Another Turkey Day has come and gone. Any company that was invited walked out with full bellies and a saran-wrapped bundle of goodness under each arm ….and the fridge is still bulging with left overs from the feast….
Now you got me , what are you going to do with me ?
So.. You planned . You patiently waited until the last minute to hit the stores. The 90 pound Turkzilla came out of the deep freeze to defrost .
A bag of potatoes to peal. Sweet potatoes falling off the already full kitchen island . Casseroles to whip up. Pies and cakes begin to cover counters. Crackers chips and dips edge up against sausages and rolls threatening collapse over burdened counters .
You watch the clock , figuring out the timing to get everything to come out at the same time.
Now you look at cooking time for a bird the size of your mother-in-law and the panic sets in as the 15 minutes per pound settles in. Almost two days ? What the hell?
A knock sounds at the door.
” Oh Come on now ! Really? Six hours early? Seriously?”
You stare at the bird wondering how you are going to pull this one off.
Well… It ain’t fancy But!
You’re seriously buggered your timing. What do you do now? Split the bird and cut the time.
Your first batch of company fortunately includes a brother who has no qualms in bringing a recip saw into the kitchen to help .
Fifteen minutes later with help from yet another family member ,you have a roaster oven and the main oven roasting turkey halves.
You feel something cold and damp bounce off your shoulder. Spinning around you stare at the label of a ice cold beer..
“Sweet ! Morning Beers !” This day may be happening yet.
The rule of Chaos squared
The weather may be chill but somehow the porch seems like the place to be as you sit with friends talking about the good old days when your parents did the cooking and your part was simply to show up , eat too much and walk off with the aforementioned saran-wrapped packages .
The lesser fun of family and friends spend their time in the living room gossiping as they stare at the 4k TV viewing a rousing 8 hour version of a kitten under a tree by a fire.
You look in on them , and the foods cooking as you grab another round of beers.
Kids running through the house chasing your cat who is one tail grab from whipping out the claws and shredding the lot of them.
Your lazy dog lies next to the Brother-in-law who , not only today , but every time they visit is sitting in your chair. Your dog looks up at you , wagging his tail and grinning. Walking back out the door you hear you BIL gasp calling out;
” He did it again ! Why does your dog ALWAYS fart under my feet? “
You salute the BIL answering as you ALWAYS do:
” He knows you piss me off when you sit in my chair. He is just reminding you. “
Your daughter’s boy friend shows up as you sit down again. Your Brother grins at you and winks.
” Shall we ‘invite’ him to sit out here ?”
Grinning back , you head around the house together , cutting off the boy at the front door , casually pulling him along to sit between the two of you… On the cooler.
After the party’s over
More than half of the horde you expected showed , making a dent in the feast laid out through out the kitchen and morning room then on down the dining table.
The sad thing is; even after everyone ate you still seem to have almost as much as you started beings everyone felt it necessary to bring something with them.
You glare at the kitchen island , literally stacked with dishes . Remnants of meals on most plates…. Now, beings that every generation has uttered the same message as people emptied their plates;
” Dump any left on your plate into the trash before you stack it on the counter. “
You mentally slap each one of them in the back of the skull….Well.. the ones you didn’t Literally smack in the back of the skull… BIL..Daughter’s boy friend …and others…
It’ll fit. No worries
Zip lock bags cover the counter that you just emptied of dirty dishes. Under the bags are casserole dishes. Tupperware takes up most of the space on the morning room harvest table .
You open the fridge to see one shelf not in use and sigh.
Your wife reminds you ;
“Fortunately , you have an outdoor fridge ..”
You sigh again…. That’s the beer fridge.
“Crap………. Yes Dear .”
She smiles , patting you on the shoulder as she lays the last tupperware container on top of the two are stack you are laden with.
” Don’t worry…It’ll fit just fine. “
What Do you do with eighty pounds of turkey ?
Sandwiches? Casseroles ? Soup ? Turkey shakes?
Well , at least it will go well with the forty pounds of mashed taters and fifty pounds of stuffing.
Turkey Day on Zen
I mentioned that Ma gets to work the holidays which buggers any thoughts of hanging with any friends or family ….you know; our norm.
We decided to make a go of it anyway for the two of us.
Fortunately our turkeys all average around twelve pounds making cook time quick and easy. Using a roaster oven leaves our stove open for anything else.
MA made us pumpkin pie from one of our pumpkins we grew in Little Eden. Straight from the garden , roasted then whipped into a pie by Ma.
I walked out into one of the other gardens in Eden picking Brussel Sprouts which Ma then tossed on the stove.
Herbs from Eden were packed into the turkey as well as all of the other dishes.
Ma also whipped up heavy cream for the pie.
Fresh cranberries were cooked up. Yukon Gold taters chopped cooked down and smashed . Sweet potatoes cut up and baked.
Ma had done a few things ahead of time making things smooth and quick.
Before we knew it, dinner was ready and it was awesome. Ma is an amazing cook and outdid herself yet again all without the hassles of the Ginormous meals of back in the day.
Leftovers from Turkey Day on Zen
Another nice thing about worrying about only the two of us , though another mouth or two makes little difference , is that we know how much is more than enough , keeping the fridge from exploding afterwards.
I always just grin at people complaining about the tons of leftovers and no idea what to do now.
I work with one person that simply will not eat leftovers of any kind and complains about tossing so much out and still is forced to eat at least some of the vittles again . They try to come up with something new out of what is left in the fridge….
When it comes to Ma and I ; we always have leftovers around as we are hard on the run through out the week and through the weekend. If we didn’t eat leftovers , we would starve…. There has been enough times that we didn’t have anything in the fridge and being on the run from wee hours to wee hours we had a single quick meal woofed down then sat , winding down with cramps from tummies too full after shrinking up from the last twenty four hours… * shrug * so I cook up a bunch as I work around on the weekends and Ma adds more when she cooks up meals. The coyote kids get very little on Saturdays when we clean up whatever is in the fridge along with what little of the week’s soup is left.
After our turkey dinner was finished, we had just enough leftovers to enjoy sandwiches made with Ma’s home made bread. Stuffing made with Ma’s home made bread and the wee little bit of taters and cranberries .
It is unlikely that what little that was left will make it to the weekend , even with the leftovers, if any, from week evening meals.
Just because you CAN buy a turkey that won’t fit in the back seat doesn’t mean you NEED to.
The weekend went entirely too fast. Even what little time Ma and I had together we busted butt , working on projects around the ranch.
We also took out a bunch of tech , in a world that is heaping it everywhere in their lives. We always try to balance low tech with high.
Ma spins her own yarn then knits shirts, shawls , over sweaters of all kinds , hats , gloves and on. Her work is very nice , even notable through out the knitting world ..as in around the world.
Then myself , on the other hand. I have a home based studio. Keys, drum pads, guitars , basses , mandos and more. I have all the recording programs I need , though that is always something to keep updated. I play , I record. I am my own band ..because , well , I can stand me …
We burn wood , we cook mostly with cast iron . I make as many of Ma’s tools in the shop as I can. We garden to can . We grow herbs to last all year.
At this very moment, as I write , I am also canning turkey stock. I use stock for our soups as well as a lot of other meals .
We use flip phones…Until we are forced to get smart phones. I simply don’t see any point in it. I use a phone for work and emergencies . I text I talk… Ma is the same. We don’t chat on the phone. We talk to people all day , why would we want to chat on the phone when we have time together.. Anything else a smart phone will do we can do without just as well…plus they are flimsy , even the best ones and they sure as hell wont fit in my pocket.
We actually broke down and ordered a Fire TV stick thingie . We both laughed at the thought of the higher tech for a TV but we knocked out satellite TV so this is the better option.
Lil buck had a close call
Lil Buck came in again today to visit and I noticed that he got into some trouble with something . Not sure what , but his right side is ll tore up in a long crease . It doesn’t seem to bother him too much but he is little slower so we will see how winter treats him.
Zen again , the Sun will also rise
We had been up for quite some time. For some reason neither of us could sleep finally getting us out of bed around 3:30am.
We sat on the porch for a while listening to the morning sounds.
We had an owl hooting on the pole next to the bedroom yet again . It seems that it is a hot spot for our night time predators . A second owl answering from the trees just to the north of the house , chatting the early morning away as were Ma and myself.
The coyote kids hearing us talking ,decided to say good morning before they headed back out hunting.
You can tell the difference in some of them by their voices. “Limpy” has a very deep voice , he is a large coyote Male and was answered by Mama and the kids from the den area to the SouthEast of us. Soon others from the pack put in their two cents from the SouthWest as they walked the perimeter of their home area. Soon another pair of coyote called in from the North , the next pack up and another few from far to the East the next pack away and closer to Gotham.
The chill breeze from the east drove Ma and I into the house for a while as we caught up in our respective offices.
Colors beginning to show in the far east mountain range found Ma and I walking back out again to watch the coming of the dawn.
Browns reds oranges and yellows began to chase at the black of the retreating night . A tint of the sun broke through the clouds to wink at us as dawn approached . Soon after , clouds filled in the hole the sun tried to crawl through bringing back the dark though the colors of dawn reflect off the bellies of higher clouds.
Our doe came slowly pacing in looking about her to make sure Limpy wasn’t too close. She sees me standing on the deck and proceeds to walk on in to the yard to come visit with us , walking around the edge of the deck as we talk to her.. She spooks for a moment making both Ma and I look around for the culprit…
Bouncing between the junipers is teenie bunnie as she hops into the yard , stops and stares at our doe who returns the look.
“Shoo Flopsie !”
” Bugger off Bambi or I’ll chew your stick legs off at the ankles . “
I watch the two of them facing off stomping and hopping at each other in some woodland game of “Chicken” chuckling to myself , thinking…It’s a new start to
Just another day on Zen Mountain.