A near perfect holiday

This has to be one of our best Thanksgiving dinners yet. Every year we squeeze two dinners into one day. Rich's family lives an hour and a half away in Richmond so we have dinner #1 around 2pm and then head back home for dinner #2 at our house where my family has taken over our kitchen for us. All the guests have now gone home or gone to bed and I declare today a total success. It wasn't without excitement, though. My brother volunteered to take care of the turkey(s) this year as well as several other items. We had juice from a previous turkey this week to make the gravy ahead of time. All Perry needed to do for the big meal was show up with the turkey he had been cooking all afternoon. The plan was for dinner around 6pm but we were behind schedule a bit. By 6:15, Mom called Perry because we hadn't heard from him. The phone rang and rang but no answer. She tried again a few minutes later and Perry answered but said he had been asleep when she called the first time and had forgotten about the turkey.

When Perry did arrive with the turkey (he only live a few miles away) he was convinced the turkey was ruined. Mom and I said we thought it would be fine, but he just kept lamenting that it could have been better. We learned that part of his stress was how he had overslept and then woken up. Mom's first call woke him up but he didn't answer because his first thought was "oh, Mom's calling" and then "SHIT the TURKEY!". He sprinted to the kitchen where his very fancy remote turkey timer was beeping and wouldn't tell him the temperature but just kept flashing "OVERDONE". He scrambled to extract the bird and assess the situation, wondering just how bad it all was and all this super expensive timer could shriek at him was OVERDONE OVERDONE OVERDONE!

We think it was about 200 degrees but amazingly it turned out fine. We had tons of gravy and it was one of the smoothest run dinners overall that we've had in years. A big factor was that we are now in twice the house with twice the space to cook, eat, and package leftovers. It was a joy.

The only flaw in our plan was dessert. Since we were cramming two meals in one day we skipped dessert at dinner #1. And by the time we got to the dessert portion of dinner #2, we were all really full. My brother had also bought a sweet potato pie instead of a pumpkin pie, much to Rich's disappointment. Rich had foregone pumpkin pie at his parents' to come back here but had no pie. So I think at some point I'll be going out and buying him a pumpkin pie to have with his leftovers. And I think I'll be making desserts ahead of time for Christmas to make sure they're ready.