|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Nov. 26, 2014 - 5:13 p.m.
I am scheduled to be off work tomorrow and Friday.
If this actually comes to pass (more on that in a moment) it will be the first time since 2002 - 2002! - that I have been home for both Thanksgiving and the day after in the same year. (Having the day after is just as important. With my hours, I'd previously had to leave the Thanksgiving table before the cucumber lime jello salad surprise was even served so I could get to bed on time.)
Now regarding that qualifier "if it actually comes to pass": I've been scheduled to have both days off in previous years. I think 7 of the last 12 years I submitted the requisite paperwork and was approved for vacation months in advance. But each of those 7 years I ended up working Thanksgiving, the day after, or both, regardless.
Why? Well, that's just the way it is when you run away from home to join the media circus. At the last second a radio station may decide they want live programming instead of canned, and you're called in to do a show. Or it turns out the PD made a scheduling mistake and no fill-in was called in to cover for you. Or the fill-in was scheduled, but at the last second called in *cough*sick*cough. Last year was a little different. We'd just been acquired by a new company, and to meet their new payroll cap they fired half the fill-ins. Including mine. The week before Thanksgiving. Oh, and the year before that was the year NewWifey(tm) was called down to tend to her terminally ill father. I had off, but it was a very lonely 17-course meal at Dangerhouse.
Which brings up the next point. Whether I'm there or not, whether company is there or not, even whether she's there or not, NewWifey(tm) demands a Thanksgiving table practically splintering under the weight of a traditional full-on Norman Rockwell feast. Make that TWO Norman Rockwell feasts. We have literally had Thanksgiving dinners that consisted of a 20 pound turkey, a 10 pound ham, 5 pounds of mashed potatoes, 5 pounds of sweet potatoes, soups, sides, and sauces too numerous to list, a wicker basket of fresh baked Parker House rolls, and two bottles of at least three kinds of wine...for just the two of us. We'd start cooking by 6 am and start eating by 6 pm. And by 6:20 pm we were done, both too stuffed and too exhausted to go on. Two years ago when she couldn't be there I had to take pics and mail them to her to prove I kept the tradition alive.
It's amazing what girls who give great head can get a guy to do (but not surprising).
That's all just rambling preamble to this:
Because my boss took pains to assure me that THIS year he will not call me at the last second to come in no matter who dies, and because NewWifey(tm) has not been called out to the Ozarks or Uzbekistan or anywhere else far flung, I have invited a veritable passel of friends, family, and casual acquaintances to join us for a blowout of a hoedown of a shindig of an over-the-top wallowing in gilded excess Thanksgiving feast.
They all accepted. All of them. Most have been badgering me for years to invite them to an authentic DangerFeast, and they all leaped at the chance once it was offered.
Two weeks ago I started the prep. I shopped for ingredients rare and wondrous, I began assembling dishes that would have dazzled Caligula, and I started sternly admonishing NewWifey(tm) in progressively louder and more threatening tones that was she in no way to set foot in the kitchen come Thanksgiving morning. This shindig was going to be all about me, and she could go fuck herself if she thought she was going to take credit for so much as a pea. Me, baby. All me.
This past weekend I started the assembly in earnest. I made 2 different flavored stocks (one was a turkey stock made with a separate turkey I purchased just for that purpose), base for 3 different batches of ice cream (spiced roast pumpkin, tea masala, and Kahlua ice cream with macadamia nuts and white chocolate chunks), several kinds of pastes including puff paste and cream cheese tartlet paste. I roasted a full sheet pan of chestnuts, most of which will go into my cream of roast chestnut soup and the rest made into marron glaces. I baked two loaves of bread, one flavored with fresh sage and thyme. That one will be cubed up and made into stuffing. The other made into a bread pudding with pears and sabayon sauce. Plus a few other things you're too bored to hear about. Yesterday I started brining the turkey, and I have a whole list of things I have to do tonight before the sprint to the finish line tomorrow. It's like the movie "Big Night" around here, but with better food. (Seriously, no one wants to eat a timpano. It's only done for effect, not flavor.)
But then...it snowed.
And it snowed.
And it snowed.
And it hasn't stopped snowing. I just measured 9 inches on our deck and it's still coming down. It's over the corgi.
And then the phone started ringing.
It was my guests. One after the other they called and tendered their apologies, but all the snow up on Mount Lonely has made it too dangerous to drive to DangerHouse on Thanksgiving.
They all bowed out. All of them.
Even my father. (Although I'm giving him a pass. He's 79 years old and tools around in a 1974 Triumph TR-6 without snow tires exclusively. The snow up here would be over his bifocals sitting down in that thing.)
So tomorrow NewWifey(tm) and I will have cream of roast chestnut soup, asparagus souffle, rye flavored mashed potatoes, sous vide maple sweet potatoes, garam masala steamed butternut squash and currants, herbed bread stuffing, homemade Parker House rolls, saffron rice, green beans almondine, a ham glazed in bourbon and spiced honey, assorted petit fours, two different pies, three different ice creams, and a half dozen other things I'm too frustrated even to mention and will probably not be eaten but I'm going to make anyway. Oh, and a bottle of Norton Ridge pinot noir, a bottle Trimbach gewurztraminer, and a half bottle of BV moscato. Y'know, maybe we should just skip the food and dive into those wines. It might help.
Oh well. At least after the meal we can drunkenly hurl ourselves onto the floor and fuck like mink under the table without bothering anyone. When we did that last time our guests were very upset. Still stayed for dessert, though....
Ok, gotta get back into the kitchen. Don't want the blind baked vodka pie crusts to burn. Not sure why, but I don't. Even if nobody is gonna eat them, I still take pride in being a better cook than you.
You think I'm not?
I'll tell you what. If you can get here tomorrow by 3 o'clock, you can see and taste for yourself. You're invited.
I know it's a ploy, but please. Help me. HELP ME EAT ALL THIS GODDAM FOOD. I can't give it ALL to the corgi - for one thing, he hates asparagus.