the oven, that is! When I went to bed last night I set the alarm clock on dear one's TracFone to ring at 3:30 AM but since I awoke at 12:44 AM I arose, made the stuffing (i.e. sauteed the onions and celery, produced some chicken broth, melted the butter, etc), stuffed the bird (quite large this year--27 pounds), and finally just now have placed the whole caboodle into the oven at 300 degrees. We will see it that turns out to have been a good idea.
Things that went wrong: 1. the heavy foil pan for the bird that I bought at the Dollar Store was just slightly too big to set perfectly into the roaster pan (I had thought putting that inside the roaster pan would make it easier to take the bird OUT of the roaster pan when cooked...) and one side went down first; 2. the chicken broth I reconstituted from water and chicken base was a cup or two over the amount actually needed for the amount of dried bread I had made for the stuffing so the stuffing was quite sloppy; 3. there were about two cups or a little more stuffing for the bird's cavities which may have unpleasant repercussions smoke alarm-wise...it would be rather unpleasant to be finally sleeping soundly again and to have the alarm scream us awake; 4. after putting the too-much, too-sloppy stuffing into the bird I discovered the melted butter still in the skillet, so I poured it over the top of the turkey and smeared it all over the outside; and 5. as I am sitting here typing I remembered that I had not put the foil tent over the turkey to keep it from turning 'chocolate-y' before it cooks. I had better remedy that while I am thinking of it.
Okay! That is fixed...now we will see (around 11 AM if our oven timing works) if that did the job. I have to remember to take the foil OFF around 10:00 or 10:30.
Things left to do...make mashed and scalloped potatoes, cut the celery sticks for dipping into French onion dip (1 packet dried Lipton's onion soup mixed into 2 cups sour cream and left overnight, or at least two hours, in the refrigerator), heating the smoked (by J in his wonderful homemade smoker) roasted sweet potatoes then mashing with butter and cream and put into casserole to pop into the oven so they will be served hot, potentially make some creamed onions (which I am the only one who loves them, but don't need them so...), make up the green bean casserole ( and try out a homemade-with-real-onions-and-sauteed-mushrooms green bean casserole), finely dice half a green bell pepper to mix with the frozen sweet corn to perk it up just a bit and add some color, and then the last of the kitchen wash-up.
Oh, and set the table and rinse out the punch bowl for the orange/cranberry punch ( one 2- or 3-liter bottle orange soda pop mixed with 1 64-ounce bottle of 100% juice cranberry juice poured over an orange juice ice ring into the punchbowl. Always VERY well received, and so easy as to be laughable. A is bringing the juice since I failed to purchase it.
Now I can go back to bed and sleep unconcerned about the day and meal ahead because it is very do-able during the morning since guests will not be arriving until after the baby's morning nap...and I have totally decided not to stress about the condition of the house. It looks better than it does sometimes, and no worse than can be expected when the homemaker is often out and about instead of home with nose to grindstone where nose should be.
So many things for which to be grateful, most notably: family and friends and understanding of my place in the eternal scheme of things. I thank our dear Father for them all and acknowledge His blessing hand in our lives.
Happy Thanksgiving to all who may read this post, whenever that may be. Gratitude feels so good that I hope you will choose to have that goodness in your own life.