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Longing for the simpler days of cooking a big meal while a (small) hurricane hit

A little side of chaos when cooking a big meal


I love thanksgiving. I hate turkey. I find turkey to be extremely dry and tasteless unless it is deep fried and I am not about to deep fry in my backyard. I don’t want to be a featured story on the nightly news for turkey dinner gone awry. Thus, I focus on the sides such as sausage stuffing, mac & cheese, French green beans and so forth. I should note that when I say focus I mean order.

Yes, I just got word that my pre-prepared Thanksgiving meal order is on its way. I hope it gets here before the snowstorm that is supposed to hit New York arrives. I have not cooked a Thanksgiving meal in ages. Last time I did, I believe I made orange duck with tons of sides. My dog Milo was the one that mostly benefitted from the main course preparations. In New York you can get almost anything you want. As such there is no shortage of people who will cook your thanksgiving meal for your. That is something to be thankful for.

Here I await, while ostensibly working from home, for my fabulous meal to arrive. The snow a real threat and the lights are flickering. Big meals are never without some drama.

A few years back. Ok. More than a decade ago. There was a hurricane named Fran which was ironic in many ways including the fact that it was the name of my then-boss. We were let off of work early so that we could make it home safely since Washington, DC has no clue how to handle any type of weather-related event. And, to think that is the place that seats great power. Yet they can’t handle a snowplow. So, why are people shocked when they can’t pass any bills or even keep the government from shutting down. But, I digress. As I left work early to beat out the arrival of Fran the hurricane, I was also heading to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for my dinner party that night. I was set to entertain a few friends with my Indian dinner feast. I loved cooking Indian food. Nowadays, I just avoid cooking all together. I suppose I am an example of what happens when women keep climbing the ladder while also starting a family and while also having many chores to do. Something had to give and for me that was cooking. Especially elaborate feasts. But I digress.

I ran to the stores and got ghee (Indian butter) and turmeric and so forth. I called everyone to ensure they were still coming. I didn’t do mass texting then as I do now. I assume dinner parties are easier to arrange in a way nowadays. You put up a doodle poll and send an evite along with friendly reminders and updates. A decade ago, I did not necessarily have quite a handle on all those systems that now we take for granted. I have a question. Do people even send personal snail mail wedding invites anymore? Ok. I am really digressing.

Thus, I bought all the ingredients and rushed home. I walked in the increasingly-stronger winds that hit my face hard and pushed my body backwards. I persevered against the winds.  I was determined to actually cook. Yikes. Who was I back then? I got home, pulled out a cookbook and went at it. I cooked, stewed and pounded various food items. The place smelled nice. Then the lights went out. Hmm. That was problematic. Candles were lit and the mind went into hyperactive mode. Think. Think. Think I did. I kept going with what I could and then eventually the lights came back on. The winds died down some and I finished cooking the meal. The guests arrived rather promptly considering the extenuating circumstances. And a merry time was had by all. The food was good, the drinks were swell and a hearty laugh was had by all. Especially, since we got to rag on the aptly named hurricane.

If that were to happen today I would have just called a local business up and asked for what were their delivery charges during a hurricane. Or I would run to my local corner restaurant and done take out. In New York something is always open.  Ah, to reminisce of a time when things were simpler even when there was a hurricane occurring in the middle of a dinner party. Yes, those were simpler times indeed. Those were times when a dinner party could be planned without resorting to ordering out and work could be left behind. But I digress.

Happy cooking to all of you that will be engaged in the act of creating a meal for the pleasure of others. Many cheers.

7 replies »

  1. In East TN, one can order a deep fried turkey. I am thinking about doing that next year.
    And, if I didn’t know better, I might think this post was written to distract you from take home work! I also think you should tell your son that, in her past life, his mommy actually cooked some great meals. After all, they say men make the best chefs. That might be an area of interest for him and something you could do together which wouldn’t have to be very complicated or elaborate.


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