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Thanksgiving Tips from the Dark Side

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Joined: Dec 12, 2005


Posted to Thread #8067 at 7:26 pm on Sep 27, 2007

<b>Thanksgiving Tips from the Dark Side</b>
Posted: Nov 19, 2005 9:37 PM, Gail's Swap

In the spirit of sharing helpful hints this holiday season, allow me to show you a path less traveled in Time Management courses:

<i><b>Save time by using prepared turkey stuffing.</i></b>
What could be easier than adding hot water to already diced and seasoned bread?
[This is the point where—in the horror movie—everyone in the audience is screaming “DON’T ANSWER THE DOOR!”]
I offer you this warning to gently tear open the bag because—with just a tad too much energy—it can rip apart at the seam and fling bread cubes all over the kitchen. Forearmed with this knowledge, prepare to aim your knee-jerk reaction toward the countertop to achieve a recovery rate of 70% or more. In true Thanksgiving spirit, collect the dust bunny cubes off the floor and share with birds, squirrels, and unfriendly neighbors.

Of course, you must now augment those slippery little suckers by dicing a loaf of your own favorite bread into cubes. Hopefully, you will have a spare loaf, because remember, <i>you didn’t need to buy one</i> because you bought prepared turkey stuffing. Toss in a buttered fry pan until lightly toasted and add to the mix.

As you crawl around retrieving 7,294 pieces of crusty bread, it becomes apparent that there is nothing but bread in this package. No parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme. No Simon & Garfunckel. No dehydrated or vacuum-sealed vegetables. What were they thinking! That we actually wanted to live on bread and water? So go ahead and sauté 2 diced sweet onions, 2 stalks of celery and a handful of crimini mushroom in sweet butter until caramelized, then add it to the mix. Then ignore the cost-crunching executive who decided that 1/1000 tsp of ground sage was enough pizzazz for the General Public Too Lazy To Make Their Own Stuffing and add more spices.

Finally moisten the bread in two steps: carefully measure the water specified in the instructions, pause a moment in reflection, then use homemade chicken stock because, come on!...homemade stock versus water! Finally, add an egg beaten with some milk for no other culinary reason than that’s the way my mom does it.

Stuff the darn turkey already.

Time Saved? <-1.5 hours> lost in floor scramble and washing floor.

<i><b>Save time by using prepared chocolate spread:</i></b>
With the brownie crust and bittersweet filling already prepared for the Insulin Tart, the only thing left to finish was the hazelnut ganache. Ever on the lookout for quicker and easier, I noticed an unopened jar of Nutella in the pantry. Perfect! Why dirty a pan melting cream and gianduji when you can just open a jar? Unfortunately, after the first schmear, it was obvious the spread was too thick and needed to be thinned.

A second brain-storm hit when I realize—by pouring heavy cream directly into the jar and using a stick blender with the whip attachment—I could have pour-able bliss in mere seconds. I was mentally congratulating myself on this time-saving trick when suddenly the jar spun erratically out of my left hand and began whirling around the kitchen in a clockwise rotation while I continued to clutch—with my right hand—the stick blender jammed in the jar!!

Here’s what you need to picture: dripping chocolate on the walls, cabinets, my clothing (ruined), the kitchen floor, the living room carpet (beige), the refrigerator across the room, my watch, and the cat (indignant).

Time Saved? <-1 hour> lost shampooing the carpet and washing the floor...again.

<i><b>Save time by arranging your own flowers.</i></b>
By 6:00 pm, the food was prepared, the floor washed (twice), the carpet shampooed, the wine chilled and the turkey roasted to a golden brown. The cat was still scornfully indignant but had retreated to plot his revenge. Our guests arrived with more wine and a huge bouquet of cut lilies and orchids. My husband took them to the living room for drinks and appetizers while I went to the kitchen for a vase. Bending over to arrange them, I glanced down and noticed the most beautiful color of saffron smeared across my navy silk top. The nerve! Those tricky devils were pollinating with my breasts! And on the first date! I tried to brush it off, but centuries of genetic survival techniques had evolved the pollen into a sticky mess that could not be rubbed off.

Time Saved? <-15 minutes> lost sneaking past my guests to change clothes

I offer this submission with the heartfelt emotion that if one person out there can teach an orchid that <i>No Means No!</i>, then cleaning up that chocolate hairball will not have been in vain.

Jesus saves. Buddha recycles.

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