Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 26 And I've Learned My Lesson

Look, I admit it. It's entirely my fault. I shouldn't have gotten cocky - Han Solo knows best, after all.

You may recall sometime last week that the bartender and I were complaining about a lack of creativity in sitcom writing as far as Thanksgiving episodes, and my specific complaint that holiday cooking disasters are simply not that frequent (exclusive of those who wind up burning the house down via deep frying the turkey and by the way, America, this is why you're fat). I've long felt this way, but it was only last week that I was compelled to write it down and thereby ensure a near disaster in my own kitchen this Thanksgiving.

Of course, I can't really take all the blame here. Roasting a turkey requires a roasting pan. We don't own a real roasting pan, owing to the bartender arguing that they are a bitch to wash afterward (which is a ridiculous point given that he's not the one who winds up having to wash it, but whatever) (and in fairness, we don't actually have room for one in our kitchen right now anyway). Instead, he goes out and buys me a crappy disposable one every year, and even though it's crappy, I'm not going to pretend I don't like having one less dish I need to wash. Point being, I roast turkeys in a flimsy piece of aluminum. This has never been a problem in the past, but as stated before, this is because I've never bragged about how it's never been a problem in the past either. Turns out, this would be the year.

All was going along according to my meticulously well laid out plans, as always. An hour before the turkey should have been done, I opened up the oven to put the stuffing in. I'd put the roasting pan in sideways earlier because that was easiest, but now the stuffing wasn't going to fit next to it, so I picked it up slightly and spun it sideways to make room, put the stuffing and the parsnips in next to it, closed the oven and walked away. Ten minutes later the bartender came into the living room and asked me "Why is there smoke pouring out of the oven?"

I went to check. He was not fucking kidding, smoke was absolutely billowing out of the fucker, and when I opened it I instantly saw why: when I spun the shitty roasting pan sideways it had ripped slightly. The drippings had leaked out of the pan into the bottom of the oven and ignited. "MOTHERFUCK." That was me. Less because my oven was on fire than because it was obvious my hubris was the cause of my downfall.

The thing is, you can actually look at this another way. I immediately went into crisis mode: I shut the gas off, pulled the turkey out of the oven, siphoned off as much of the juice as I could of what was left, reinforced the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil and put the whole thing on top of a cookie sheet, turned the oven back on after the fire was out and put the turkey back in. The ruination of Thanksgiving dinner was almost entirely averted. The turkey and the stuffing were unharmed and I'd even saved just enough of the drippings for the bartender to make some spec-fucking-tacular gravy. The only thing we lost were the parsnips, and as much as I love parsnips, I'm unlikely to complain about not getting to eat a vegetable (and anyway, there was corn). So my original point still stands, and may even be reinforced: it's NOT that hard to cook Thanksgiving dinner even if your oven catches fire and fills your entire apartment with smoke.

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