November 28, 2005

One Yamtastic Holiday

Weird mood today.

I’m unsure why. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I have plenty to talk about, but I just can’t seem to get it up for it. My confidence is shattered. Yeah. This, is like, almost a depression. Just a blue funk I need to get out from under. I need compliments. I need to be called pretty today. You ever have those days, where you’re just down for no reason? Nothing’s really wrong; you’re healthy, got all your limbs, but there’s still just something missing?

I took my friend to the airport last night, and after my other friends and family took off, I felt a little deserted. I don’t do well having days off; I kept feeling like I was going to be late for something. I don’t generally consider myself a workaholic—I think it was just the structure I missed. I eat the same thing for breakfast most days, eat lunch at the same time, and know approximately when I’ll be home each night. The last few days I had the rug pulled out from under me—there was nowhere I had to be, nothing I had to plan. It was supposed to be relaxing, but it was such chaos, I couldn’t enjoy it. I spent about half and hour reading a book in my nice, quiet living room before I decided I was going to go barking mad if I didn’t get out of the house. I also had to work out. I say ‘had to’, because I really didn’t feel like it—my body made me. It turns out that once you start getting exercise on a regular basis, the body won’t stay inactive for longer than a day at a time. I even exercised Thursday morning, so I would feel less guilty about the massive amounts of food. And by God, was there ever food.

Special Feature:
The Thanksgiving Feast of Clan Beedoo

The Turkey:
Brined overnight in a large pail with assorted herbs and spices, a la Alton Brown. My sister started doing this about three years ago, and Thanksgiving hasn’t been the same since. There are rarely turkey leftovers. If you haven’t seen the episode of Good Eats that deals with this, do yourself a favor and look it up. Here, I’ll do it for you. Now you have no excuses. The only deviant is my mother, who made the turkey for 25 years before my sister insisted on the brine method, and who insists on having her own, separate, untainted turkey breast cooked in the oven. I have eaten this turkey before, and I hate to admit it, but AB’s is far superior. The recipe is simple:

1. Put turkey breast in 350-degree oven.
2. Go see a movie.
3. Check smoke alarm.
4. Take a nap.
5. Remove turkey breast from oven and let it cool.
6. Eat at own risk with large glass of milk to safeguard against choking.

Stuffing:
There were two kinds: Stove Top (which some people will tell you is slumming it, but they are obviously high, and don’t deserve the sodium-rich goodness that annually takes up a quarter of my plate), and my father’s stuffing. I believe the principal ingredients of the latter are Pepperidge Farm dry stuffing mix and ground pork. You can imagine. I can’t express how good it is, but know that I ate more of it than I did turkey.

Mashed Potatoes:
Probably good. I don’t eat them. What?

Fruit Salad:
So, does anyone else make a fruit salad my family does, meaning negating any nutritional value the various fruits may contain by adding marshmallows and slathering it in Cool Whip? I don’t know if this is just my family or a Polish thing, but wow, there goes another quarter of my plate. I had to get another whole damn plate for the sweet potatoes. Which I can no longer wait to go into detail about…

Beedoo’s Sweet Potato Casserole:
I might have mentioned that I never cook. Well, not never, but seldom enough to say that I don’t cook more than I do. It evens out, in that I never really eat, either. But since I was expected to eat a lot of food, I was also expected to cook at least some of it. I volunteered for the sweet potatoes. We didn’t have them often; I had eaten them once and decided I liked them. How hard could they be to cook, anyways? The answer is: not hard at all, but allow a loooong period of time before you start. I have transcribed my morning itinerary here, for you to enjoy.

9:00 AM: Beedoo gets out of bed and heads into kitchen. There she scrubs seven (7) large sweet potatoes, plunks them on a cookie sheet, forcibly forks them, and shoves them in a 400-degree oven.

9:15 AM: Makes tea and watches the end of Truly Madly Deeply on some obviously twisted independent channel, waiting for houseguest to awaken.

9:45 AM: Cries.

9:50 AM: Endures teasing from now-conscious houseguest. Takes it like a man.

9:55 AM: Wonders why she can’t have Alan Rickman as her houseguest.

9:56 AM: Remembers why.

9:57 AM: Remembers yams.

10:01 AM: Removes yams from oven, lets cool.

10:05 AM: Changes into shorts; puts on Tae Bo.

10:15 AM: Convinces houseguest to do Tae Bo.

10:30 AM: Taunts houseguest for quitting during roundhouse kicks, does them extra-high to increase guilt factor.

11:00 AM: Collapses in sweaty heap on floor.

11:05 AM: Showers, massaging torn thigh ligaments.

11:20 AM: Dons kitchen clothing in preparation of fantastic yam making; enters kitchen and says a little prayer that the yams are not overcooked.

11:30 AM: Peels slide off sweet potatoes like Martha made them.

11:45 AM: Beedoo does happy dance.

11:46.25 AM: Beedoo pulls muscle.

11:46.30 AM: Curses laughing houseguest.

11:46.37 AM: Curses Billy Blanks.

11:46.49 AM: Curses self.

11:50 AM: Mashes now-peeled yams with the correct additives, spices, etc.

12:05 PM: After long discussion about the positivity and healthfulness of excluding yolks from a recipe, beats egg whites.

12:07 PM: Smacks hand of houseguest away from yolks.

12:08 PM: Discards yolks.

12:12 PM: Tells houseguest I do not own real butter.

12:13 PM: Consoles houseguest.

12:15 PM: Hides her keys.

12:22 PM: Adds egg whites to yam mixture, pours into pan.

12:30 PM: Sticks everything back into oven for another hour.

12:31 PM: Promises real butter at my mother’s house to houseguest.

12:33 PM: Reassures houseguest that there will be actual calories in many of the dishes.

12:35 PM: Feeds houseguest.

12:55 PM: Sits in chair with book and tea, refuses to move until timer goes off.

The sweet potatoes, in a word, were fabulous. Even those who did not like them ate them, for me, and thought they were fantastic. Actually, I supplied the word ‘fantastic’, because that’s what I gleaned from “You made these?” and “Hey, these aren’t too bad!” I’ll admit I cried a little upon their completion; I had taken a root vegetable, grown in the ground, and turned it into food. That people ate. And, in some cases, liked. With these yams, my two-minute oatmeal, and my world-famous no-bake cheesecake I think this may be the start of Beedoo’s Recipe Book. Stay Tuned.

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