Well, Thanksgiving certainly didn’t turn out the way I planned.
My house is always the one where the crowd varies from year to year, and there are times when I invite people and then forget that I invited them until they show up. One year I was driving past an open restaurant and saw a friend heading in for dinner on Thanksgiving. I stopped, made him get in the car and brought him home to join the rest of us.
When I actually know who is coming, I assign everyone to bring various dishes. This year Jackie brought a root vegetable casserole, Emma made an apple pie and William brought three growlers of his home brew.
Michael created a candied yam dish complete with marshmallows on top that he decided at the last minute needed roasting. Do you know those little torches people use to caramelize the sugar on top of a crème brulee? I don’t own one, so we went to the garage and found a torch that a plumber uses to solder pipes. We learn out here in the West to be innovative and that some tools have many uses.
The big glitch, however, came with my turkey. Because the side dishes were covered, all I had to do was cook the turkey and make the gravy.
After brining the turkey overnight, I heated up the oven and put the bird in. On the stove I boiled water and tossed in the giblets. A couple of times the pot boiled over. I didn’t think much of that, just pulled the pot off the burner and let it calm down.
Unfortunately, the water that boiled over seeped down onto the digital keypad controlling the oven, shorting it out and causing the oven to completely stop working.
No big deal. Here in Cody, we know each other, we look out for each other and we don’t have to go far for help.
Before the oven had time to even cool down, I had called my neighbor and good friend, Lin, who offered up her oven before I even asked to borrow. Lin was having dinner at her nephew’s home and would not even be there, so she just left the front door unlocked and I periodically checked on the bird, which ended up finishing at about the time we estimated in the first place.
After a long and relaxing dinner with enough food to feed the original Wild West Show, some of us headed to the family room and turned on the television where Graham flipped between the football game and a rodeo event. Everybody chipped in on the cleanup, we laughed some more, and eventually everyone headed off into a crisp, clear Cody night with fixin’s for turkey sandwiches.
I hope they remember to return my Tupperware. What will we use for next year’s dinner if they don’t?
Until next week, I am lovin’ life…and leftovers…in Cody, Wyo.