Friday, October 14, 2005

Pie, Oh My! or You're thinking about inviting your Mom over for Thanksgiving!

pg: Do you think I should invite my mom over for Thanksgiving? She’s making an effort by sending you a birthday gift and calling you during the train threats. Should I extend an olive branch?
L: The poison fruit she sent me? Oh, I guess. It would be a nice gesture.
pg: I ate them and I am fine. Am I setting myself up for the fall and disappointment?
L: Just remember that she can say ‘no’ like she did last year and the year before. And you we're fine because you're like Vizzini and have developed an iron stomach.
pg: Hmm. Ok.

Thus my evening was spent researching a possible menu and contemplating holding Thanksgiving again.

The very first time I made a Thanksgiving meal was two years ago. My mother-in-law asked me to and I did obligingly. I was actually quite excited. As a kid, Thanksgiving dinner was the same as every other day in our calendar. My mother had no idea what to do with a Turkey so we had Chinese food instead.

When I grow up, I’m going to learn how to make a Turkey day feast, I said to myself. I want a big banquet for my family to share. So I accepted my MIL’s request and accomplished one of my ‘before-I-die’ items. Then I promptly agreed that Turkey day ’04 would be spent at our cousin’s house free from the shackles of the kitchen.

Now with the holidays approaching, maybe it’s a good time to try to connect with my Mother again. Now, I’m not saying this is going to be A Joy Luck Club production. I’m not expecting anything that involves tears and ‘now-you-understand-my-hardships’ stories. I just want to be able to sit down and have a meal with my mom without grudges and niceties.

My mother-in-law has told me she won’t be coming to the city in November so it would be a small affair, one that may not have to involve a whole turkey. My mom and stepdad eat very little so I can get a half bird or even a few turkey breasts and skip the whole carving fiasco of 2003.

What about your father-in-law? Well, first, they’ll probably be in France. Second, my step-MIL and step-SIL don't eat Turkey. Third, they won’t step foot in our apartment now that step-SIL has been diagnosed with allergies to every microbe known to man.

I know this is really premature to talk about but family gatherings with my mother are not the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants ordeals that you would normally expect. Everything is choreographed. It’s like a ballet recital for a 6 year old. It’s organized chaos.

What made me think of Thanksgiving? Pie. The smells of autumn, cinnamon & brown sugar, wafted the apartment like nothing Glade could produce. I made my first attempt at my contest pie. I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet so I can’t classify it but I will say one thing, too much ginger.

Pie #1: too much ginger.

The problem with my recipe antics is that I’m really good at documenting my ingredients but not so good at remembering to measure. This is a bad thing in baking. Everything has to be precise but in the heat of the mixing and mad scientist playing, I usually measure everything with my fingers and palm. Not very scientific, I know.

So last night, as Lrudlrick and I were critiquing my concoction, I wasn’t able to determine exactly how much to add or subtract of an ingredient.

Tonight, I take a reprieve because I’m tired of fighting the humidity to make a good pie crust. Tonight, I catch up on my TV programs. Tomorrow, I continue my quest for the perfect pie.