The Agony and the Ecstasy of Cooking a Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s no secret in my house or amongst anybody who has ever met me that I am not a great cook.  I don’t get it.  I cook everything on a high heat, because that makes it cook faster (it doesn’t).  I tried frying mashed potatoes once because I thought it would result in potato pancakes (it didn’t).  My signature move is starting something simmering or boiling on the stove, then walking away to check my email (don’t do that).  However, I can handle baking and roasting.  If I can do all the work, then put it in the oven and forget it until the timer goes off, I am golden.

So last year when I suddenly decided to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for my family, I was nervous, but optimistic.  And guys, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but rooty-toot-toot motherfuckers!  I don’t mind telling you that I made an awesome turkey that we went on to eat for about a week.  That little dude was delicious, and I COOKED IT.  I roasted that bird with a goddamn THERMOMETER, like I’m Mr. Wizard and shit.  When my family came into the kitchen to admire that beautiful bitch sitting on top of the stove, I was all YES, FAMILY, I AM A WOMAN AND I PREPARED THIS MEAL FOR YOU.  ARE YOU NOT IMPRESSED?  WILL YOU NOT FEAST ON THIS HOMEMADE GRAVY AND THESE  PRE-COOKED DINNER ROLLS?  YOU WILL NOW BOW DOWN TO MY DOMESTIC GRANDEUR BEFORE FIXING YOUR PLATE.

This attitude continued for about five more minutes before this happened.


This is the aftermath of Cornocalypse.  I dropped the corn while taking it to the microwave to re-heat so the butter would melt in it.  You can bet your sweet ass that if I had to roast the corn in the oven, everything would have been fine, but nooooooooooooooo, I had to get fancy and try to make frozen corn on the stove.  This is what happens when you try to get cute in important situations: your shit ends up on the floor.

Despite the corn-on-the-floor debacle from last year, my kids are super excited about Thanksgiving.  Which makes no sense at all, because they don’t eat about 75% of the food served at a typical Thanksgiving meal.  They are excited about the idea of turkey, not necessarily eating it.  It also appears that my brainwashing over the last six years has finally kicked in, because Phaedra and, to a lesser degree, Bella are excited to watch the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade (America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, to all you non-Michiganders).  I refuse to turn anything else on in the morning, meaning at a certain point I am the only person watching the parade.  I don’t care.  Tradition is not necessarily fun, and even when it is fun, it’s because you’ve been conditioned to believe it’s fun.  I’m alright with that concept.

Sometimes, though, tradition just happens and you don’t even realize it.  I didn’t know that my spur-of-the-moment decision to cook a turkey would result in my girls expecting me to do it every year.  We visit family for actual Thanksgiving dinner, but my girls now have Thanksgiving lunch as well.  And even though I suspect they’ll eat more of their Cinnamon Toast Crunch than light meat tomorrow, they’re still excited to see that turkey come out of the oven in our own kitchen.  You know, the one that I cooked.  Me.  Their mom.

I cannot wait to be The Man tomorrow when I pull that roaster out of the oven.

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5 Responses to The Agony and the Ecstasy of Cooking a Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. “Tradition is not necessarily fun, and even when it is fun, it’s because you’ve been conditioned to believe it’s fun. I’m alright with that concept.” <– This right here. I love this. Ellen

  2. Yay for cooking turkey! I did that for the 1st time last year and felt like a champion, too!

    Also, I love how you describe traditions coming together in an unplanned way – so true!

  3. Ruth says:

    if there’s no dinner rolls…my tribe would starve…their not big fans of “the MEAL” or the tradition of it all. A few years I went alternate routes, to celebrate other cultures…”where’s the rolls?” is the resounding cry! So I do a turkey boob, a couple of vegies and ROLLS! Took me years to get the formula just right & this year? one of them is gluten-free! ARGH!

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