As you may know last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada. You may know that because a) you're Canadian or b) you read my post a week ago about setting my Thanksgiving dining room table.
It all looked so idyllic. Like something from a magazine where guests arrived with pies in hand, sipped apple cider and playfully threw straw at each other. There may have been a before dinner game of touch football in the backyard where no one's hair got messy and grass stains and bloody elbows miraculously disappeared immediately.
I think we all know that's not how things went. So I thought it would be a nice treat for all of you to see how Thanksgiving actually went in this series of photos I took the liberty of taking throughout the day.
Because as perfect as the Thanksgiving table looked, that's pretty much where the perfection began and ended.
The night started off like any other Thanksgiving dinner I've ever had, with the guests arriving exactly one hour late claiming starvation.
I should probably apologize to them or send out a fruit basket because every room in my house must have been filled with ghosts or entities or a bad smell because without saying why, each and every one of them refused to venture out of the kitchen. Maybe there were snakes. The other rooms could have been filled with snakes. Yeah, I should send out fruit baskets for sure.
By 7 o'clock the buffet was served even though it wasn't a buffet.
Like a pack of snarling jackals, guests were clawing their way to the carcass, quickly turning on each other in an attempt to show their dominance. Soon the pack had been thinned out, all of them terrified to get in the way of the sharp toothed head of the pack ...
… Betty. The most courageous, dangerous and martini filled of all the jackals.
Within seconds all the others had left the kitchen, presumably to feed on whatever else they could scavenge in the other rooms. Snakes probably.
Feeling safer with the other animals at bay, the Betty, put her martini down. This allowed her the use of both her paws for tearing at the turkey skin.
Armed again with the martini and a fistful of carnage, the Betty becomes visibly more sedate and approachable, slinking out of the room to devour her prey in the dark corner of a room.
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Several hours late and 2 guests short (they arrived near the end of the meal) it was on. The free for all of eating, scarfing, snorting and laughing. It was around this time that the kids spilled chocolate milk all over their table, which I was wise enough to cover with a pure white, antique linen tablecloth. 'Cause I'm smart like that.
As you can see, by the time dinner came around I couldn't even be bothered to put the mashed potatoes in a bowl. They got served in the pot they were cooked in, just out of reach of the Betty, who you can see is eyeing them proprietarily.
After dinner some guests stayed at the dining room table while other wandered into the living room to watch the hockey game even though I hid the remote control. I do that every year so no one will watch television. Every year they find it. They're like raccoons.
Found this in my laundry closet. No idea how or why. Once I realized it was the roasting pan from the turkey it all made a little more sense. My family was insane.
Here's a quick timeline of how everything went down this Thanksgiving of 2014.
4:30 p.m. - It's a beautiful sunny day with a slight chill in the air. Light a fire in the pizza oven outside for everyone to sit around with snacks prior to dinner.
5:00 p.m. - Stand at door with smile plastered on anticipating the arrival of guests at scheduled time.
5:20 p.m. - Smile waning.
5:35 p.m. - Scowling begins.
5:59 p.m. - Guests arrive, blow past the beautiful outdoor fire, head into the kitchen and set up some sort of family refugee camp around the cooked turkey.
6:00 p.m. - Bikram Yoga niece begins to experience slight signs of cat allergies.
6:02 p.m. - Bikram Yoga niece is writhing on the floor itching, coughing and oozing. Eyes are watering, mascara is running, head seems to have swollen to a bizarre proportion. In a turn of luck, only the exposed portions of her skin are covered in hives.
6:23 p.m. - Get punched in the vagina by one of the children. Overall the night includes approximately 5 vagina punches.
6:50 p.m. - Lock up the vodka and vermouth.
7:00 p.m. - Roll Bikram Yoga niece over and drop some nuts into her mouth in a gesture of goodwill. Since she's lost most of her motor skills, proceed to hold her chin and slam it up and down to mimic chewing, then rub her throat to help her swallow.
7:01 p.m. - Remember Bikram Yoga niece is allergic to nuts.
7:30 p.m. - Serve dinner that took 3 full days to prepare.
7:35 p.m. - Burp and then stare at the carnage.
8:00 p.m. - Realize I forgot to put the radishes out during dinner and try to push them on people during the dessert portion of the evening.
8:15 - midnight - I have no idea what happened during this portion of the evening because I was stuck in a constant state of yawn, which resulted in my eyes being closed for 4 hours.
Midnight - The last guests shuffle out the door with leftover pie and a handful of radishes.
12:20 a.m. - Smash all the perishable food into the fridge and decide to worry about the mess in the morning. Tired. Exhausted. So very tired. Go upstairs. Find my favourite, cozy pajamas, dim the lights and …
12:25 a.m. - … discover wet cat vomit all over bed. Debate the long lasting psychological effects of sleeping in cat vomit.
12:26 a.m. - Strip the bed, throw the vomitty sheets in the washing machine (that's when I discovered the roasting pan in my laundry hamper), put new sheets on the bed, grab a cookie from downstairs, step over a ball of wheezing that I assume is Bikram Yoga niece, lay down and go to bed.
I'm writing this post from my bed, which I hope to get out of just in time for Christmas dinner. Which will be at my sister's house.
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Where did your mom get that tunic? It is so perfect.
Diet Coke should be one of your sponsors. It got a lot of advertising out of this post!
Such typical family behavior--makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time! Could so identify with the dilemma of guests who blissfully ignore the careful (and I might add thoughtful) steps you had choreographed in advance. I probably would die of shock if anything ever went exactly as I planned. Anyway, thanks for sharing your holiday. Your guests are lucky! Happy Late Thanksgiving.
Thanks Rose! VERY typical. In fact, I went to one of the little boys in the photos birthday party last night. When I got there I realized I was almost half an hour late. Runs in the family. ~ karen
Love it love it. Laughed until I fell off my chair. Thank you Karen for another very entertaining post
Suitcase Julie, lol. (Julie's a nearby reader who saved a suitcase from the garbage for me and lugged it home. This is what I did with it!) ~ karen!
Super, super post!
Your kitchen is amazing! I think I'll change my (deep) island to a more shallow one like yours, does it function well?
In Australia we call the chooks arse the Parson's Nose. We rarely eat Turkey as we don't do Thanksgiving obviously.
I so love to see the Diet Coke and remember old posts of yours about who drank the last Diet Coke. It is my guilty pleasure and I am so sick of trying to 'be good' and not drink it.
I love the stuff, but prefer it out of the small bottles. So thank you for showing me that other people in the world love to drink it and have not grown a huge gross tumour or some weird undetectabel illness from doing so.
No more guilt over my Diet coke. New Rule.
Oh, Snap! Laugh out loud funny. Same issues with that damn kitchen gathering here in Georgia, exceptin' the gentlemen folks all seem to gather down yonder in the den with the TV... What the what? I always find pans/flatware/small appliances in the trash after family gatherings.... Wait a minute-- we've been missing a sister for a while now...................
BAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA Vagina punches are the worst! Thanks for the morning laugh! Cheers.
Fabulous! How are you enjoying the oven/stove?
Wow. Your evening makes my solo Thanksgiving dinner of porridge and wine seem ... well ... quite restful.
Porridge like oatmeal? I love oatmeal. And I make a bet you weren't cleaning up your bowl of oatmeal until yesterday! ~ karen
Ok - laughing a lot - at the post and the comments.
And how many people does that lovely table seat? And where did it come from?
How big was that turkey!?! My work mate just passed by as Betty was putting her hand in … and gawked. Always a chuckle reading your post -- hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
25 pounds! And it was great thank you. Hope yours was good as well. And by good I mean more relaxing than mine, lol. ~ karen!
That was so funny Karen!! All of it. Our thanksgiving was super quiet....no dinner at all this year. Which was ok....I wish I had a big family to have dinner with instead of a small super dysfunctional one.
Girlfriend helping the women of her fiances family cook thanksgiving dinner. Her charge the turkey. Spent hours making a beautiful, very detailed decorative puff pastry crust for the turkey. Before the turkey left the kitchen to the table all the women ripped off the puff pastry crust and started eating the turkey skin, stating "this is tradition." I would not have married this guy and his family. She did.
Thank you for all your really fun posts!
God, I love this blog...
On this mild Sunday morning, before heading to church, I decided to check your post - looking at the outdoor lighting. Gleaning ideas for our backyard. Since Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays I thought I would meander over to your "decorating at Thanksgiving". I started reading your post, in which you mention the jackals...snakes, etc. I laughed outloud. Thanks for the laugh. Your family must be a bunch of good sports also. Thoroughly enjoyed it. thanks!
THanks for the reminder Shellie. I went back and reread that old Thanksgiving post. My mother swears she didn't eat the turkey skin with stuffing stuck to it. To this day she refuses to believe it even though there's photographic evidence! ~ karen
You really are entertaining. I'm actually laughing out loud....again. Thanks to you....and you family. Shellie