TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

The Day After

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
Like most Thanksgiving hostesses, I'm suffering from TDAS, The Day After Syndrome, which afflicts all Thanksgiving hostesses on, well, the day after Thanksgiving.

The worst part isn't the clean-up after serving the turkey dinner to about a thousand relatives, or it feels like a thousand anyway. The worst is when those people include your grown kids and their families who should think about "doing" Thanksgiving themselves instead of coming back home like they still live here. When will it be my turn to ask, "What can I bring?"

This year, I had decided to break my long-standing rule and let a couple of volunteering relatives help in the kitchen, while the rest drank in the sights of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with football for a chaser. Big mistake.

"Never assume" is my large lesson for the year. Too bad I didn't think of it before the holiday. First mistake was assuming that my teenaged second cousin had a mind. I should never have assigned to her the simple task of washing and salting the turkey without pointing out that there are not one but two bags located in separate cavities, one with the giblets and one with the neck. The one with the neck in it was left inside the bird. Teen common sense is a misnomer.

Well, it shouldn't be too much of a problem to yank out the burned bag with the neck in it that was jammed in back of the stuffing before anyone saw it. That brings me to the second wrong decision.

I've always thought the turkey was the easy part, and it should have been. What could possibly go wrong? Making the special stuffing, mashing and creaming potatoes, muffins, gravy, seasoning, coordinating all vegetables so everything would come out at the same time, all those difficult things I assigned to myself.

Heaven forbid the aforementioned teen's twin brother should be excluded from the kitchen labor force, so he was assigned the task of carrying the prepared bird and placing it in the oven. Easy. Except he was unfamiliar with the oven and pushed the wrong button.

Ever tried to roast a turkey with the oven on "automatic clean?" You have no idea how much and how fast black smoke can come out of that oven. Everybody knows smoke is supposed to waft. Well it doesn't, not when your oven is on "automatic clean." And the aluminum foil "tent" we had remembered to place over the top of the bird to prevent the skin from burning, flamed up like pyrotechnics on the Fourth of July. The kids thought it was better than TV.

How clever the manufacturer was to have installed a "safety lock" on their product so that, when it's automatically cleaning as it accidentally was Thanksgiving Day, the oven door could not be opened. Thank you, God, for inventing inventors.

It was my brilliant husband who saved the day when he leapt off his Barker Lounge chair (so old it had been his dowry), and ran into the kitchen. He pushed the "oven off" button. Who'd a thunk? But how do you stop the smoke?

What's the way to stop a smoke alarm from alerting the fire department? Well, it's not screaming "Shut up!!" at the top of your lungs. That doesn't help, and it frightens people.

Grandpa was right; there was no choice but to get the big ladder from the basement, climb up, pull the alarm off the ceiling, and remove the battery. I expect a thank you note from the fire department for saving them a trip.

The kitchen was too smoky to continue with what was left of the planned feast. Besides, we couldn't open the oven door until the temperature returned to normal, which might be never. At our emergency family meeting, a solution was soon decided upon.

We all trooped to our cars and headed for a turkey dinner at the local Denny's. Perfectly cooked and served, with no clean-up. And, instead of the smoldering pile of foil and gizzards I half expected to find when we got back home, the house was still standing, the oven cooled and clean, with nothing left of the carcass to dispose of, except a pile of ashes. All in all, a pretty good outcome.

Things should go even better at Christmas. For the first time, nearly everyone volunteered to have it at their house.


Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand

"A Balloon In Cactus" >
November 24 , 2006 column
Email: maggie@maggievanostrand.com
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: November 24, 2006