Everything that could go wrong did, which is what made this Thanksgiving dinner a night to remember. I have wonderful family holiday memories and this one was brought to life last Thanksgiving. The big Thanksgiving dinners are almost always hosted by my grandparents. 40 members of our extended family all come into town to help celebrate the holiday. It is quite the event with quite the feast.
Last Thanksgiving my Grandfather was under the weather and my Grandmother was not up to hosting the large number of people. My mother happily volunteered and enlisted the help of myself and my three sisters. The menu was planned, the table was beautifully decorated, and prep work began. My mom prepared the turkey and stuffing while my sisters and I peeled potatoes, nicely organized pickles and olives on decorative dishes, filled the water glasses and began cooking. The house smelled wonderful. My mom is an amazing cook and it was hard not to eat all delicious food as it cooked in front of me.
As the guests started to arrive, we began a quick clean of the kitchen. We timed everything perfectly so it would all be done cooking in about two hours, just in time to carve the turkey. The last step to clean up the prep work was to turn on the garbage disposal. After about three seconds the disposal made a horrible noise and celery and potato peals start shooting back up. The sink was clogged! My sisters and I began cleaning out the sink; putting all the food in the garbage and scooping out all the water and dumping it in the back yard while my dad began disassembling the pipes to clear the clog. We thought we were working pretty quickly but when I turned around I realized we must have been working on the sink for awhile because our kitchen was filled with onlookers. By this time all our family members had arrived and were watching us in amusement as we tried to fix the unfixable sink. I stepped away to let my dad and a few of my uncles tackle the plumbing while I helped my mom finish up the rest of the food. I saw my mom and sister step out of the room to check the turkey. As she turned the corner to come back into the room she shot me a not so happy glance. It turns out; the turkey was nowhere near done. Somehow the tin foil covering the turkey had come off. All the steam and heat was escaping out of the pot. We had no idea how long it had been like that or how much longer it would take to cook.
We quickly went into the kitchen and turned off the other food cooking on the stove so it wouldn’t over heat or burn. Of course when everyone saw us turning off the oven and stove, they assumed dinner was ready and started taking their seats in the dining room. We could practically hear their stomachs growling as we told them it was going to be about another 2 hours before dinner would be ready. We explained what happened with the turkey and one of our cousins decided to come check it out and find a way to keep the foil down. For some reason he didn’t think he needed pot holders and grabbed the foil with both hands to try and secure it. He let out a high pitched scream as he jumped and danced to the kitchen sink to douse his burn in cold water. I noticed the sink filling up as the water ran… the drain was still clogged. “That’s it, we are calling a plumber.” My dad announced. We made a sign saying the sink was out of order so it wouldn’t be used the rest of the night.
The next step was to entertain the guest while we waited for the food. We split up into groups and made the most of each other’s company. A handful of people played board games, some were watching the football games, others were playing drinking games, and the rest were catching up while sitting at the table. I learned so much about my relatives in that two hour span. I realized that while we do a brief update of each other’s lives at holidays, we don’t really ever sit down and just talk. It made the time go by quickly and before we knew it my mom announced that dinner was ready.
The turkey was delicious and not one of the sides was over cooked. It was some of the best thanksgiving food I had ever eaten. Now came the next issue to tackle; with 40 people at dinner and a clogged drain which meant we couldn’t use the dishwasher, how on earth were we going to keep up with the dishes. My sisters and I started an assembly line that went from the kitchen to the laundry room. We collected the plates, washed them in the utility tub in the laundry room and stacked them on the washing machine. It was very hard trying to keep up with all the dishes and before we knew it relatives were helping out by washing dishes in the bathroom sink. It definitely was not your typical Thanksgiving dinner, but it was a night a night to remember. We had reconnected with our family members, had some delicious food and create memories that will be talked about for Thanksgivings to come.