The labor continues

We arrived, and I went immediately to work making more sangria. I knew it would be needed.

I also stole a glance at the big electric roaster thing on the range top. Inside it was a pallid-looking turkey; utterly devoid of seasoning and color. My bowels constricted.

JewelrySlut was put to work cutting cheese. In the spirit of my mother’s kitchen, she was cutting up a block of cheese with a steak knife…and no board. She was cutting on the counters.

“What are you doing? Is that counter even clean?”
“BWAWK! I think it’s clean”
JewelrySlut, just cut away…her lifeless eyes telling the rest of the story.

Feeling off, I went to the porch and was able to lie down for 3 minutes under a fan before the masses came out. Chips, vegetables, dogs…they all came out and disrupted my rest.

“When do you want to change that fan?”
“Ummm…now? Might as well do it now” (Seeing that I don’t know when I’ll be ready to make another trip here to replace a ceiling fan.

Into the garage I went to get the new ceiling fan for their room. My father, watching me walk past him, holding a box the size of a shipping container, flew into a rage. I just continued upstairs. My mother emerged with the tools I’d apparently need; a busted up DeWalt and a set of mis-matched screwdrivers.

I went to work disassembling the fan while they 2 of them swore at each other. I was apparently WAY in the wrong for asking NoGoodFather to cut the power to the room. Silly me…I don’t work hot on ceiling fans. I know… I’m a pansy.

The install went reasonably well. I’ve never worked under suck pressure; NoGoodFather’s thousand yard stare just ripped through me. As we neared completion, a ruckus from downstairs indicated that the “rest of the family” had arrived.

I finished up the fan and joined everyone on the porch. The porch groaned.

I maybe lasted a minute before I needed a drink.

The house now smelled of turkey.

Other foodstuffs were making their way to the counters. Eggplant Parm, macaroni and cheese, the London broil I’d be grilling, and a tray of limp brown things. An exploratory poke indicated that I was looking at previously-fried cauliflower and mushrooms. I could only assume that they needed to be reheated because to serve such food to people would be a crime.

The turkey was proclaimed done. The pokey thing had popped. The turkey was white. We concluded that it had, essentially, been steamed.

Steamed turkey.

Labor Day.

The sides were tossed into the oven while I fired the meat out on the grill.

I still had to contend with the turkey.

My mother does not believe in cutting boards of knives. I bring my own for any occasion when I may need to cook. But, I refused to do so yesterday in protest to the menu’s absurdity.

Meat cooked, I attacked the turkey. Frick and Frack, my less than able bodied assistants, were banging into each other and dropping food on the floor. I managed to send a wing flying across the room where it landed with a satisfying “plop”. Wiped of dog hair, it was placed on the platter. I more or less shredded the poor bird. I had a tiny board and a bread slicer. Not exactly the tools of the trade.

The meat was too rare.

We sat down to eat. The “family” loved the reheated vegetables. My stupid brother ate the turkey.

Later in the evening, there was more polenta cake.

I had the wine instead.

Again, thanks for letting me soil your wall.

A day of Labor it was

this was originally posted on a friend’s FB wall. I’ll put it here too.

Here’s what it comes down to. I needed a place to write this. I could not post to my wall, for obvious reasons, and I needed to find a safe harbor. I looked at friends’ walls and came to the conclusion that a lot of people have nice things on their walls, decorative hand towels, fancy plates etc. Not to say that you don’t have a nice wall, but if I want to take my shoes off, scratch myself and fart, there’s only one place I can go; your wall.

Labor Day weekend: my brother and his wife are in town. We’ve been invited over. My mother announces the menu; chicken enchiladas. Come again? It’s Labor Day, not Cinco de Mayo. I’m also instructed to make sangria. Well…at least I know what I’ll have for dinner. We also learn that our former refugees are coming over. so, we’ll get to see them and their child. Plans to be a great day.

I arrive and make sangria…and then pour myself some. I notice a pan on the stove with what appears to be congealed ground beef and red beans. I pour myself another glass of sangria.

We sit outside…but not as a family. Half of us are on our respective phones, iPads, whatevers to avoid conversation. Others drift in and out of the porch to go watch TV or something. A fairly typical family gathering.

the refugees arrive. She’s 8 months pregnant, and as JewelrySlut said, looks like a miniature version of Hagrid…but she doesn’t mean to insult Hagrid when she says so.

Finally…it’s dinner time. The food comes out to the porch. One look at it confirms what I more or less already knew; I’m drinking dinner. I then heard that the enchiladas had a can of cream of chicken soup in them.

I can see that my mother obviously went to Mexico and learned from a weathered old woman from Oaxaca to get this recipe. The motto of any good Mexican meal clearly is “El Campbell’s! Mmm Mmm Bueno!”

What is being heaped onto peoples’ plates resembles a cross between bird shit and vomit. A glance at poor JewelrySlut, plate groaning beneath the leaden quantity of food, only confirmed what I had assumed. My father stood to the side and complimented my mother.

I had more wine.

I was almost ready to go get something when I realized that my mother had set out fewer plates than there were people. Oh shucks. More wine for me. People started realizing that I was drinking dinner. My mother offered me some leftovers from the night before. (She also hadn’t made enough food for everyone, including a pregnant refugee, to eat. I declined; stating that I had eaten lunch earlier in the day (a slice of cold pizza)).

I did manage to find some salad. It was lettuce and tomatoes with taco seasoning on them.

I should have had more wine.

Dessert! My mother made what, I believe, was called a polenta cake. Why? Beats me. I had a slice; figuring that I should put something in my stomach. Immediately, a grain of cornmeal became embedded in my throat. It was like having a hair stuck in your throat (A feeling I KNOW you know). I spent the next hour garking on it. And, the cake was as moist and delicious as you’d imagine.

(It wasn’t)

I had more wine.

We’ll be back tonight when, in the spirit of Labor Day, we’re having a turkey, eggplant parm and some sort of pesto pasta. My mother’s also gone and invited her cousins over.

“Mom says her cousin has some sort of medical condition”, remarked my brother.

“Yea…she weighs 400lbs. That’s her condition!”

There’s more wine and brandy. I’m making more sangria.

I’m not a food snob. I mean, I was drinking sangria made with a double bottle of Concha Y Toro and EJ brandy that came in a plastic bottle. But, for once, can we ever get together and have seasonally-appropriate food? Who cooks a turkey for Labor Day?

At least we’re going out for brunch today. I’ll eat then.

Thank you for listening