Between Black Friday and dried-out turkey, Thanksgiving is really no fun. We’re just forced to pretend that it is. Really, the best we can hope for is to not have a complete Thanksgiving disaster. A random conversation with co-workers made me think this would make a great blog post, so here goes.
The first and best tip – go on vacation. GTFO.
During my best-ever Thanksgiving, I was one a plane. I crossed the International Dateline on my way to Vietnam to ring in Turkey Day. While you suckers got smothered in Aunt Bea’s bussomy, potpourri-marinated embrace, I was swilling cafe sua da and watching motorbikes laden with grandfather clocks, chickens or sometimes families of five in Ho Chi Minh City. It was absolutely glorious.
If you’re smart, you’ll head to Asia via the West Coast. All the amateurs are headed east to visit family in the Rustbelt, the Midwest and all those other crap places. Meanwhile, you can snag an awesome deal to Asia … and not have to fight the crowds.
Don’t not turn the oven on.
OK, you’ve decided not to do the smart thing. You’re not only sticking around, but being extra dumb by hosting the gathering. One of my co-workers was at a gathering where someone put a beautifully dressed turkey into the oven and started prepping all the other food. She forgot the small but not-unimportant step of turning the damn oven one. Nothing is worse than turning a perfectly dressed turkey into a salmonella colony. So don’t not turn the oven on.
Let the right one(s) in.
For some reason, visitors love to help. They want to get involved, even though by the time you tell them where to find the can opener and a decent serving vessel, you could’ve done it your own damn self … faster, actually. And people expect you to be all gracious even when they’re being a pain in the ass. But remember, even though it’s the holidays, this is your kitchen. Your domain. Here, you are the master. Eject everyone who crosses your mojo. (I find cranking up the metal a good way to encourage people to congregate elsewhere.)
Serve Cornish game hens.
Turkeys are a big, fat, expensive, tryptophan-laden glob of flesh that just can’t wait to dry out. And the second it’s on the table, the children – and your drunkest uncle – will immediately fight over the drumsticks. You’ll also be stuck with leftovers that will make you hate turkey for the foreseeable future. Head this off at the pass by making Cornish game hens. These little guys are reasonably priced and easy to cook. There are a zillion recipes out there – you can even mix and match, going as far as to accommodate requests for allergies and tastebuds. I did this one year, and it was a hit.
Hey, you also don’t have to go far to have a great Thanksgiving getaway. Check out this idea!