The title pretty much says it all. I do this all the time. On the years where I am actually going to cook (versus going to my inlaws) I psyche myself up for this great time. I make lists. I go to the grocery store 5 times in 2 weeks. I research recipes. I call my mother-in-law. I call my mom…and then immediately regret it as I remember she has never roasted a turkey in her life. I make more lists. And I am prepared.
This. This is going to be the year that I dazzle the world (my corner of it) with my Betty Crocker skillz. This is the year that outdo myself. That my husband will sit back from the table, look at me with wonder in his eyes, and say with a tinge of awe in his voice, “Babe, that was better than my mother’s cooking.”
There’s one flaw—one fatal flaw—in this entire thing: I’m not really a cook. Not even a pretend one. When I put a frozen pizza in the oven and remember to take it out 20 minutes later, I’m quite proud of myself. This one time, I almost severed my thumb off…opening a box of frozen chicken nuggets.
I’m kind of a threat to anyone—myself included—in the kitchen.
But I stoutly ignore this undeniable fact as I list myself away. List, list, list. Preparedness is the key to success. Preparedness will help me learn how to properly baste a chicken for hours. I am positive that the list I create even now will make sure that my sweet potato concoction will taste like ambrosia and not dirty socks.
And, if any other years are any indication, on Thanksgiving Day, I will wake up with a feeling of purpose. I will be invigorated, prepared, and fired up.
This will last for about seven-point-six seconds, or until the first thing goes wrong. Which will inevitably immediately follow me entering the kitchen.
1. I will be missing a dire ingredient. Like…turkey.
2. We will lose electricity for some reason.
3. I will burn/cut/singe or otherwise injure and/or maim myself.
4. I will burn something for which I have no replacement.
5. In my haste to replace whatever I burned with something completely illogical, I will ruin a pan or other cooking utensil.
6. In a glaze of panic, I will assume that something absolutely nonsensical like file folders will double as a broiling pan.
7. I will give up several times, biting back tears, until I talk myself back into trying again. It can’t get any worse. Right?
8. It will get worse. The smoke alarm will go off. Firefighters will chop down our front door in order to access and then douse our apartment kitchen with water.
9. Nothing in the kitchen will be edible.
10. And nothing will be open.
Panic-Stricken Day. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And yet, without fail, the next time we don’t go somewhere for Thanksgiving, November 10th will roll around and I will dutifully put “yams, brown sugar, that cranberry crap” on half a dozen lists that get left around the apartment.
Think of the children. I am. And that’s why we’re having pizza for Panic-Stricken Day. And we’re gonna like it. Because the alternative? Terrifying.
KJ Reed is a descendant of Betty Crocker…total lie. She is also Rachel Ray’s step-cousin. Another lie. But she really is an author of sexy contemporary erotic romances with melt-in-your-mouth alpha males and heroines with enough sass to out-tart a cranberry sauce. Visit her at www.authorkjreed.com for more info.