My name is Tish Cohen and I am an Unfoodie. I am completely devoid of culinary instincts and can practically guarantee that no one in Canada messed up yesterday’s Thanksgiving dinner worse than I did. Should you, too, be an Unfoodie wishing to muck up a family occasion of your very own, read on.
To really blow it big time, it’s best to ignore your Foodie sister’s plea for a farm-fresh turkey and buy a shrink-wrapped frozen bird instead—because it looks less bloody that way—and plop it into a kitchen sink full of cold water to thaw overnight. Please note that the bird must have extra sharp poultry knuckles that pierce the plastic wrap, leaving a jagged hole. (This and only this is what prevents you from allowing your husband to thaw it in the pool instead of the sink.)
Next, because throwing a dinner for 14 is cinchy for an Unfoodie, try to squeeze in a power walk the morning of the big day—leaving yourself very little time to get the turkey in the oven for 11:30 sharp. Stomp blissfully through fallen chestnuts, along littered streets, and across freshly fertilized lawns. Next, run through the house in your dirty sneakers and take a moment to ponder what you may have tracked inside. Think about your five-year-old nephew, who will likely be lying on the floor begging for someone to drag him by his feet so he can pretend he’s on a luge.
Even though the time is creeping towards 11:45, quickly mop the floor. Ignore every natural impulse to then abandon the mop and turn your attention to the bird. Otherwise, you’ll miss the opportunity to drop the filthy mop head into the sink full of turkey-with-a-gaping-hole-in-one-toe.
Once you’ve watched the mop head fall into the water, it is important to freeze in horror and contemplate the consequences of 14 people eating turkey marinating in traces of fertilizer pellets from the bottom of your shoe. Realize you’ve wasted precious time and plunge your hands into the possibly salmonella- and probably pesticide-infested sink water and fish out the bird.
Decide that your thoughts are bordering on psychotic. Fertilizer is NOT in the water and even if it is, no one eats the toe of a turkey anyway and, besides that, the stores are all closed. Strip off the shrink wrap, scrub the turkey in thick drifts of salt, then lean up against the spreading pool of raw turkey juice on the counter and soak your clothes. Swear. Run upstairs. Change clothes. Come back down, wrestle turkey into the pan and lean into turkey juice again. Swear louder. Run upstairs. Change clothes.
Get turkey into oven a full hour late. Not a huge problem, except your husband will have to miss the entire meal because dinner time just bumped into the first period of his hockey game.
Clean up before family arrives. Drop your son’s never-been-emptied electric pencil sharpener onto the kitchen floor where it explodes all over the slip-covered chairs. Swear more. Try to vacuum shavings off chairs. Not possible. Strip off slip-covers and throw them out the back door, leaving exposed the nasty black high-gloss kitchen chairs you’ve despised since the day you inherited them. Family arrives. You’re completely spent. Your sister opens the oven door and peers inside. Sniffs at the turkey and turns to look at you. She looks impressed. “Is it farm fresh?”
Nod like hell and pour yourself a drink. Pour everyone else a drink, thus subscribing to the #1 rule of Unfoodie entertaining…a gin-soaked guest is a happy guest.