I really HAD hoped to wrap our long Thanksgiving weekend up in one blog post, but then, OH MY! The words were going to be too many, and I couldn’t sit still at the computer long enough to type them, so I was pretty sure none of y’all would have actually stuck around long enough to… you know!… READ them. And that’s why, some forty days AFTER Thanksgiving, I’m still TALKING ABOUT Thanksgiving.
Nothing like beating a dead horse.
Which really? I have no idea why I even use that term, because if I actually SAW a dead horse, the last thing I would do would be to beat it. I’d be averting my eyes as quickly as possible and shuffling on my way, because the dead animals open up a spot of sadness in my heart.
It’s why I have vowed to NEVER, EVER read Where the Red Fern Grows again. At all. Period. That little American classic will take me to a level of grief that most people have never witnessed, and which is actually quite difficult to recover from.
But then, too, Mika and I use the term “beating a dead horse” frequently, and we don’t have any illusions of animals who have passed on to the great pasture in the sky. We simply mean that we’re picking up our conversation from eighteen days ago, which the male brain would have plum FORGOTTEN ABOUT, but which Mika and I still remember clearly, and we even remember whose turn it was to verbally share.
Just yesterday, for instance, I called her on the phone, and when she answered and said, “Hello there, Hottie,” I replied, “I have called to beat a dead horse!” And she laughed, and I laughed, and we launched into a conversation that we’d started DAYS AGO, but which had never been finished.
Me still talking about Thanksgiving, on the Tuesday AFTER the fact, is not even a challenge for me. It’s just life.
Truly, our Thanksgiving weekend was a good one, but that’s primarily because Hubs FINALLY decided to quit fixing computers and networks and servers for a series of days which were side-by-side, and he stayed home. And I stayed in my yoga pants. And Hubs wore his college sweatshirt with the hole in the shoulder. And the boy wore his pajama bottoms with no shirt. And THAT, my friends, is how we lived for what seemed like days on end.
We cooked over the long weekend. Oh, yes! We DID. Or rather, Hubs grilled, because we had a little 12-pound turkey that he’d destined for the Traeger grill. He researched brine recipes online. He swiped a food-grade brine-ing tub from Enzo’s dad, whose claim to fame is PROFESSIONAL CHEF. Hubs mixed, and he boiled, and he stirred, and then we had a pot of brown slop that looked like what a septic system would spew forth, if a pipe broke. This brown slop even had leaves and debris in it, in the shape of BAY LEAVES and floating chunks of thick spices. The turkey went into the brine, and it sat there for twenty-four entire hours, before Hubs put it on his Traeger for six hours.
And then, people, I made some gravy.
(Please pause and let that sink in.)
I. Made. Gravy.
For the first time in my life, I did more than pop the top off of a jar that was labeled HEINZ HomeStyle Classic Chicken Gravy. Oh, yes! I DID! We consulted the red-and-white-checkered Betty Crocker cookbook that EVERY set of newlyweds receives as a gift from a great aunt. I blew the dust off of the cover, and we read about how you should mix the turkey drippings and the flour, and I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and plunged in. I told Hubs, “Please put your expectations for this pan of gravy on the floor, so that they don’t have far to fall when you get turkey-flavored mortar.”
Hubs was so busy slicing juicy meat off of his perfectly-smoked turkey, that he simply said, “This little bird is the shining star of the meal. If we end up with gravy paste, it’s really no big deal, because THIS TURKEY! IS DIVINE!”
Hubs is going to enroll in a Humbleness Clinic soon.
But I am here to say that the gravy was a SWEET SUCCESS, and even the boy shouted out, “This is amazing!”
In the midst of the golden gravy moment, I was living out Proverbs 31.
“[A wife of noble character] is worth far more than rubies… She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family… She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks… Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”
The gravy was THAT good. And so was Hubs’ turkey. And since all of this happened on Friday, Hubs and the boy and I had a post-Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves, so that we could HAVE US SOME LEFTOVERS to adorn the Wonder Bread the following day.
The good news is that I haven’t had to labor over the stove since the Gravy Moment. Our fridge has been filled with a plethora of leftovers, and then we met Mika and James and their children at the local pizza parlor on Sunday, to celebrate the Broncos’ win and to get out of the house.
I traded the yoga pants for jeans.
And I wore lip gloss.
We pumped our children’s pockets full of quarters, and we sent them to the game room at the pizza parlor, and Hubs and I sat with James and Mika and laughed until our sides ached and until I’d snorted in a very unladylike manner.
It almost sounded like someone was beating a dead horse.
And then! Well, we brought home LEFTOVER PIZZA to put beside all the LEFTOVER TURKEY, and I have no real plans to cook again until someone gets botulism, and we need to just go on ahead and clean the fridge out and cook something new.
I’m guessing it’ll be Pop Tarts, because my Gravy Victory took it out of me.
Gravy from scratch (Did I mention that? FROM! SCRATCH!) is difficult and also exhausting, if you’re going to get a sweet pan of perfection like we had on Friday evening.
And now, I’d like to say that I’ve fully recovered from the long holiday weekend, but the honest truth is: I haven’t.
I had enormous plans yesterday to CLEAN THE HOUSE! And DO THE LAUNDRY! And MAKE TURKEY SOUP! But all of those plans fell by the wayside, because I spent 90 minutes sorting wreaths at the boy’s school, which the kids had sold for a fundraiser, and which had arrived on a semi truck, ready for delivery. And then I spent 90 entire minutes on the phone with Mika, beating a dead horse, and then I met Becki for coffee, which turned into another 90 minutes of nonstop chatter, while our children gathered on the floor of Becki’s living room to cuddle the BABY GUINEA PIGS.
Because Becki is a guinea pig grandma. She’s fighting that status, people, and insists that SHE IS NOT, NOT, NOT A GRANDMA TO GUINEA PIGLETS!! I just insist that if her girls’ pet piggies have babies, that makes Becki a MeMaw. She even used the hot rollers yesterday, so that her hair looked PLUM DARLING and ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, and it made her look like a college school girl who was ready for final exams.
Except for the four baby guinea pigs on the floor behind her.
After we left Becki’s house, I had to run a couple of errands, and my Monday plans of ACCOMPLISHING SOME THINGS didn’t pan out like I had intended for them to.
Re-entry into the real world after a long weekend is tough.
It’s almost like making gravy.