I didn't want to get up early so I don't think we started cooking anything until mid-morning, and then I remember sending Matty to the store to pick up various items several different times. We didn't even remotely have the hang of timing the food so everything comes out at once, and I think we just kind of made one thing at a time. When I got to the turkey, which we had stuffed full of dressing, I had it on one of those tinfoil bans you get at the grocery store, and I kept pulling it out to check on it, because I didn't know what I was doing.
All that pulling out and pushing in eventually ripped a hole in the bottom of the foil pan, which I decided to ignore. Turkey juice and butter from the stuffing (as I recall, we accidentally put twice the called-for amount of butter in the stuffing, so it came out kind of like stuffing butter stew) ran out the hole in the pan and collected on the bottom of the oven. Where it caught fire.
I don't know how long it took for us to realize the oven was on fire, but when we did flames were licking the inside of the glass door. I didn't know what you do about an oven fire, so I called the fire department. They told me to shut off the oven and keep the door closed, and they would send a truck. I said, "Don't send a truck, I just wanted to know what to do." The woman said, "Ma'am, if you have a fire, we have to send a truck." I said, "Um, I don't have a fire. I just wanted to know what one would do if the oven caught on fire... hypothetically." She said, "Ma'am" (people only ever say Ma'am when they're annoyed) "Ma'am, if you call the fire department we have to send a truck." I said, "Tell them not to put on the siren." She said okay.
So they sent a fire truck (without the siren,) and three firemen in full gear trooped into the living room to check the oven fire, which by then had gone out. They said this was the sixth oven fire call they had been on that day. As they left, Miss Moneypenny ran out the door through their legs.
So Laurie and Matty and I spent some time looking for Miss Moneypenny in the neighborhood. We finally found her hiding under a car, came back in, and resumed cooking one thing at a time.
Eventually Ben and Aaron came over. We finally ate at midnight, sitting on the floor around the coffeetable. The turkey was slightly singed but overall pretty good.
This year went much more smoothly, probably because I wasn't in charge of anything except the sweet potatoes, which I volunteered to make, because sometimes I go to Thanksgiving meals various places, and they don't have sweet potatoes, and I just feel like, what are we even doing then?
I was going to go to the store to get ingredients (based on a recipe from my friend Brie's mom*,) but I couldn't find a parking space at noon on Wednesday, so I decided to come back at midnight, when I figured it would be less crowded. And it was less crowded, but it was also set up like an obstacle course:
And this was the line at 12:15:
I got everything I needed. The next day I tried to make them at home but realized I really should have gotten more sweet potatoes, so I gathered my stuff, picked up my faux-boyfriend Cubby (as he is now called to distinguish him from the myriad of Joshes in my life,) and set out for Heidi and Josh's loft downtown, bearing wine:
which Heidi and her mom taught Cubby how to open:
Josh carving the turkey:
Heidi's mom making the gravy:
My sweet, sweet potatoes! You want to eat them, don't you:
Our lovely hostess:
presiding over her lovely table:
Jeremy actually ate all of this:
After the delicious meal, we sprawled out on the floor and watched a bunch of shorts that Heidi and Cubby and I made our senior year of college at LAFSC. If they weren't on VHS, I would post some of them to show you, especially Josh-in-a-Box (brilliantly directed by Tim the Lawyer,) which is an experience that should not be missed if it can be helped. Heidi's on the SAG nominating committee, so she had a bunch of DVDs, from which we chose Wendy and Lucy, which reviews called "quaint yet gut-wrenching" but which was actually "boring yet really boring." In that way it was kind of the perfect post-turkey movie. Cubby slept through most of it. I kept drifting off, but then waking up because I thought something was happening in the plot. It wasn't.
Hero was into the scenes at the dog pound:
After the movie, we all went on a field trip to see the lights on the street:
And then we had pie. And then we left, and I dropped Cubby off. And then I drove back to my apartment, where I crawled into my bed, still wearing my clothes, and fell asleep.
*Mrs. VC's Sweet Potato Mallow
2 big cans cut sweet potatoes
1 cup sour cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows or cut up large marshmallows
brown sugar to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat yams with a bit of salt, drain off the water, then mash the warm potatoes.
Beat in sour cream.
Beat in egg yolks quickly.
Mix in brown sugar, beginning with half a cup and adding more if desired.
Pour mixture into buttered 2-liter casserole dish, top with marshmallows.
Bake 30 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and golden brown.