the kitchen. So, it’s actually a good time to stop by for a visit. There’s always something good in my fridge these days. And who knows how long my wild cooking spree will last?

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Happy Thanksgiving, ODNT citizens. I can think of nothing more appropriate for today’s blog post than this motivational message recently shared with me by my mother. She, along with all of my family and friends, is just trying to keep me calm and happy (a 24/7/365 feat as it is) in the days leading up to my surgery. Enter this curiously funny little message. Sure, it’s probably a viral email that some of you might have already seen … but I have not … so it’s what I’m serving up today.

This little creature hails from North Africa and is called the Naked Mole Rat. I’m sure he serves many valuable purposes in life but to me his message is simple.

Whenever you’re having a bad day and feeling down about life, remember you could look like a wrinkly old penis with buck teeth.

Message received, my stomach-turning little friend. Message received.

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really hope there aren’t any naked mole rats reading this post. God, I would feel like such a jerk.

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In seventeen years, I have only missed hosting Thanksgiving three times:

(1) 1999 – My son was born just a few weeks earlier and no one in my sleepless household was up to the task.

(2) 2005 – Two words. Hurricane Katrina. No home = no hosting space.

(3) 2006 – Still Katrina. That bitch meant business and kept us down for a while.

I love hosting Thanksgiving. It actually might be my favorite holiday … for the same reason that the rehearsal dinner is my favorite part of a wedding and Thursday was my favorite day of the week when I worked in a traditional office setting. These things all serve as the gateway to the main event. They are the proverbial firing of the starter’s pistol at the beginning of the race. That exciting overture is always my favorite point in time for most anything.

So, it was with heavy (well, let’s be honest … heavy-ish) heart that I relinquished the reins of a fourth Thanksgiving. To my wonderful parents, of course. Who were more than happy to help me and take hold of the hosting duties, which they don’t have as often as they’d like. (That last part really probably only pertains to my mom.)

I know my husband also really likes hosting for the holidays … so we’re at our own home. (Sorry, D.) And we like watching … or at least peripherally experiencing in the background … the whole Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a tradition I’ve observed since I was very young. I love watching the Broadway performances, seeing the gargantuan character balloons (especially the vintage ones) and even listening to the cheesy banter between the hosts. And tomorrow is no exception. I don’t want to miss New Orleans’ own 610 Stompers. I’m proud to call several of these goofy male dance teamers my friends and can’t wait to see the show. I better not miss it since I’m changing locations this year.

Stupid lung mass. (cough, sputter) I mean … Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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et cetera
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