I keep seeing all of these online tips for making Thanksgiving less stressful, and all they ever talk about is cooking dinner.
I'm fairly certain I could make this meal in my sleep. Where's the stress in that?
IS cooking Thanksgiving dinner stressful? Really? Turkey? Stuffing? Some variety of potato/vegetable/thingy? Pie? Hell, you can make the pie and half the menu the night before. You can buy a frozen pie for that matter--what's the big deal?
This is the second year in a row that I am not making Thanksgiving dinner. I would like to--I really would. I've been threatening to just make all the food for the hell of it, even though we were invited to someone else's house on the day of. It would be a pre-holiday turkey dinner. Last year, I offered to bring mashed potatoes, and my offer was met with a quiz about how I make the mashed potatoes, what kind of potatoes I use for my mashed potatoes, and what ratio of milk/butter/etc. is in the mashed potatoes.
I'm happy to disregard the fact that traditional mash is less awesome than my preferred, and better tasting "Garlic Smash", for the sake of this holiday--on this one day, I can set aside those delightfully rustic yummy-yum-yummy spuds where you leave the skins on and smoosh the potatoes with a glob of sour cream and/or cream cheese and some garlic. I can NOT make those. I can be traditional. I can make stupid, mashed, Whitey McWhite Guy, Idaho freaking potatoes.
I just prefer not to. Which, I suppose, is why I got the quiz on how I would be preparing the potatoes. Gee, it's like they know me or something! No wonder they don't trust. Last year, I showed up with Dairy Bomb Potatoes, which are still white, so they pass inspection, but in this dish, your boring potatoes take a bath in butter, cream cheese and sour cream. They're so good you wanna die. I'd bring them again, but I'm sure I'm banned. Those potatoes were like a trojan horse at the dinner table...
This year, I offered up sweet potatoes. This was met with another quiz, yes, but, it's apparently a lower expectation item because the cook of the house doesn't like them, so, when I bring some kind of stellar, incredible, sweet potato thing, I don't have to worry about any disapproval from on high. Let her suffer on her own for refusing to taste them. The bummer part is that there is some kind of marshmallow requirement, but I'm thinking, on my Bowl Of Whipped Sweet Potato Deliciousness I'll do half Amazing Praline Topping That Would Make You Push Your Aging Mother Out Of The Way To Get More and half Stupid Miniature Mashmallows. Then I'll just eat out of one side of the casserole. Or at least that is my tentative plan, though I'm not at all sure how to make a half and half dish look attractive. Hmmm...
Anyway...no, making Thanksgiving dinner is not stressful. What is stressful? Having some kind of specific expectation about what Thanksgiving dinner should be. There are people coming up with new and delicious ways to prepare this core group of foods, every year. I mean...you really think I came up with Praline Sweet Potatoes on my own? Are you kidding? Stole it from somebody else, a hundred years ago! So it's not just me and my mutant weirdness bringing this stuff to your table, m-kay?