Friday, February 25, 2011

Husbands Birthday Party *Or* How To Poison The Family

We celebrated my husbands birthday on Saturday with his sister Elaine and her family. I spent Friday getting ready for it -- the kids picked out a 'shaped' cake. One that required me to cut a round cake into shapes to create another shape. I've never done this before. And time was running out. But they were super excited, so I tore out borrowed the page from the magazine at the doctor's office and we headed to Target and Michael's for the last minute supplies. Because, yes, I'd waited until Friday to finalize the cake.

I baked the cakes on Friday night, and put the turkey my husband wanted for his birthday dinner, in the 'turkey bucket' to brine. I.was.prepared. Clams? Check. Crusty bread? Check. Favorite rolls? Check. (bread for the clam juice. Rolls for dinner) Mashed potatoes? Check. Ready to make gravy? Check.  Again, I.was.prepared.

[caption id="attachment_396" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Kids w/'their' pirate cake"][/caption]

Saturday morning I made the cake. Oh, my. I was up to elbows in frosting, both hands covered in it, and fingers colored red. I had no idea how to frost it, having never frosted a cake that was standing on end before. The kids thought it was hilarious, me all covered in frosting.

Saturday morning we discovered that the turkey hadn't thawed completely. I made a frantic call to my mother in law, asking how to thaw it enough to get the giblets out. While shooting daggers at my husband, because why hadn't he thawed the turkey sooner?? OK, crisis averted, turkey thawed and put in the oven.

But, I turned the oven OFF. And didn't notice for two hours. TWO hours. When I discovered this I didn't use a single special word, not a single one.  I turned the oven ON and set the thermometer. Cooked the stupid bird.

The timer went off, telling me the internal temperature had been reached. I took the turkey out and we started making the gravy. Then I heard these words, from my sister in law: "Did you use red apples to stuff the turkey?"  I said, I had, why? Because the turkey juices were tinged red. Well, it was obviously from the red skins.

Right. We carried on, making graving. Husband began carving the bird. Elaine, picking at the crunchy, perfectly cooked skin that I had rubbed with a mixture of kosher salt, pepper, sage and rosemary. She dumped the juices into the gravy pot and I noticed they were really red.  A few minutes later I looked over at my fruit corner. And then I looked at my apples. They were yellow. Special words, people. Very, very special words flew through my head. I turned to see my husband, struggling with the bird, and Chris and Elaine peering at it very nastily.

[caption id="attachment_399" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Not red apple juice. Not at all."][/caption]

 Because it was bleeding. Damn it damn it damn it.

Initially we put the turkey back in the oven. But really? No, just. . .no. Dinner was instead all the fixings for a full on turkey dinner without the turkey.

[caption id="attachment_398" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Dead bird."][/caption]

Oh, and because we'd spent all this time waiting for the turkey to cook, then re-cooking it? The rolls I'd put out to thaw and rise? Had once again grown into mutant rolls. Only even bigger than before, if you can believe that.

[caption id="attachment_397" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Mutant rolls. Again."][/caption]

We drank a lot of wine and beer after this, hoping to kill the bacteria we possibly consumed.

And what birthday is complete without a new gun and target practice?

[caption id="attachment_403" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Because every birthday needs a little target practice."][/caption]

My husband really did have a wonderful birthday. Honest. We'll laughing about this for years. And I got a message from Elaine on Tuesday: 72 hours out and no sign of food poisoning. 

So, it's all good. :)