I have memories of cooking the big meal with my mom. My brother and sister and I would each have different jobs, and she would take care of most of it. It never seemed that hard, although it did take basically all day.
So, each year, as mom of my own household, I have tried (and succeeded in) making my own holiday meals. While they always taste delicious (lord knows how) the process is laughable at best, and usually more lamentable than anything.
First, never forget that cooking with people helping you is easier than cooking alone. Second, cooking a huge meal for four people really isn't worth it. If you can avoid those pitfalls, you're already ahead of the game.
Now, I usually get turkey breasts for the holidays (when I'm not doing OMG DUCK). But I've been so successful at the breast, I decided to go for the full turkey this year. Hahahaha. Mistake.
First, I go into the fridge to get the turkey. And it's leaked all over the fridge. Gross. Horrid start. So I have to bleach my fridge and throw out most of my food before I can even get started. Awesome.
Now I'm an hour behind. Except not because I'd forgotten I'd bought a whole turkey, and it was nine pound, not five like I thought. Super awesome. At this rate, we'd be eating at midnight.
I tried to use a recipe that called for baking the turkey at 500 for an hour then leaving it in the shut off oven for the rest of the day. Clearly that was not going to work. I was going to have to leave the oven on and continue to open it for all my sides. So, I took to facebook, as I usually do.
"First, rub butter on turkey my butt. Second how do you SPRINKLE salt and pepper INSIDE a bird. This is going splendidly."
Thankfully, I'd made the pie first. So if all else failed, we'd be having pie for Christmas dinner. No complaints here.
Of course, I forgot there was a bag of crappy bits inside the thing and a plastic-like thing keeping the cavity open. Yay. I finished all that up, and put the turkey in the oven, then started preparing my sides.
Wouldn't you know it, but my potatoes were rotten. Awesome. But I went through them and only about half of them were bad. I boiled the rest. I did it wrong, but it was still on the make.
Then I completely messed up the yams recipe. I used the ingredients for a whole-yam recipe, but whipped them. I pressed on.
For the green bean casserole, I found I was all out of cream of mushroom soup. I did, thankfully, have some cream of celery. I used that instead. Meanwhile, the dishes are piling up, and I have to start opening that oven. It's only been 2.5 hours.
The food, though, despite the crises looks like this:
Of course, since that turkey had only been cooked for 2.5 hours, everyone on my list helpfully pointed out that I was likely killing my family with salmonella. So, after carving just the very top areas that were definitely cooked, I put the bird back in the oven. The meal looked like this:
Not bad, right? But you know what you don't want to do after you've cooked for four hours? You don't want to deal with this:
Still, I wasn't sick back then, and I was able to get the kitchen back to this in about an hour.
Alas, it's not entirely a success story. Remember the turkey I'd put back into the oven? I didn't.
Honestly, I had to throw it out. It made the Griswold Family turkey look moist and succulent. Oops. Can't win them all I guess.