Friday, July 30, 2010

A few more questions for Marney

After letting Marney's Thanksgiving dinner digest for a while, so to speak, I have a few more questions about her sublime, yet puzzling manifesto/memo to her loved ones.

After the military harangue about containers WITH A LID, and NO aluminum foil (and what's she got against foil? It molds itself to any container, so you DON'T need an exactly-fitting lid!), "HJB" gets off with only two words: Dinner wine.

OK then, I demand to know WHO THIS HJB IS and WHY he or she is exempt from the rules everyone else must follow. My theory is that this is her lover, and they are speaking in code, sexting each other madly between courses. Hell, she doesn't even say WHAT KIND of dinner wine! It could be Wild Turkey or Ripple or some kind of foul home-brew.

The turnips are a real issue with me. Nobody likes these lousy things, they taste like dirt and wax mixed together, so WHY in God's name should the Mike Byron family have to bring them?

And why is this same family burdened with bringing TWO half gallons of premium ice cream, none of that supermarket shit, and bottled water on top of that, when HJB only has to bring a crappy bottle of wine?

I have other questions. Given the sheer volume of the servings, just how many people are coming to this shindig? Must be at least 40 or 50, if they need five pounds of each vegetable (and we'll get to the 15 lbs. of potatoes later. Or maybe we won't, this is all so fucking insane.) If that many are coming, why not spread out these demands over all those families, instead of loading on the preparation, not to mention the expense, on only a few? Are these the members of the clan she really really hates: or, worse, are they all bulimics who plan to stuff their faces, then run behind a bush after the dessert course?

The inconsistencies gall me. If she allows turnips, why not beans? Beans are life in some cultures. The NO COCKTAIL SAUCE rule is also a bit opaque. Hey, it's great on those shrimp you get in a plastic ring in the frozen section. You can pretend it's the '60s and you've just ordered one of those shrimp cocktails in a parfait glass full of ice where the shrimp are hooked all around, with the tails left on. And why can't Lisa just buy a goddamn plastic platter and transfer the veggies onto her platter (WITH A LID, OF COURSE)? Are hand-prepared veggies any better, or are you just torturing her by demanding 2 or 3 hours of preparation time?

The proscuitto (Marney's not much of a speller) pin wheel is a real puzzler. What's a "pin wheel", anyway? It's one of dem-dere thangs you stick in the ground in yore yarrd, and it spins around whenever there's a breeze. Prosciutto is ham, ain't it? Either that, or a big round chunk of cheese. In any case, the "no need to bring a plate" rule is puzzling in light of Marney's fixation on the correct containers (with lids that fit!). Is Michelle supposed to balance it on her lap or spin it around in the air or something?

Marney must really hate the June Davis family. Peeling potatoes for 15 lbs. of mash would be something like KP duty in the army. Forrest Gump comes to mind. And that oversized blue serving dish. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH IT? ANYWAY? Doesn't it have a goddamn lid or something? If someone's willing to peel 157 potatoes, they should be able to bring them in a plastic garbage pail (with a lid!) if they want to.

Now, Amy Misto is my favorite. I could get along with Amy. Note that while she is required to bring two pies (as she's supposedly too idiotic to do anything else), she is NOT required to bring a pie knife. That particular duty falls to The Michelle Bobble Family. Why is this? BECAUSE AMY MISTO IS A CRAZED PSYCHIATRIC PATIENT and she can't be trusted with knives!

But I'll tell you this right now. Someone in the family is going to make sure she gets her hands on that pie knife. Oh yeah! She will get her revenge for that dig about "why do I even bother she will never read this", not to mention the insistence she bring her pie in a pie dish (when the prosciutto pinwheel doesn't even need a plate!). This will teach her once and for all that there's no such thing as a "silver palate" (though there may well be a heart of stone).

Who does this Marney think she is? Anyway? And is anyone really looking forward to the 28th, except to see the attempted murder in the bedroom (in which Marney is caught in flagrante delicto dusting the furniture with HJB)?

I have just one more question. WHERE'S THE GODDAMN TURKEY?

A real turkey

The Thanksgiving Letter (This has been floating around. Sounds like the potluck from hell.)

From: Marney
As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.
Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.
All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.
HJB—Dinner wine
The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don’t feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don’t care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.
The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).
The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).
The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Proscuitto pin wheel – please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife
The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay
The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.
Looking forward to the 28th!!
I have a couple of questions:
1. How can you make a pie that's NOT in a pie dish?
2. What's EVOO?