Thanksgiving Mooching: The End of an Era

I am fully aware that I spend more time than is necessary admitting my foibles and shortcomings on this blog.  But I’m about to do more.  So if you’re tired of my rantings and want to read about a domestic goddess, stop reading my blog now and check out my friend Melissa’s blog.  She’s more Martha than Martha.

So if you’re sticking with me and my pathetic ways, here we go.

I’m scared to death of Thanksgiving.  This is somewhat ironic given the fact that my birthday hits Thanksgiving every few years.  You would think that I would have embraced it as part of my personal identity.  But no, in reality, I haven’t.  Truth is, I might be considered a professional Thanksgiving moocher.

I have been really good at mooching Thanksgiving out of people.  My favorite person to mooch Thanksgiving from is my sister-in-law Kris.  She does THE BEST Thanksgiving!  She makes everything from scratch; no cans, no packages, nothing from the frozen food aisle.  Everything is fresh and everything is perfect.

Lest you think that I have never hosted Thanksgiving at my house–I have.  Exactly three times.  But here’s the hitch:  each time I have had Thanksgiving at my house, I have made my mom or mother-in-law come the night before and make the turkey, gravy and stuffing.  I have depended on store-bought frozen dough and I have bought the pies from Costco.

And here’s the ugly truth:  I have never cooked a turkey on my own, the only gravy I have ever made my family has come from a bottle (not a can–I do have standards), the only stuffing I have ever made has come from a box which included the words “stove” and ‘top”, and I have never made a single pie crust from scratch.  I’ve heard women refer to themselves as lard, shortening or butter pie crust bakers.  Women who talk this way have failed to realize that there is a fourth category of pie crust makers–frozen.  That would be me.  And the only pie I’ve ever made with even a frozen pie crust is banana cream.  (All you have to do is make banana pudding from a box, cut up bananas and top with Cool Whip.  I don’t even make real whipped cream.)

I’m pretty sure that I’m the only Relief Society president in the world who can’t make gravy.  You would think that my bishop would have checked this out before calling me.  I’ll probably be released this Sunday–now that the word is out (which really wouldn’t be the worst thing).

So now that I live far from family who have to invite us to Thanksgiving out of familial duty, I’m fully on my own.  And this country doesn’t have any of the boxed, bottled or frozen stuff that I have so relied upon all my life.  It’s time to pay the piper and do my first Thanksgiving from scratch.

I decided that I had better do a couple of practice runs before the big day–especially since I stupidly invited real people to our home for the big day; not just my husband and kids–who are fully aware of all of my deficiencies but have compassionately tried to protect me from humiliation by not revealing my little secret.  Those who I have invited include a couple of missionaries who are going to be expecting a real homemade Thanksgiving just like their moms make.  (Oh the pressure!)  So today I made practice rolls.  They weren’t too bad–kind of ugly, but they tasted ok, for a first attempt.

So, this marks the end of an era.   I’ve had a good run.  Forty-three years of Thanksgiving mooching is pretty good.  It might even be a record.  Someone call Guinness.

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8 comments

  1. Bonnie · November 7, 2011

    You had a good run Erin…..what can I send you?

  2. Diane · November 7, 2011

    You are hilarious! And I’m the same way! I’ve never cooked a turkey on my own….I get a roasted one–pre/done and just warm it up. I do the stuffing on the side (got a great recipe that is easy and delish!) So it’s a new year of traditions! You can do it! Don’t try to do everything like Kris–just focus on a couple of recipes you really love from her or your mom etc. You are amazing!! love, Diane

  3. Carol Jean Gale Poulson · November 7, 2011

    I love reading these! Do you need recipes or what? My pie crust recipe is no-fail and I have a roll recipe my mother used and got from a “Relief Society Magazine”, which I’m sure you are too young to even remember. Just give me the word and I’ll send them.

  4. Heather M · November 8, 2011

    So awesome! GOOD luck!! Love that you are doing trial runs. Most side dishes are easy… potatoes, veggies, etc. I wish you all the best! And look forward to hearing all about your cooking/baking adventures. 🙂

  5. Deb · November 8, 2011

    You can do it Erin…..good for you for taking care of the missionaries too! i think you should put everyone in the family in charge of making one thing so you don’t have to do it all yourself!
    Have a great Thanksgiving and B-day!
    love, Deb

  6. Holly · November 9, 2011

    I’m going through the opposite transition…. since getting married and moving out of state, I have felt like an adult at Thanksgiving, but since moving back by our extended family, I have become a mooching teenager again. It feels like a cop out! But too easy to resist! (like much of our life here….)
    Well, at least I show up with a side dish or two, which I never did as a teenager. Looking forward to moving out again – we’ve passed security check and waiting on health.
    Holly

  7. Holly · November 9, 2011

    check

  8. Donna Brown · November 10, 2011

    Erin, you are so fun. You must publish your blog in a book someday. Good luck with the dinner. I made homemade rolls for the Spaniards and they politely put their own bread on the table also. The family ate their store-bought bread. One sister tossed mine in a cupboard, probably to be thrown out later. They just liked their crusty, freshly made bread bought at the panaria that morning. I began to understand why they buy their bread fresh every day. A day later, the bread begins to taste sour because it has no preservatives. The missionaries loved my homemade rolls though! They were just like their moms made. We had to buy the turkey in parts because the butcher shops only had whole ones at Christmas.

    How can I get your home address? Write to me: donnacbrown@gmail.com.
    Donna

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