John divvied up all the parts of the meal, and everyone brought their thing. I was just in charge of the turkey, the dressing, a pumpkin pie, and, of course, the gravy. I love gravy. I made the pumpkin pie the night before while wrestling with my fifth of the sermon for Sunday. I really hadn't thought I'd have to do part of the sermon, but on Tuesday I got tagged with it. Bah. First Sunday of Advent is always so dark, but I learned a little more about apocalyptic stories in the OT, so I dragged some of that out.
And then I was up until 2am writing hugs for people on Y!Gallery. *laughs and laughs* AND wrestling with the darned sermon, which is kind of bemusing to think about, really. Especially since the fifteen pound turkey really had to be in the oven by 10 am to make it for the 3 pm start time.
I made it up in time, and got oatmeal for breakfast and did the prep of the dressing and turkey with a lot of help from John. But the the rest of it was watching it, turning it from it's breast to its back (I like how roasting it upside down for the first half at low heat really helps with the juiciness of the breast meat) in the middle of the roasting and making sure it got good and brown in the latter half and keeping the roasting pan from burning all the drippings. I kept throwing in more liquids and chicken broth and stuff.
So by the time the turkey was out and magnificent, the gravy was easy, especially with the two separators that I have to hold all the pan drippings and get the fat to the top and the liquids to the bottom. A lot of the fat went into the pan first with the flour, to cook it good, and then all the dark drippings and a can of chicken broth and when it was still too thick, I had John go down to find the turkey stock in the freezer in the basement, and a whole two cups of that went in as well, and it was perfect. A little pepper and salt and I realized I'd pour that on potatoes.
Everything came together right at 3. There were mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with pecans and apples, The Green Bean Casserole, cranberry relish, olives of two kinds, an apple and curry salad, Great Harvest bread, stuffing, gravy, turkey, and dozens of fresh tamales. Two plates for everyone. Everyone dug in and the kids ate with remarkable efficiency and then went down into the basement and screamed. A lot. No crying. Nothing broken, but they ran around screaming and screaming. Luckily there is a door to the basement, and as long as there were no sounds of distress, we let them run around and scream.
Until they wanted dessert. Then they came up and they ate nearly ALL of my pumpkin pie before the adults even got to see it. Woah. I did not expected children to like the highly spiced version, but they went right through it even with apple pie as an option. I think it might have been the option to have whipped cream that really sold my pie. But even the adults snapped it up first, even though the apple pies were from Whole Foods and just gorgeous creatures.
Everyone talked, and really enjoyed the talking. That was fun to watch and participate in and listen to all the stories. I love the stories. It was bemusing having Bob and George talking about tours of duty, and Bob talking about his dad being in the navy and on the boats that sent the Marines into Iwo Jima and how a third of the men would just die when the doors to the boat opened.
Okay... it was funnier and fascinating to have everyone stop everything they were saying and doing to listen to Mei, a Chinese woman who has a fairly solid Chinese accent do her Southern Accent lines from the play she's now in. She did them astonishingly well and surprised the heck out of everyone.
Everyone pitched in on cleaning up. Everyone went home by 7. Jet and I played a little Crash, I put him to bed and he crashed, and then I sketched the first people I've sketched since the spring. Since they were Rei, Blanc, and Apricot, and I'm the only one in the play group that has even the least bit of drawy, I actually pretty much had to be... so I did. I don't know how successful it was, but it's a doodle and I need to try some more, as I'll never get any good if I don't try. *laughs*
I'm thankful for my family, my friends, and the food we got. John bought another turkey for us, and four more for the OUR center. Heh. It makes me happy to think about four other families that got to at least have their turkey, too...