Posts filed under ‘Family’

Top 3 Moments of Panic from Thanksgivings Past (Part 1)

Will the turkey thaw out in time? Or will we have to postpone Thanksgiving until Saturday?

TimerThe thing about a frozen turkey is, you have to be able to find a spot in the freezer for it, which can be a challenge depending on how big of a bird you end up with. (For us, this is actually a blessing in disguise since it forces us to finally part with unrecognizable leftovers from last January.)

But the other thing about a frozen turkey is, you have to thaw it out, and here you tread a delicate line between a solid-as-a-rock, still-frozen state and horrible bacterial-induced death.

There also seems to be some math involved, which is always a bad sign, but if you follow the calculations precisely, by Thursday morning you should end up with what I ended up with two years ago: a still not-quite-thawed-out turkey.

My first solution was to panic. Once I had completed that task, my husband decided to run to the neighborhood grocery store and pick us up a fresh turkey.

Now, this may sound practical to you, or it may sound extravagant. But if you’ve ever been to the sad grocery store in my neighborhood, where you’re guaranteed to find lottery tickets and cheez foods but would be hard-pressed to find chicken breasts, the idea that he would successfully find a fresh, not-past-its-sell-by-date turkey, on Thanksgiving Day no less, was just plain ridiculous.

But somehow he did.

Within minutes, he was back home with a fresh turkey.

In the meantime, though, I’d come up with an even better solution: I called my mother.

She talked me down with some quick thawing tips and assurances that it wasn’t still as frozen as I might have believed and also that her quick thawing methods would likely not kill me considering they’d never done me in in all my years of eating Thanksgiving at home (with the exception, of course, of the year my parents opted for a Tofurky. Just the idea of the Tofurky almost killed me.).

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, I sent my husband back to the store to return his new turkey. It was a good thing he didn’t have to go far, because he would need to be there for the next crisis that was about to strike…

Stay tuned for Part 2, “Potato Peel of Doom.”

In the meantime, I’m already panicking about being behind in this year’s preparations. For example, I’m past the deadline to make my leaf decorations and cornucopia.


November 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm 4 comments

Taking Some Heat from the Mother of all Fact Checkers

Really, I should have seen it coming.

I recently wrote about our family road trip adventures and, in particular, the endless drive to Santa Fe.

And that’s when I got the phone call.

Mom in the 60s

“What about the denim shirts? How could you leave out that part of the story?”

My mother called to remind me that she spent the entire drive (when not refereeing arguments between the kids) embroidering denim shirts for my sister and me.

Ah, those embroidered denim shirts. They were all the rage at the time (I’m guessing late 70s?), and my sister and I just had to have them. I have to admit, I don’t remember my mother actually working on those during the drive – and OH, I can feel the guilt trip coming just for saying that – but I do remember the shirts.

Since I can’t find any photos of us wearing those shirts, I’ll substitute a much earlier creation of my mother’s: the matching Raggedy Ann dresses.

Raggedy Ann girls and brother


But according to my mother, shocking though it may be, the Embroidered Denim Shirt Omission wasn’t actually the biggest historical inaccuracy of that post. The real issue is that Santa Fe wasn’t nearly the worst family road trip we ever took.

That distinction goes to the Disneyland trip.


August 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

The Road to the Middle of Nowhere

I was a child of the 1970s. It was a time of bell bottoms, shag carpeting, Skylab, Schoolhouse Rock, the least appealing shades of orange and green, and…long family car trips.

Now, that’s not to say the children in my family weren’t experienced flyers. My father had his pilot’s license, and for a while in the 70s, he had a little two-seater plane, so we had all flown at young ages. (And when I say “flown,” I mean it. Let’s just say that, very early on, we had an inkling of how bad of a driver my sister would turn out to be.)

me in front of my dad's plane

Marla as a young (and stylish) flyer

But the big family car trips are what I remember most, probably because they seemed to last forever.


August 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm 4 comments

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