November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve and a Birthday

I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I love the planning of menus and all the preparation, even the grocery shopping. Not just for Thanksgiving...any party or get together than needs food prepared and served, I'm there! Now that Daughter lives nearby, it's even more fun. We feel the same about cooking and doing it together just makes it all the better. We have 3 days in a row of family dinners coming up: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Different homes, different menus, different family configurations.

For those of you that might be feeling overwhelmed by the meal you'll be cooking tomorrow or the number of guests you're expecting, let me tell you a story to put things in perspective for you.........

28 years ago tomorrow, my youngest child, Jordan Clifford Parker, was born on Thanksgiving Day. The nurses put turkey stickers all over his little bassinet and called him my "turkey baby".

Today he is a successful Chef, living and working on Martha's Vineyard among the rich and famous. He works at the very expensive Harbor View Hotel & Resort. Because this is the off-season, there is only a skeleton staff. For this Thanksgiving weekend, however, they are booked solid and Son has 470 reservations for the Thanksgiving Buffet tomorrow and he only has one other Chef working with him.....that's two people to make a full buffet for 470.... TWO PEOPLE!!#$%!!! They've worked 15 hour days for the last 4 days and he says everything is going according to schedule (luckily, he's a very calm, laid back person and very organized). Also, the Pastry Chef is gone for the season and neither Son or the other chef really do baking or pastry! Keep that in mind as you read this list of just some of the things they have made or are making as we speak.....

40 turkeys
30 hams
80 lb. beef shank roast (for carving)
45 pecan pies
40 pound cakes w/stewed fruit
450 individual pumpkin tartlets
40 lbs. of cornbread for stuffing
1000 crab cakes
100 hard-boiled eggs to peel
1200 raw oysters to shuck
3 salads
cheese and meat platters
full seafood bar
all the usual Thanksgiving side dishes

.........two people....TWO PEOPLE!!!! (and that's only the stuff I can remember!)
Kinda makes your 1 puny little turkey and a few mashed potatoes look kind of silly doesn't it? Just the thought of having to peel 100 hard-boiled eggs makes my head spin.....
AND if the resort is booked solid for the whole weekend it doesn't end there! There will be 3 more days of regular meals to prepare, too (for two people!) Where is there time in all that for a Birthday? or sleep? or even time to think? It's a good thing he loves his job......

HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY JORDY.....I love you, your family loves and misses you so far away, and we all wish we could be there to help (that would be so much fun!) We're all looking forward to having you home at Christmas so we can all be in the kitchen together making tamales.......

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