Thursday, November 26

The disaster that keeps on giving . . .

Happy Turkey Day! I have truly been blessed with wonderful family and friends, more creature comforts than I deserve, and some trials along the way that have made me a better person. Some of those trials even keep on giving and today I'm grateful for my Thankgiving blunder seven years ago.

We are spending Thanksgiving with Ryan's brother and his family in Munich. Their oldest five kids still have school today at one of Munich's international schools which leaves my three and their youngest cousin home. The boys have been so excited because their cousins love video games too and there's many little handheld DS machines to keep them happy. Well, they're happy until they can't figure out the game they're playing or want to try the one someone else has. Ah well, life is rough! Not to mention that I made them come outside and play with me for a half hour, no whining aloud!

Speaking of rough, I'm sitting here blogging while the menfolk and Tamsyn are cooking our feast! I think I might get to make the mashed potatoes and offer to clean-up to even out the workload. There's a reason I'm not in the kitchen cooking on this day every year. The story is blog-worthy, blesses me each year, and is one of my life's most embarrassing moments.

Back in August 2002, Ryan and I got married. That November we knew we'd have my brother as well as Ryan's mom and her husband down from New England. Ryan also invited a visiting European professor from the department at GWU where he worked so the gentleman could experience a true American holiday. We lived in an apartment with a tiny kitchen in Crystal City, Virginia (right outside of DC) and I thought it couldn't be too difficult to pull off. I couldn't have been more wrong and I'm so grateful to this day that no one became ill!!!

I'd cooked Thanksgiving with my roommates and helped prep while growing up at home, but this was my first Thanksgiving on my own. All seasoned pros know that planning and timing are what make it a success. I was not prepared! At meal time with guests minutes from arriving, the bird was still cold next to the bone. I can't remember how we tried to remedy this. As I took the stuffing out of the oven in a dish, it was burning my hand so I turned to put the hot dish on the counter but it slipped and fell into the sink. The water faucet was on and thoroughly soaked it! My gravy was lumpy. Good grief! And the fun didn't stop there!

My brother Chris had offered to bring home-made rolls. He's a pretty good cook and baker, but on this day the rolls didn't turn out and were like small round stones to bite into. But my sweet corn from the can was fabulous. And the mashed potatoes were good because it's hard to screw them up. Our European guest brought wine, not knowing we are LDS and don't drink. To this day I'm not sure if that translated to his satisfaction. All I remember about the meal is apologizing profusely and praying we survived the evening! Not many, if any, had seconds. It was not a feast, it was a true disaster! So much for showing off my cooking skills to my mother-in-law and proving I can take care of one of her darling boys! I was so relieved when the abominable dinner was done and cleared! We played some silly games and then we were in for the best part: Dessert!

Ryan saved the evening for sure! He figured he'd try his Grandma Dale's apple pie. When in college, he'd asked her if she'd teach him how and she was delighted, even bought him a rolling pin and such! I've never made a pie but absolutely love a good apple pie and Ryan's was TO DIE FOR! I was so surprised and excited he had this up his sleeves and I'd married him! YEAH for me!

The following year, Ryan said he wanted to make Thanksgiving and try to do it like his mom. And so my disaster has been a blessing ever since! Ryan actually enjoys making our feast and I love to eat it! I love all the chatter back and forth between him and his mom each year as they talk up their respective preparations and recipes. This year with two of her sons under one roof, it's been fun to see who does what and I feel even less of a need to hover and help! Now that's something to be thankful for!