The Boring Word About Family Dinners

December 4, 1985

Since everyone forgot their diet for the day, ate too much and we’ve been eating turkey dishes for days – it probably could be classified as a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

Actually cooking the dinner and cleaning up the mess don’t bother me – its all the preparations getting ready to have dinner at our house that set me on edge.

Our family dinners are especially interesting because no one likes the same vegetable and there is a lot of pre-dinner negotiations before the final menu can be decided upon.

Then there is the question of the turkey. how big, what kind and how to cook? This year mother suggested a fresh turkey would make things easier – no defrosting and icy fingers. Having grown up in a pre-packaged frozen turkey world, my daughters were curious as to how fresh this bird would be (they were relieved there were no feathers to pluck.)

One cook in the family says a large electric roaster is the key to the perfectly cooked fowl, another family adviser says to cover the bird with foil throughout the cooking and of course Betty Crocker says do not cover until bird is browned then place tent-fashion foil over the breast. (I compromise and do a little of all.)

Having a table that only seats eight uncomfortably and owning just that number of chairs, there is the necessary trip to the office for the van in order to transport extra chairs and table home.

Since no one but my children enjoy our two enthusiastic dogs begging for food during dinner there is another trip in the van with the dogs and a cage back to the office where the canines can enjoy gravy train and milk bones for their Pilgrim’s feast.

All the dashing around with tables, chairs and dogs leads up to the real fun part on Thanksgiving day – finding all the utensils, dishes, etc., that somehow disappeared after the last family dinner.

Barbie has a much better equipped kitchen in my basement than I have upstairs. This is partly because, as I discovered Thanksgiving Day, she had somehow acquired my rolling pin, potato masher and muffin tins. The potato masher and rolling pin were covered with red and blue play dough and the muffin tins contained a variety of colored liquids.

Somehow dinner did make it to the table on time without a trace of play dough in the mashed potatoes.

(And the Pilgrims thought they had it tough!)