Saturday, November 24, 2007

Carry Out Thanksgiving: A Review

NaBloPoMo #24

Yeeks! 14 minutes to meet NaBloPoMo, blogblogblog.

Let's return to Carry Out Thanksgiving dinner for a minute. I'd decided that I hadn't the energy to produce a full-fledged Turkey dinner for 7 on my own this year, after forbidding my sister and her family to contribute. "We'll carry out!" I declared, secretly also declaring myself a gynus. After all:

The guy at the deli explained to me: The entire meal would be ready to go, but I'd have to "reheat" the turkey in the oven for about an hour. The rest of the meal, I imagined, would be hot and beautiful, in deli containers, that I could perhaps, dump into my own serving bowls and beautify with some parsley. It's all about the presentation, right? Something like this, I thought:

Uh.

Not so much.

I picked up the generic, white box, at precisely 3:30 in the afternoon.

I lugged the thing in, 1/2 hour before the guests (aka, my family) were to arrive.

I photographed the box, giddy in my excitement.

There it is! There's the entire dinner, along with some fancy deli thingies I bought to put on the side: dolmas, marinated artichokes. I'd throw that in along next to my own veggie tray, a caprese salad, and some pies. Lovely, just lovely.

Upon opening the box, though, minor disappointment immediately sat in. Here's the entire Thanksgiving dinner 30 minutes before Teri's familia was to march in.


This is dinner for 7.

I got kind of a sick feeling immediately, and yet a thankful one: Thank God it's "only" my family coming. As if I'd get away with feeding them any sort of gruel, but would have been mortified to dish it up to guests like you.

So. To the right of the turkey sits 2 bags of Yoder's mashed potatoes, "just like mother used to make," the bag read. There was also some stuffing that required 1/2 hour of baking, after the turkey,...

and

something...

resembling...

or claiming to be...

"gravy."

The gravy was... transparent. gelatinous. yellow. ish. yellowish. It was like lava-lamp lava, dumped into a plastic container. It was...mutant, I was sure someone would end up with a 3rd ear, if they tried the gravy.

The food was squooshed into serving bowls, things were heated up. It was a proper, processed-food Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was fine, the potatoes too salty, the stuffing a bit creepy, and the gravy downright scary. My homemade sides were good.

The Thanksgiving meal I served, though tolerable, and generally fitting the bill, freaked me out. Processed food, in general, freaks me out. I really, really wouldn't serve this up to anyone, ever again, if only to comfort myself.

And Clint, the only person at dinner brave enough to try the gravy?

I swear...there's an ear sprouting on his forehead.

12 comments:

  1. A fore-ear, eh?

    Could help with male listening... y'know with a straight shot into the ear canal and all.

    Stock up on extra cutips though!

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  2. I'm sure you had fun giving thanks for everything but the "food". You shoulda just hauled them all down to the local mission- most of them have pretty decent Thanksgiving food....:) Hang in there!

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  3. MarineMom7:53 AM

    Sounds like my mother in law's idea of Thanksgiving. The gravy is always scary at her house. She told me at our very first Thanksgiving together that her family did not like homemade gravy only Franco American gravy. Every year the gravy boat got passed around the table and no one helped themselves, even her! It would have been just delicious on her instant potatoes. Anyway, I've been married to Jerry for 27 years and only in the last two has he been able to get over the trauma of his youth to try my homemade gravy and now he loves the stuff. Clint is sounding like a keeper by the way. At least through the holidays:)

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  4. I told you gravy was bad news.

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  5. Glock: You're on to something there...Clint's a good listener, but there a few from my past that could use a serving or two of that gravy.

    BuffaloDick: We could also have opted for 7 TV dinners...and thanks!

    MarineMom: Ok, that made me laugh, the gravy being beautiful on her instant mashed potatoes. Jerry missed out on gravy for 25 years?!! I hope he's making up for it by drinking vats of it.

    Sven: Ha! When I opened that nasty gravy, I actually stood there thinking "Sven would just die."

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  6. Oh NO! The only experiences I have had with carry-out Thanksgiving dinners were Exactly as you had imagined. Delicious and already warm enough to eat if my family didn't insist upon food being so hot it can take a layer of skin from your tongue. Poopies. I had hoped this would be a good time for you (as you deserve that always but especially these days.)

    But perhaps you and Clint can hit the carny circuit.

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  7. LOL.At least you have a sense of humor about it. And honestly, no one came for the food - they came to be with people who love them.

    PS: Salty potatoes are better than instant potatoes any day!

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  8. That was dinner for seven? I made that much for four!

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  9. LOL! This is too funny. Bad gravy, that's almost a crime in my book.

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  10. Oh I'm so sorry it was all blah! I have no clue where my mom got the one for our T-day a couple of years ago, but it was actually good and in those little deli containers that you dreamed of. Boo! Maybe the ham dinners for Christmas are better? LOL....totally kidding.

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  11. Stfarmer12:04 PM

    See, there is a reason for going to McDonald's for Thanksgiving.

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  12. Gravy:

    1/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup flower
    2 cups of pan drippings, soup stock, or water with boullion.

    on low heat, melt the butter, sift in the flower stirring constantly, slowly add the other liquid stirring until smooth each time liquid is added. salt and pepper to taste. it takes 10 minutes to do on the stove and you just can't screw it up

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