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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Chaos…
So…my however many “Days of Thanksgiving” Blog has been tabled for now, and I am replacing it with   “Oh my GOSH- tomorrow is Thanksgiving and our entire family is here to celebrate Cody’s birthday” blog… Hang with me, it should be entertaining.
Tuesday, November 20th,  was Cody’s birthday.  I am not going to go into WHAT birthday, however, I will tell you that last year was a big one…and we were limited on celebrating because we had just moved…and because I had a head injury…all that being said- I wanted this year to be special!!! So- we went to eat at Pignetti’s where we were joined by some of our closest friends, including the owners, Clinton and Ledia Harwell…now having Clinton and Ledia along for any event means there will be some good wine, and Tuesday was no exception.  We had a fun night…good food, good wine and great fellowship!  Not to mention an incredible slice of chocolate cake…
Then my plan was to have our kids over Wednesday night for homemade chicken strips and fries (one of Cody’s favs) while we all did some pre-Thanksgiving cooking together!  Karen and Bobby came over as well, so that Karen and I could make cornbread dressing together.
Because our Thanksgiving Day is going to be spent at home with our kids and no extras, I knew that I had to step up my baking this year.  For those of you who don’t know- I don’t like to bake. (Refer to my previous blog “Baking for My Boy” from December 2011) Something bad always happens when I bake…always.
I left work early.  Picked up GoGo Mini Cupcakes for Cody’s birthday dinner (delicious, but expensive…however, if I had to bake cupcakes all day long, mine would cost twice as much, not be as tasty, and I doubt I would deliver them over to my customers with a smile.); picked up the Thanksgiving food I had ordered from Schoepf’s (I cheated a little bit this year) and braved an afternoon before Thanksgiving shopping trip to H.E.B…I came home and did a rush clean up job around the house and by 3:30 I was in my kitchen cooking! 
Now, here is a problem I have, it is more like a huge flaw and my family and friends know it…and I really believe it is the root of the reason I hate to bake…I try to do too many things at once, and I plan to get way too many things done in the time allowed.  Let me tell you what I planned to get done yesterday, and I think you will agree.
Bake cornbread and prepare dressing. Bake sweet potatoes for sweet potato casserole. Bake 2 pumpkin pies, 2 coconut pies, and a brownie bottom cheesecake. Make one dozen deviled eggs. Boil chicken for giblet gravy and dressing. Fry chicken strips and homemade fries and sweet potato fries, make broccoli with cheese sauce and a salad to feed the 10-15 people who would be at my house for Cody’s birthday meal. (By the way, somewhere along the way, I gave up the plan to have salad.  A huge concession on my part, but a wise one, I think).
Things were really rocking along pretty nicely for awhile.  I had made the cornbread, and the brownie bottom of the cheesecake was in the oven baking.  Chicken was boiling and the eggs were done. I had enlisted the help of Aubrey and Katherine for the peeling of the potatoes and breading the chicken for frying and turned the deviled egg duties over to Allie.  Lynnsay and H.B. came in, and I put them to work frying.  First snag was not enough vegetable oil- so Dave went on a quick run.  Second snag- Allie uses real mayo and black olives and green chilis in her deviled eggs- Allie and Kat made a quick run.  I had added the cheese cake top to the brownie bottom and it was baking.  I was now preparing pumpkin pies and coconut pies.  Karen had come in and taken over the job of washing dishes as we worked, and helping Lynnsay keep an eye on the fries.  H.B. had taken over the chicken frying duties and had added aggravating everyone in the house to his list of responsibilities. The house was loud and chaotic. Just the way I like it- but not the best environment to try to follow directions while baking. (Clue as to why I am not good at baking) Something had to give…I was paying close attention to my baking, but I had not been paying the best attention to the dinner preparations…Cody had long since broken into his mini cupcakes…and Aubrey was in full hungry mode…but dinner was FINALLY ready… Everyone gathered in the kitchen and I began to put all of the food onto the island.  I picked up the Pyrex pan that was piled high with the yummy homemade fried chicken strips and turned to place it on the island when the whole pan exploded!!
Yes.  It literally EXPLODED in my hands. The chaos turned to a brief moment of silence and then Cody broke it, by saying, in a somewhat irritated voice, “Well what do y’all want to go pick up for dinner?” Everyone was immediately shocked into action… Glass was everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  All over the stove, all over the cabinets, down my shirt, all around bare (yes- bare)feet…As everyone began to jump into action and I was taking stock to make sure that I had only received small cuts and scooping chunks of glass from  my clothing, while being given orders by my children of where to go and how to get there-suddenly Jacob came and carried me out of the kitchen. Aubrey was crying (she hates messes). Cody was irritated and I was still in shock…
After being commanded to change clothes, I came into the kitchen to help as Cody gave Dave money to go pick up Bush’s Chicken and overheard Cody tell Bobby that I had dropped the pan of chicken… I defended myself by telling him that I had not dropped it, that it had exploded.  Thankfully, H.B. and Rory had witnessed the whole thing, and confirmed that it had indeed shattered in my hands…
I am thankful that there is a Bush’s close by.  I am thankful that all of the food I was preparing for today were either covered up or out of the range for taking on shrapnel. I am thankful that, once again, as I looked down at my feet and around me at the huge mess I had made, my family and friends were there to immediately start picking up the pieces. Everyone was fed…food was prepared…pies and cheesecake were baked…and it is Thanksgiving morning.
We are preparing to meet people from our church to deliver meals to shut ins in the community and we will come back here for our Thanksgiving meal…it might not be the best we have ever had; the pies and cakes could possibly be sub par…but it will be a blessed, happy event because at the end of the day we all love each other, we have food and we will have fun no matter what!
I am so thankful that I have a wild, fun, chaotic family that loves me no matter what mess I have dragged them into...which can be anything!

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