I didn't know you were keeping count
November 21, 2022 3:31 AM   Subscribe

How is this thread loading? a) Down, b) Side, c) Free, d) Off

Hello funseekers, it's that time again, and I trust you'll find a load of fun in this week's free thread! 💃🏽🕺🏼Enjoy!
posted by taz (121 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been thinking a lot about simple statistics recently. Like I know what the correct answer is, but I, for whatever reason, have begun wondering why.

In more fun news, my wife randomly got tickets to see a concert this past Saturday, which she told me was some kind of "game music". She isn't a gamer, but it sounded right up my alley and I asked what game or theme or whatever the music was from. She had no idea so showed me the poster, and it turns out it was the Lineage symphony! I spent years and years playing the original Lineage game as a young man but hadn't thought about it in ages.

All of a sudden I remembered all my old friends and the weird and fun stuff we used to do together. Wow. Even though she doesn't really understand it, my wife incidentally getting those tickets (she doesn't even know what Lineage is) really had a big impact on me.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:12 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]

On November 18th, NPR continued its annual tradition of doing a short piece about Susan Stamberg's mother-in-law's recipe for cranberry relish - a recipe involving grinding cranberries together with onion, and then adding sour cream, horseradish, and sugar.

And thus, it is time for my own annual tradition of loudly proclaiming that this recipe sounds perfectly terrible.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 AM on November 21 [33 favorites]

Having a garage built, and our dogs currently have access to about 1/5th of the back yard. This has lead to multiple dog walks a day, to the delight of one, and the deep concern of another. Come Thursday, I would be most thankful for poured concrete and reworked temporary fencing.
posted by DigDoug at 4:58 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]

@MYCLeung: Petition to replace "quantitative" and "qualitative" with "numbery" and "feely".
posted by Wordshore at 5:04 AM on November 21 [15 favorites]

Yesterday I suddenly recalled, for no reason at all, that Bean Dad happened the day before the Jan 6 insurrection and I've been quietly wtf'ing ever since.
posted by MiraK at 5:28 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]

I know these threads are supposed to keep it light and easy on the mods. Sorry. I was so sad yesterday and today about the events in Colorado. But I was fresh off a wonderful visit to my new city by my sister and mum, and instead of consuming my tranquilizer of choice, I managed to do some bulk cooking (three lasagnas in the freezer), plant some basil seeds (hope over despair), and take a few concrete actions to renew internal and external pressure on my employer to remove a store selling hate-speech merchandise.

Today? I’m going to work.
posted by sixswitch at 5:28 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]

My sister came over for some kitten therapy last night, and this morning she’s got 101 fever, so looks like I’m working from home today. I may be mostly immune to covid, but I sure as hell am not immune to the flu, so I don’t want to be risking spreading whatever it might be, right before Thanksgiving.

But hey, if I do get sick, at least that gets me out of going to Thanksgiving, so there’s that!
posted by notoriety public at 5:35 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]

Went with my brother and some of his friends for a ride yesterday. It was supposed to be a cool down ride after they did the 102 mile major event ride here Saturday. Figured it would be 20 or so miles… it was 34. Damn I’m outta shape. Years back, 34 miles was a moderate weekend ride. But I made it. (Also, damn have bikes changed over the last 20 years…)
posted by azpenguin at 5:42 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]

We adopted the dog we were fostering. That was the plan all along, but it's nice when a plan comes together.

Related: kids asked about the A-Team. It's frequently referenced on Mythbusters, and I had told them I wasn't allowed to watch it when I was their age because of the violence. So we have watched a couple of episodes - the pace of the first episode is incredibly slow, and we had to Warner Bro's Warning the whole thing. We are not going to watch much of it - just as a window into another time and place.

The early 80's show we will eventually watch is V. Of course that was also strictly prohibited. Lizards eating rats! My memories of it are entirely piecemeal as there was several chunks I missed and had to rely on the memories/retelling of my friends at school. I'm going to tell them this show is what inspired modern republicans.
posted by zenon at 6:22 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]

The early 80's show we will eventually watch is V

I have very, very few memories of 1983 (I had just turned 3), but standing in the living room of our apartment staring at (commercials for?) V on our console TV is indelible. Don't ask me why. I don't remember being scared of it, just intrigued, like, what the hell is this? It probably helped that it was just called "V," something I could read.

Also the moment I read the words A-Team the theme music started playing in my head. I don't remember very much, really, about it (except drugging BA's milk to get him on a plane), but that theme music is just unforgettable.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:35 AM on November 21 [5 favorites]

And thus, it is time for my own annual tradition of loudly proclaiming that [the Stamberg cranberry relish] recipe sounds perfectly terrible.

Maybe I'll start a tradition of Well, I've Made It and I Think It's Quite Good, Actually? (Although that of course is a matter of taste, and specifically whether you can tolerate both onion and horseradish in a relish.) The thing about it is that it's really more of a condiment than a side dish, so generally it's something that you apply sparingly to turkey, unless the turkey is heavily flavored itself with something that would clash. One of the great advantages of it, for someone who doesn't usually do up Thanksgiving dinner himself, is that it's meant to be served not quite completely thawed out, which means that it's really easy to transport over longish distances. Before I started bringing it every year, I was usually down for candied sweet potatoes, which has the advantage of being both very easy to make (it's just canned sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows) and popular (it's a dessert masquerading as a side dish), but also problematic in terms of whether to bring it already cooked or not; if no, then you'll be taking up space in your host's oven, and if yes, then you have to wrangle a hot buttery dish for however long of a drive it is, and then maybe have to reheat it a bit when you get there. As it is, I'm not sure that I'll be doing either this year; I'm traveling up to Chicago and staying overnight Wednesday, at a place that I'm not sure has an available fridge, and I'm not sure that the relish would be OK unrefrigerated overnight. I'll just ask my cousin what I could/should bring that's more transportable.

Haven't thought about V for a while. Would the aliens have been that bad if they'd just wanted to eat rats? Kind of a benefit for society, really. Wonder if rat is better with cranberry relish?
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:38 AM on November 21 [5 favorites]

V is an excellent choice, I should watch it with my kid. Lizards stealing our oceans! A half alien girl! Good stuff.

I am in TX so my kid can see her dad and am having all the conflicted feelings. I am so angry at the leadership of my home state. I miss things and people here. But while I'm here I also miss seeing mountains every day. I'm glad I moved but still sad I was forced to. It's a lot.
posted by emjaybee at 6:39 AM on November 21 [5 favorites]

Winter is seriously on now. It's snowing, and I wonder if I'll wake up snowed in. That would be fun, though if I do, I wish I'd bought a bottle of wine. I have firewood, chocolate and the internet, and lot's of really good food. Imagine sitting in front of the fire with a hot stew, homemade bread, a glass of red wine and dark chocolate for desert. Which movies or series should I watch? Not V. I enjoyed it, but I'm definitely going for something lighter...

Well, right now it is hypothetical. I'll probably be doing normal stuff tomorrow. And I guess when you are working from home, being snowed in isn't really the same excuse as when you have to go somewhere to work. It's still fun, though, full of happy memories.
posted by mumimor at 6:44 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]

Halloween Jack: admitting that my family is a supplier for Ocean Spray and our relish is much simpler (dump a bag of cranberries into a food processor, add one unpeeled seedless orange cut into wedges, blitz, add sugar to taste - done), so I have a bit of a bias. (I will also add that ours is also a condiment, it can be made ahead, and it's way simpler....)

I was big into V when I was 13, to the point that I felt somehow weirdly betrayed when Robert Englund went on to play Freddie Krueger - because he was one of the nice aliens in V and I liked him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:45 AM on November 21 [11 favorites]

Update from last thread. We went to the vet the next day and asked them to give our dog a merciful, painless passing, which they did. We'd only had her for 23 months, and she was a senior-dog adoption, not one I'd raised from a puppy like last time, so I thought it would be easier on me this time. It wasn't. Literally sobbed. Tearing up again right now, actually.

Then, yesterday, at church, a person I only know a bit came up to me. She and her family are traveling for Christmas. They are wealthy and the cost of dog-boarding is not a concern. But she said, I heard about what you're going through and if you'd like to have a dog in your house at Christmas, you can watch ours for a week.

It's not the same, and honestly, I wasn't sure we were ready. But the kids were all in, Mrs. Blank almost as much, and me, too, when I thought about it. So it looks like a Labradoodle named Ruby Sue will be keeping us company over the holidays.

People can surprise you with unexpected thoughtfulness.
posted by martin q blank at 6:55 AM on November 21 [44 favorites]

Last week I marked my 8th year sober.
posted by Horkus at 7:01 AM on November 21 [72 favorites]

(dump a bag of cranberries into a food processor, add one unpeeled seedless orange cut into wedges, blitz, add sugar to taste - done)

Hmm... wouldn't require refrigeration.

Last week I marked my 8th year sober.

Congratulations! Especially doing it before the holidays, which were always problematic for me.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:04 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]

Apparently the long legged spider who lives suspended above my tiny backyard pond is a Vlei spider.

She must be quite annoyed with me because I'm constantly accidentally destroying her web. I like sitting at the pond on my breaks and fishing out some hair algae or rearranging the water feature flow, and almost every time I realise too late that I put my hand through her web again.

The other day I even knocked her into the water. Luckily I saw her floating there and got her out before a fish spotted her.

An undeserved reward for destroying her web is watching her fix it. I haven't yet solved the mystery of how she manages to span the length of the pond with her web, but I've seen her construct the spiral part. It's really like a dance, step, step, and then it looks like she sort of dabs twice with spinnerets with a little turn between the dabs. Repeated, until the spiral is complete.

This morning I saw her take a drink (I think) by lowering herself to the surface of the water on a thread, dipping two feet in, and immediately pulling herself up again. All very quickly and deftly done.
posted by Zumbador at 7:04 AM on November 21 [16 favorites]

posted by Going To Maine at 7:10 AM on November 21

posted by Going To Maine at 7:14 AM on November 21

I remember V. They had Visitor toys on the show, which my friends and I thought was a nice touch. As I recall, they had a variety of live animals at their buffets, although they only showed them eating mice. One of the weirder aspects was them going for Space Lizard Dynasty, with beautiful women with big hair vying for political control among the aliens. I thought that it was great.
posted by Spike Glee at 7:30 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]

Speaking of V was the remake in the late oughties any good?
posted by fiercekitten at 7:36 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]

V is one of those shows I remember kids talking about on the playground at school more than I remember actually having watched it, if I ever even did (we're talking 40 years ago, here).
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:45 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]

I remember V (and...the sequel?). One of my younger brothers, who very into dinosaurs and reptiles of all kinds, though it was the cat's ass. I'm almost certain I read the novelization of it, too.

Remember when that was a thing? A movie would come out, and then a paperback version would come out about the same time? Other roughly contemporaneous TV memories: Amazing Stories and Otherworld. Bonus: Manimal.

Bon appetit!
posted by jquinby at 7:56 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]

Last week I marked my 8th year sober.

Congratulations! Especially doing it before the holidays, which were always problematic for me.
Yeah, it's a hard time to get sober, but I had a foolproof plan; I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in rehab. :)

Before anyone says, "I'm sorry you went through that," I fucking loved it! It was the first time in years I spent the holidays with other human beings, doing anything that even resembled celebrating. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I was mostly thinking, "Thanks, Obamacare!"
posted by Horkus at 8:06 AM on November 21 [35 favorites]

martin: again, I am so sorry. I also thought I would handle it without falling to pieces, and I was totally wrong about that. But I think Ruby Sue will make you very happy while she is there.

I had a V lunchbox as a kid, and I have no idea why. (Or why they even made them.) Whether I wasn't allowed to watch it or I just didn't, it would have scared me silly. But I was very drawn to horror even as a sensitive kid, so maybe that was what I was thinking of.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:06 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]

Speaking of fun, do you know Home Cooking is back for Thanksgiving?
posted by mumimor at 8:21 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]

Speaking of cranberries, I have been looking for a recipe online but it's simply been too long and I think I'll need to formulate it myself.
Roughly a decade ago I was experimenting making my own condiments. My favorite was mustard (simplest). I found a recipe for a cranberry mustard, made it and it was delicious. If you know of a similar recipe (with the specific steps listed below) I'd be interested in hearing about it.
The recipe involved:
Soaking dried cranberries overnight in Apple Cider Vinegar.
I think the soak included whole mustard seed. The vinegar was probably hot.
Blend in a food processor.
There were probably other spices involved, but all I remember was the soak and the food processor. I'm going to start throwing together some tests, based on stuff I find around the web
posted by shenkerism at 8:22 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]

Horkus: Last week I marked my 8th year sober.

posted by wenestvedt at 8:27 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]

You just know that they would never call a series V now because "it's un-Google-able."
posted by wenestvedt at 8:28 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]

For now I'm going to try this recipe and just pour the vinegar and mustard seeds over the dried cranberries, then soak overnight.
I'll make three trials with different concentrations of vinegar to modify the heat in the mustard. Will probably also need to make an excess of the brine because I'm uncertain how much the cranberries can absorb, and my memory says they were as plumb as fresh berries.
posted by shenkerism at 8:42 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]

Today I found myself standing in front of my class lecturing in the university I graduated from and wearing a sweater my mom knitted for my dad before I was born. It brought back a flood of happy memories from a time before she died of cancer when everything seemed like it would turn out just fine. Things did turn out fine, but it took a long time.
posted by tommasz at 9:03 AM on November 21 [13 favorites]

My strawberries are thriving. This may seem like a small thing, but tending these happy little plants means a lot to me. I ask myself every day, am I a good person? But every morning, watering these little guys, I tell myself, you are good enough.
posted by SPrintF at 9:09 AM on November 21 [10 favorites]

I have very, very few memories of 1983 (I had just turned 3)

I was 23, but I have very few memories of 1983 as well...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:14 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]

I was never into V, but I do remember seeing the very first Dr Who episodes as a small child and being absolutely terrified.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 9:16 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]

unless the turkey is heavily flavored itself with something that would clash.

The only flavoring for turkey is gravy. I have spoken.

The cranberry sauce I grew up with remains far and away my favorite - and incredibly quick and easy to make:
Boil 1 cup of water. Meanwhile rinse 4 cups (1 12-oz package) of cranberries in a colander, picking out and discarding any bruised ones.

Add 1 cup of sugar to the boiling water and mix to dissolve. (For a sweeter sauce use up to 2 cups of sugar; I prefer a sweet-tart sauce.)

Add the cranberries to the pot and return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst. Optional: stir in the zest of an orange at that point. Remove the pot from the heat.

Let cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl to chill in the refrigerator. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Bonus "recipe": A leftovers sandwich of sliced turkey breast with thin layers of cranberry sauce and stuffing (with a little mayo on the bread if you're into that) is, as the kids say, "da bomb".
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:23 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]

The V remake was great, if for no other reason than Alan Tudyk got another punch for his Geek Hero card, post Firefly... Even as just a supporting character - he was amazing.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:31 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]

But I think Ruby Sue will make you very happy while she is there.

I was recently watching an episode of Taskmaster where one of the tasks was to show off. Contestants were juggling and attempting trick shots and things, while Judi Love was just boasting of her skills and abilities. One she brought up was “I can borrow a dog whenever I want” which frankly is pretty cool.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:36 AM on November 21 [5 favorites]

I have what I guess might be described as a traumatic history around lizards because of how the next door neighbor kid killed my pet bright pink chameleon and everything that followed from that, so maybe that’s why even though I was alive and kicking in 1983 and as aware as I’ll ever get, I knew absolutely nothing about V until this post.

Not that it was a TV show, or a book, or any detail of plot. Or that it existed at all.

So thanks . . . I think.
posted by jamjam at 9:57 AM on November 21

I do remember seeing the very first Dr Who episodes as a small child and being absolutely terrified.

Heh...I remember the opening credits of the Tom Baker era Who being enough to scare me silly when I was about seven. This was when it appeared regularly on PBS in the States, coming on sometime after other more straightforward kid-friendly stuff like Sesame Street, Mister Rogers, The Electric Company or 3-2-1-Contact, all of which I loved. But then when they were done, suddenly there was that spooky music...and then the eerie lights....and then, suddenly, Tom Baker's Enormous Head! And that was usually enough to make me start whimpering slightly and run out of the room.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]

A shoutout to everyone who has, like Mrs Ivan and I, sworn off making turkey for the holidays. I have a foolproof turkey method, but last year we decided never again. We had an appetizer spread, and it was marvelous. I may someday go back and make one, but it's going to be a while: having that meal twice a year for 60+years is enough, I think.

[The Method: brine the turkey for 24 hours. Cut the turkey in half horizontally, and stand the halves up in a pan—and don't rinse it, because that just gets salmonella infused goo everywhere. Make little foil hats for the halves, so they won't burn. Add a stick of butter and half a cup to a cup of water. Cook until done at 300°F (the meat thermometer is your friend!), while basting every half hour. Even a chimp could do it.]
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 10:06 AM on November 21

For the first few years of our marriage, we did Thanksgiving at my in-laws'. The turkey, as had always been my experience with turkey, was dry and terrible, and I ate mostly stuffing and potatoes.

Then we started doing Thanksgiving at our house, and the first year, my father-in-law graciously bought us a locally-raised turkey to cook. I brined and spatchcocked it and rubbed it with butter, and it was still dry and terrible. The next year he bought us another local turkey, and I tried a dry brine, and it was still awful. I was gutted both years, because these were like, no joke, $100 turkeys, and I consider myself to be a pretty competent cook.

Then, I bought a Butterball. I spatchcocked it and rubbed some herb butter under the skin and it was the only turkey I have ever had, in all my years of eating awful Thanksgiving turkey, that was worth eating. Since then, every year I buy a Butterball and every year it's the best goddamn turkey anyone's ever eaten.

I still don't like turkey, and I'll probably stop making it after my mother passes on, since she's really the only one who cares about tradition, but it turns out the secret, for me, is to just buy a damn Butterball.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:14 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]

Kitten update: two of the kittens have fledged to their forever homes today!

Bela has been adopted by one of my housemate’s coworkers, who recently lost a kitten and her daughter was devastated.

Elsa is a surprise kitten for the daughter’s cousin, who thought she was just coming to help pick a kitten out but it had been arranged that she was also getting to pick one of her own.

I gotta say, being an adult sucks most of the time, but the occasional opportunity to provide a secret surprise kitten to a little girl makes up for some of it.

I also have a lead with a coworker at my own job, but can’t count on anything till the deal is done. First come, first served. All Kittens Must Go!
posted by notoriety public at 10:16 AM on November 21 [11 favorites]

For those who can access Washington Post, these Thanksgiving day songs are certainly something! (Created for the article. I don't think a non-paywall link would play them, sadly.)

In other theater news:
(a) I forgot to take off my "doom buggy" robe to do my solo scene Friday. However, since that scene's supposed to be creepy and weird anyway, the director deemed it quite fitting.
(b) We had a substitute stage manager in on Saturday, which meant that they forgot to remove the bed from the side of the stage before I had to enter with a wheelbarrow. I promptly yanked my money bucket out of the wheelbarrow and entered a bit late, and then had to take various heavy items on top of said bucket.

However, all was well again by Sunday, the theater gods blessed me, and there were no costume or stage incidents on my part when my mom came to see the show. Huzzah. (The bed did break, though. But not my fault!)

I told a friend of mine all the theater incidents afterwards and she laughed very hard and said, "Don't make me pee!"
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:22 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]

A long time ago I used to work for Disney Imagineering - it was a fun weird impractical job. With the surprise news last night that Disney had shuffled off Bob Chapek and brought Bob Iger back as CEO - all of my Disney alum groups, particularly Imagineering are dancing with great joy and glee.

Funny to think that for a an I haven't worked for in 20ish years, I was still emotionally involved and devastated when they gutted the org with things like the forced Florida relocation.
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:28 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]

My wife and I had two pet turkeys at one point in our lives and since then we do not eat turkey. People often ask us what the reasoning is behind our not eating turkey when we continue to eat chicken. Our response is usually that 100% of the turkeys we've known were sweethearts and something like 80% of the chickens we've known were jerks so the math works out.
posted by schyler523 at 10:33 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]

Riffing off of raising turkeys-as
a first grader, I entered a school contest to win a turkey. (Which, now that I think of it, is a rather odd premium for a contest targeted at children) I was envisioning fencing in my parents backyard, throwing it feed, etc. When my mom told me that the turkey in question would be, at a minimum, dead and most likely frozen to boot, I burst into tears as my dreams and hopes for a new pet were dashed.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 11:18 AM on November 21 [14 favorites]

The V remake was great, if for no other reason than Alan Tudyk got another punch for his Geek Hero card, post Firefly...

I'm pretty sure Alan Tudyk lived at my house before he was successful. I get mail addressed to that name every so often and it's not a very common name. And it is Los Angeles. I asked him on Twitter once but never got a response.
posted by downtohisturtles at 12:07 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]

I'm somehow not American enough to have feelings about Thanksgiving: my American friend here (in Germany) is, well, "American" and we've done it with them a few times and 'holiday meal' aside, I'm always happy to get together and have some food, so, I'm cool with it. I'll make mashed yams and maybe an apple pie. We'll celebrate it as a pure, detached culturally celebration of all we are individually thankful for - not the creepy pantomime about starving Quakers.

On a completely, utterly different note - our kids, late teenagers now, have over the last six months or so both gotten deep into MC DOOM - which means we(the parents) have listened to him a lot lately as well and but hot damn is that some amazing music. Art. There's that funny/apt saying, "Ist das Kunst, oder kann es weg?" ("Is it art, or can we ignore it?") and I can not ignore it. A lot a lot a lot of what they consume, is superfluous but MC DOOM, man, I bow down. I know, I'm an enormous snob, but when he pops up in the playlist I feel like I'm discovering something new and vital and important. Like when I first heard the Minutemen or Paul's Boutique or read Villette or saw Picasso's portrait of G.Stein or or or or or or... I mean, dammit - that he wasn't more celebrated while he was alive is a crime. I literally stop, each time and think about how he is insisting I listen, and insisting I listen the way he is telling. It's fucking masterful in a way very little popular music ever is. I hold it up to them, the kids, as an example of what it means to make art. (honestly, Tyler the Creator (for his emotional honesty (he seems like a tedious person but damn are his lyrics exceptional)) or Kendrick Lamar are a close second: but MC DOOM - it's fucking pure.) I could go on about this for hours. In this stupidly dark time of year, I can only recommend it.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:38 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

I remember seeing the original 'V' even though I was only 5 or 6. The rebooted 'V' with Tudyk (and Morena Baccarin - who was also cast in 'Firefly.') is a-ok by me. The computer graphics are a bit janky, but that was what they were like.

Us Canucks already had our Thanksgiving, but my turkey story is that I've switched to making turkey logs (I need to come up with a better name) instead of whole unadultered birds (I have also made turducken a few times).

Excise the breast (with as much skin attached as possible), open it up book style so it's a larger evenly thick sheet. Excise the thigh, Y-cut debone, open it up book style, too. I remove the skin. Season both, lay one breast skin-side down, layer a thigh over top. Rolll up, stretch the skin, pin. Do same for other breast/ thigh combo. Sit in fridge uncovered for at least 4 hours or overnight (this dries out the skin so it roasts up crispy). Roast, until internal temp reaches what you're comfortable with.

As for the carcass, drumsticks are great for confit or slow cookering. The organ bag, I'll save for dirty rice later, or chop it up for eventual stovetop stuffing. The rest of the carcass gets turned into stock, reduce. Butter roux gravy is made from stock, supplemented by whatever drippings the logs provide. Other portion of stock goes into the stovetop stuffing. Leftover stock goes into the freezer (ice cube trays --> ziplock/ tupperware).

Slice crossection so you get 5-6" dia. ~1-2" thick medallions with with meat surrounding dark meat, ringed round with crispy skin. The end caps are great!

A lot less time in the oven, the meat gets evenly cooked (so no compromising with undercooked/ overcooked), and the knife skills required are pretty trivial.
posted by porpoise at 12:51 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

jquinby, there are so many movies from my childhood that I never watched but my mom would buy me the "novel" when I asked for it. We lived in a small town where books came from Kroger or K-Mart if you didn't want to drive an hour to Knoxville.

We didn't have cable and my parents worked opposite shifts so there was no chance I was going to see the movie and books were cheaper than VHS tapes.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 12:58 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

The novelization for The Terminator is actually a really great book. It somehow has a depth and texture that really isn't in the movie, and is a very compelling read. A lot of those novelizations were good. A lot of them weren't. Didn't Alan Dean Foster write a lot of them?
posted by hippybear at 1:02 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

I think Alan Dean Foster wrote all of them. The tie-in novels too.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:03 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]

The great thing about tie-in novels is that, because of the lead time required to write it up and get it edited and printed, sometimes you've got a window on what the movie used to be before last-minute cuts and edits.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:31 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]

Didn't Alan Dean Foster write a lot of them?

If this is the question in he context of... basically any media property tie-in in the seventies and eighties, the answer is "yes."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:01 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]

Mmmmmm graaaaaaaavy...

Ms. Windo had preordered a 2 lb. Turkey breast from the PCC. She had ordered it bone-in. Which I, the one who will cook this meat, have not dealt with before. So I went in to see if I could switch it with boneless. He said sure, and we had a nice chat about exactly what "bones" would be involved in a bone-in breast.

Having perused various recipe sites, sounds like bone-in are a bit better, oh well. Only my second try at making Turkey. BUT, I digress.

While I was on that trip to the PCC, I was on the hunt for gravy. They didn't have any when Ms. Windo was there ordering the turkey. But there was one!!! I grabbed it. Get home, put it in the fridge. Ms. Windo a bit later says, "Did you buy this? It's date has passed..."

I tend to not check those things, but it was just at it's date, and it went straight into the freezer. It will be fine. BUT, that didn't stop me ogling at the bags of turkey gravy they had at the Ballard Market. Sigh...

May need to make another trip.

Because gravy makes everything better at Thanksgiving.
posted by Windopaene at 2:02 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

My husband and I saw a movie years ago, so long ago we not only have forgotten what movie this scene is from, but many other important details. A young man was given several impossible tasks to accomplish in order to …win the hand of a princess? When he reported back to the…King? he was given one final task. The King unfolded a large map of the route the young man needed to follow to accomplish the mission. As our intrepid hero prepared to head out on this quest, he folded the map effortlessly, and the King was so astonished at his ability to fold the map properly, that he granted the kid the boon. Or something. But that map-folding scene remains vivid in what is left of our minds. Do any of you recall a movie with a scene like that?
posted by dorgla at 2:34 PM on November 21

@ From Bklyn, that'd be MF DOOM and I envy you discovering that music, I'd love to discover it all over again

I still enjoy the "ALL CAPS" video at least once or twice a year, and Madvillainy is a masterpiece. The DangerDoom collaboration is also fun.
posted by elkevelvet at 2:53 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

I just sold my fifth SFF story this year, which is also the first year I've been writing.
I'd feel blessed if I wasn't a third-generation atheist heathen.
posted by signal at 3:01 PM on November 21 [31 favorites]

You sold five stories in a year? If you're not blessed, you're at least in vibe with what the Universe wants you to be doing!
posted by hippybear at 3:13 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]

Yeah, it feels like I might have finally got a handle on the whole imposter syndrome thing.
posted by signal at 3:29 PM on November 21 [7 favorites]

signal, I'm so excited for you. Congrats!
posted by mochapickle at 3:30 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]

I've never had a turducken, but about a dozen years ago, we had a major family group at our house and made a cherpumple.
In contrast to the reactions of some in the group, I insist to this day that it was the best piece of pie or cake that I ever had.
(That is, the first piece. My mistake was having seconds the same day)
posted by MtDewd at 3:36 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it feels like I might have finally got a handle on the whole imposter syndrome thing.

You passed "imposter" with story 3 being sold, and from there it's all been "I'm a writer who is paid to write".

Telling yourself anything else is, well, yeah. Go have coffee or drinks with a friend and relax into you being successful.
posted by hippybear at 3:37 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

Today I found myself thinking about my first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal on my own. I'd recently separated from my wife...well, she'd separated from me. I was in a tiny basement apartment with only a few pieces of furniture and not a whole lot of kitchen implements. My ex had taken our son to her mom's house out of town for Thanksgiving. I knew almost nobody, I was facing my first post-separation holiday season, alone and feeling pretty down in the dumps. My cooking experience was limited, I'd barely started to make actual meals, but I decided to try making a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, if for no reason than that it was doing something other than moping.

I invited my one friend, who also happened to be single with no friends or family nearby (his extended family was gathering out of state that year or something like that) and willing to bravely join me in my experiment. This was around '96 or '98, dial-up and Internet Explorer were about the only choices available to me. Somehow I managed to track down some straightforward - but as it turned out excellent - recipes online. Nothing fancy or avant-garde, just good simple roast turkey and a few typical sides; I don't remember what they were but I think it included home-made pecan pie (which I did have experience making).

Whether it was good planning or beginner's luck I couldn't say, but the turkey came out perfect with beautiful golden-brown skin. Only moments after pulling it out of the oven my friend and I were standing over it gnawing pieces of crispy skin and growling like dogs. Once we'd finished that off we were able to act like civilized humans and follow through with having a proper meal, with plates and forks and everything.

I've cooked a lot of turkeys since then, done a couple more full solo meals as well as quite a few along with others, but that dinner sticks out in my memory. As my friend and I relaxed and recovered after finishing a blessedly good meal, I started to think I might manage to get through the bad times to the rest of my life after all.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:17 PM on November 21 [15 favorites]

I lived in Houston 1977-1992, 1983 a pivotal year in my life.

Turkeys. (This isn't about 1983 but rather for a few years on, later 80s.) A friend worked as a security guard / doorman in this total luxury condo complex, every year come Thanksgiving and Christmas some of the people who lived there tipped him with turkeys, which he gave to me. I knew nothing about how to cook a big bird. I bought these plastic cooking bags, put the bird in the bag and also carrots and new pototoes and onions and I don't know what else; cooking them in those bags was amazing, they came out tender and juicy and so, so tasty. (Probably I'll end up with polio from cooking in plastic but worth it, for sure -- those birds were the best.) Then I'd cook down the bones, make a great broth, the best soups I've ever had any part in creating. These are good Houston memories, good food memories, too.


1983 was/is mostly *not* good memories. I was given the gift of no longer drinking or drugging in July 1982 but those first years sober were really, really hard for me. No longer drinking/drugging it was completely apparent to me that I needed A Job, and that I needed A Woman. The job I got right away, almost still had whiskey on my breath probably, one week sober, give or take. I called a friend, did he know anyone who was hiring, he did, I called the guy, he told me "You're on." and to go to the superintendants on-site trailer and go from there. Cool.

I show up at that site, go to the trailer, the super on the job was going to tell me who to report to, is what I figured. Nope. He gave me this huge honkin' set of blueprints -- I'm the guy who is doing the commercial carpentry on this whole gig. Being dumb, I took it on; here I was, so hosed I could hardly blow my nose, and here I am to build out this supermarket, and the rest of the strip center also.

Those prints may as well been written by space monsters, or in French maybe (which I consider sometimes about the same as space monsters, but with great movies) but it wasn't just all the construction language, it was filled with hieroglyphics, all of these arcane symbols signifying ... something. Or maybe it was something else -- how the hell was I supposed to know? I walked that site for two days, rolling/unrolling that massive hunk of paper torture as I staggered around that site. A horror show. Being who I am -- a very, very stubborn individual, plus dumb -- I ran that job and it was nothing less than perfect. And because of that, I ended up being the go-to guy who ran all of the highly detailed, complex-as-fuck jobs.

I made more money than I'd ever made in my life and I was starkers; I hadn't had anything to drink but I sure needed something to drink. I was so dry, I was a walking fire hazard.

And then there was that other need. A Woman. Regardless there were boatloads of unhappy women right there in Houston, I imported one from San Diego. Again, I'm such a wreck I can scarce blow my nose, and now I am In A Relationship With A Fussy Woman. As you might imagine, she was really pretty -- that was Very Important. Turns out we really had a lot in common: We both wanted real bad to please her, and neither of us thought very much of me.

Turns out she had this friend in Houston, who I had not ever heard one word about, and now I am not only trying to please The Woman From San DiegoTM but also her friend. And her friends husband. I needed a relationship with training wheels on it but found myself riding a wild motorcycle with no brakes, hazard lights flashing, horn beeping none-stop.

So now we're in 1983, somehow. My imported sweetie thought we needed a dog, she got one from the pound, and she took a plastic bowl and put the dogs name because on it using magic marker -- "Riley" -- but that food bowl was the extent of her dog owning responsability. That untrained, completely undisciplined dog would tear up anything/everything so now I'm taking it to work with me, including the food bowl. I couldn't leave it in my van it would tear up anything/everything. That dog ... A horror show. I'm running work and this dog is running wild, exactly what it's supposed to be doing as a completely untrained dog but I'm chasing it down all damn day.

Hurricane Alicia came through, massive storm, our power went out only maybe five hours or ten; no prolem at all, thousands upon thousands went over a month without power. But I was locked down with The Woman and with The Dog. For days. Boy oh boy, was that ever fun....

Somewhere in early 83 oil dropped to 13 bucks a barrel. Houston, the fastest growing city on the planet, found itself beginning to flail about, and then into serious, no doubt about it flailing. People left by the hundreds of thousands, it was amazing, thousands just left their houses as they were, hopped into their cars and left everything. Houston had been building towering business buildings everywhere, many, many of them ended up as see-throughs, completely unoccupied. My job, which had been solid as a rock was no longer solid -- I'd gotten to where I was running three or four jobs, then that went down to just running one job, and working on it with my crew, and then ended up just another guy on a jobsite, on the top of a scaffold installing accoustical ceiling in a shopping mall, and then I fell off that scaffold, broke my elbow, no more work

The Woman and I had been going back/forth, she was deciding to be with her friend, but then she told me that tomorrow, she was coming back for good. Thank god. I came home, took some advil or whatever, and *then* the elbow *really* began to hurt, I went and got a cast put on it, my entire arm locked from shoulder to fingers. Well, at least The Woman was Coming Home For Good that night.

She of course did not Come Home That Night, Or Ever, and I was screwed, blued, shoed.

That work and that woman, they were who I was. They were all I had. They were my worth. (Which of course left me feeling worthless, though I didn't have words for it them; the words I had were "Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Goddamnit. insert tears here, and gut-shot sobbing, then back to "Oh fuck. Godamnit. Oh fuck." Rinse and repeat.) I was of course absolutely miserable in that life I was living, I made fistfuls of money and the woman was sure pretty but both the job and the relationship totally wrong for me. But I'd never have let go of either, I needed Life to guide me.

Boy oh boy, was I ever hosed!

All of this was coming down of course in late November and through December -- I had a neato Thanksgiving, a neato birthday, a very merry christmas, a festive new year, and yes, this sentence is a sarcasm. I was in hell.

All of those lonely nights I burned this one vanilla smelling candle -- for years, if I smelled that scent I was back in that lonely apartment. MTV was running The Eurithmics "Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This" almost non-stop, thank god I loved that vid and I loved that song and I still do -- I watched it just a few minutes ago and yep, I damn sure still love it. I watched MTV and played solitaire and cried my eyes out and then stopped, but then cried my eyes out again -- it was swell!

Turns out I needed help, and amazingly, I sought it out, rather than picking up drinking and/or drugging again. That's pretty much astonishing, and you'd know it had you known me. It's called "grace" or at least that's what it's called by me, and by others who I was forced finally to open to, forced to let in, warm people every bit as broken as I except they knew the way out; they had these amazing eyes, and they laughed their asses off over terrible things they'd been through, they drank the worst coffee on the planet (AA holy water) and an awful lot of it, and they drank it out of these shitty little styrofoam cups, to boot. It was these people who began to help my humpty-dumpty ass to get put back together again.

These were my people.

They still are.
posted by dancestoblue at 5:24 PM on November 21 [14 favorites]

I took this week off. I don’t work, mind you, I’m completely retired. I just took the week off. I’m not sure I can explain that in any meaningful way, because I actually got quite a lot done—read through my journal entries for this hellish year, cleaned out my files, watched the grandchild a couple days, got a will and health care and financial POAs, and finished reading a couple of books. But I was supposed to drive to visit a friend this week and she cancelled, and I decided not to go to fencing this week, and the son-in-law is making meatballs and pasta for Thanksgiving instead of me making something, and presto! It’s a week off.

It occurred to me this week that since my spouse died, this whole house is all mine. Maybe that’s why I feel as if I’m on vacation.

I don’t remember 1983 because my kid was a year old then. It was mostly a blur. I remember David Letterman, mostly, because the kid didn’t sleep much.
posted by Peach at 5:47 PM on November 21 [10 favorites]

Larry David Syndrome - your story of a turkey competition reminded me of this story from when I was growing up in South America as a missionary's kid.

Every year the missionaries would gather together for a conference, and the best night was skit night. This one involved a radio and a chicken, and our amazing first grade teacher who was in her 60s by then. The gag was that the radio gets bumped part way through and instead of being "how to roast a chicken" it becomes "how to bathe and clothe your baby" and so she, with some amazing hammed up confused looks at the audience dressed up this chicken carcass as a baby.

Some how three year old Lily found the chicken baby, and I remember her walking around with it on her hip, being chased down by her parents and howling that she wasn't allowed to keep her baby!

(Names changed)
posted by freethefeet at 5:59 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]

Hey EC, I made your cranberry relish for the first time yesterday, and it was raved about!

Going back the last quarter century (!), I've had to work either both days around Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving itself. The first 18, it was always Wed/Fri because I was working retail or foodservice. Last 7 years, I'm working for a hospital so always volunteer to work Thanksgiving so others who the day is more important to can have it off. We all had to work at least one holiday a year. Thanksgiving had the added bonus of basically punching in and reading a book, for the most part.

I just got promoted so this year I DON'T have to work Thanksgiving, but plans were already in place, so it just made sense to do Turkey day yesterday, as the spouse will be out of town for the weekend.

We went the spatchcock route this year, seasoned with Cajun spices and cajun marinade injected. Ridiculously easy. Last year, we did the Popeye's Fried turkey. But, it was ~$35 last year. ~$60 this year, or if you had it shipped ~$100! The bird we got was, like, $18?

We had gone the turducken route once, and it was great! But, spouse was worried they wouldn't have a traditional Thanksgiving, so they picked out all the stuff they wanted and I figured out the timing and did all the cooking.

We had turkeys as pets for a few months... had been told they would help protect our chickens. But, it turns out they were male and were trying to get it on with the poor things.

One of my favorite thanksgivings was when I was going through a nasty breakup in college. 98% of the students had gone home for the holiday and I just needed a damn break. Me and one other person in our dorm spent pretty much every minute together over that weekend, eating Turkey subs from Subway as our thanksgiving meal and just watching movies non-stop until we cashed out. It was probably the only 96 consecutive hours of not being judged I had felt to that point of the school year. Absolutely glorious.

(on preview: I took this week off. I don’t work, mind you, I’m completely retired. I just took the week off. I’m not sure I can explain that in any meaningful way, because I actually got quite a lot done.

I think I know what you mean, Peach? I'm nowhere near retirement, but there are weeks I allow myself to "be lazy" without feeling any guilt. Like, yeah, I'll probably still cook all the dinners, go to the grocery store, whatever. But, if dinner is at 9:30? Who cares. Dishes sit in the dishwasher overnight? Meh. After all the cooking and prep I did this weekend, and with the partner and kid out Wed-Sun, I'm already leaning on taking most of this week off myself!)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:02 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

I do remember 1983, which is remarkable because I was four. It's possible that I confabulated a lot of my childhood memories accidentally, but I do have them. The most certain memory I have from 1983 is of me crying at my grandmother's house, afraid that I would have to go with the others to see Return of the Jedi. I was terrified of it because I was sure that Jabba the Hutt ate people, maybe even Princess Leia. Someone soothed me and told me I didn't have to go, but once my older cousin went to see it, I felt left out and bad all over again.

Made the cornbread for the dressing for my first solo Thanksgiving. (It needs to be stale, and I don't expect I can buy savory cornbread around here.) Overwhelmed with unexpected sadness. The cornbread's not as good because I had to use powdered buttermilk, among other things, but it will probably do all right.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:03 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

It's turning out to be a great week. Not.

My car decided to die today. Thought it was the battery so called AAA and they said no. So I have to get it towed. Of course that call pushed me over the 3 call limit so I get to pay $85 bucks for them to tow me. Guy says he thinks it's the fuel pump. A quick google shows is probably about $1200 to get it fixed.

This is the first turkey day without my dad. I'm making dinner for my brother and I. My other brother has decided he doesn't want anything to do with us anymore because we aren't selling my dad's house (where I'm living) fast enough. Sent a letter from his lawyer at the end of October demanding his share of what they house is worth within 7 days.

Who knows how long it'll take to get my car fixed which means I have to rent one. More money I don't have.

It's almost time for bed and I think it's a good night for some Ativan.
posted by kathrynm at 6:24 PM on November 21 [8 favorites]

I've had a shitty couple of weeks. I tripped over my electric blanket's cord and slammed the left edge of my ribcage into the tubular metal bedframe that's curved just right to hit everything. Almost collapsed, barely made it to bed, barely made it out of bed. Everything hurt, breathing, sneezing, walking, holding a cup... it's taken a couple of weeks to get down to just a dull sort of pain. Strangely it didn't leave a big black and purple bruise, just the faintest hint of a dark streak. Then last Thursday the construction workers remodeling the apartment above me.... decided to cut my internet cable. Then denied it, until the cable guy came out an looked. Shitty old apartments. They ran two cables into the upstairs bedroom closet, on for the upstairs apartment, the other went down through a hole in the floor into my closet. They just cut them flush at the wall and buried mine under new flooring. So I've been tethering the phone over LTE since. It's going to take a couple of weeks or more to get things reinstalled. Have to spend the next couple of weeks keeping an eye on data usage. Looks like I'll have to be picky about watching videos even at lowest quality. PITA. Luckily MetaFilter is low bandwidth....
posted by zengargoyle at 6:53 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]

I'll say it again, the best money you can spend is the towing sold by your car's insurer, rather than AAA. It comes out to about $7 per year. In my town they have aocal work around, you are not even using some distant, automated servce.

That one cranberry sauce sounds like it would be good with ginger. I have to turn on the heat, if I am ever going to get my cat out of my lap. Only 42 days until the 2nd of January, my favorite day of the year.

Elon Musk actually struck a human note today, and NASA is still posting to twitter. I wish you all joyous epiphanies, and good food this week, and warmth among friends.
posted by Oyéah at 7:10 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

Dancestoblue, you have a very different life story but a uncanny similar autobiographical writing style to my dad. Uncanny and a delight to read.
posted by gryphonlover at 7:20 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

Peach: I’m completely retired. I just took the week off. I’m not sure I can explain that in any meaningful way

I appreciate "personal days."

A day off from stuff that other people think are important and just do what you think is important. Sometimes, that's to do nothing at all!

Professional athletes take "maintenance days." I like the idea. Everyone should be able to take maintenance days.
posted by porpoise at 8:17 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

I wish there was an easier way to get the high I get from writing fiction.

Right now I'm in writing heaven. Characters are coming to life, saying and doing things I could never have achieved by planning. And I do a lot of planning!

I'm at that stage where I have to tie off a lot off plot threads and channel everything down towards the ending.

It feels a bit like teetering on the top of a wave, about to surf down it, or get dumped.

I have outlined what's supposed to happen but I can already tell it's not strong enough, I have to heighten the emotional stakes.

So I'm just going to go for it and see what happens.
posted by Zumbador at 8:19 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]

Also, I'm going to buzz my own hair today. First time I'm doing it myself. Wish me luck.
posted by Zumbador at 8:23 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

Buzzing your head usually takes a couple of days depending on how long your hair was to begin with and how close you are buzzing. Like the second day the hairs that were laying down and got missed a bit start standing up and poking out. You sorta can't really feel/see the missed spots until they start sticking out and you run your fingers through and find a bit that's a bit longer than it should be. The second pass takes care of that.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:00 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

I'm sitting here on tenterhooks waiting for word of my application for what looks like an awesome job that would see an end to my current frustration and lack of motivation with my work life. I'm trying not to get too hopeful, but not succeeding very much.
posted by dg at 9:02 PM on November 21 [7 favorites]

Might be helpful to light some incense or a candle and put your hopes onto that and let that carry it out into the world for you. That kind of displacement can be helpful, and is nicely symbolic.
posted by hippybear at 9:13 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

We’re cooking a couple great big pot roasts for Thanksgiving. Turkey is really hard work. Yes Mr. Roquette makes the world’s best turkey, I make totally awesome cranberry sauce but the work involved is too much. I am tired of dealing with tiny bones and soup he gets tired of. Better to have something we both really like.
That Mrs. Stanberg’s relish sounds like something I’d feed to a hated enemy!
My sauce is made by cooking the fresh cranberries in my home made pomegranate syrup. It is delicious!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:38 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

Our daughter’s in-laws are a bunch of anti-vax hick-billies. It was all fun and games before COVID, so I shan’t be seeing even my sane relatives in person. Having a family Zoom with the Black relatives. That is always fun!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:42 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I'm super excited about it. I moved this summer. My last house had been taken over by clutter, I never figured out how to dig myself out, it just got worse and worse, and I didn't ever want to have people over. I went to theirs, or we met someplace else. This is a fresh start, a chance to try again at keeping it somewhat tidy!

So I'm having a crowd, expecting 13! I have no experience cooking for that size group! My dad is bringing the main casserole, a couple other folks are bringing sides. I almost forgot to buy potatoes today, would've been hard to make the mashed potatoes that are on my part of the list. It's gonna be a vegetarian, gluten-free Thanksgiving! My absolute favorite cranberry sauce includes pineapple and a zested and pulped orange. Also making my family's traditional spinach puff balls, and a pumpkin sheet cake, and brownies.

Also, I worked 3 of the last 4 Thanksgivings, and didn't bother trying to do anything special for the day. This year I'm ready for the big dinner!
posted by dorey_oh at 12:50 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]

Good morning!
I've baked a loaf of bread. Not so much because I need the bread, as because I needed to warm up the kitchen a bit. It is really cold here. But I am not snowed in. Life goes on...
posted by mumimor at 1:48 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]

Back in the early 90s, my parents were still living in CT, and my BFF Sue still lived in our home town with a boyfriend from high school. My aunt still hosted Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, but was preparing to move to New Mexico, so she was giving a lot of things away. I claimed a couple cookbooks while we were there for Thanksgiving; and then the next day my family went back to Connecticut, so I could hang with Sue for an evening.

Before I head over to Sue's I called to make plans and ask what we were doing. She apologetically said that we had to kind of stay put at her place - her boyfriend had been given a turkey at work as a bonus, but it had been sitting in the fridge for three days and she wanted to do something with it so it wouldn't go bad. "Oh, hang on," I said - "I just got these two cookbooks from my aunt, and one of them has a whole Thanksgiving menu. I'll bring that."

I showed up at about 4 pm, cookbooks in hand. We consulted the recipes, discovered we had most of the ingredients for the whole menu, and needed only a 15-minute grocery run to pick up the last few things. We teamed up on the turkey and each of us called dibs on separate sides - a simple green bean dish, stuffing with sausage and dried apricots, a decadent mashed potato recipe with cream cheese and sour cream. We eagerly got to work, both of us instinctively knowing how to dodge and weave around each other in her tiny kitchen. Her boyfriend came home after about a half hour with three friends in tow - they walked into the kitchen and stopped and stared, seeing us both putting together a huge spread. "Oh, hey, we're making dinner," Sue told him cheerfully. "It'll be ready in another hour or so. Feel free to help eat it." Boyfriend and friends very happily agreed and went to the living room to give us space.

About 20 minutes before dinner was done, I stopped for a second and looked up at Sue. "Hey. We're cooking a whole-ass Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves." She stopped a second, looked up, and grinned at me - and we whooped and high-fived, and then got back to work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:00 AM on November 22 [16 favorites]

Lovely story, Empress, I feel I can see you there in that tiny kitchen.

I think the best thing a young person can do to learn to cook is to cook a big meal (or several) from a really good cookbook. You learn so much more that just that one thing the recipe is about.
posted by mumimor at 5:25 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]

No head buzzing happened because I got on a roll with my writing.

Also, I'm not feeling that great. I'm starting to think that I had Covid last week. Lots of throwing up and some weird things with my sense of smell, and I'm taking really long to recover. And my husband was pretty sick too, more flu-like, and everything smells burnt to him.

It's because of him working in a school that has no Covid precautions at all.

Thank goodness that I've been super careful and staying away from my father.
posted by Zumbador at 6:28 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]

I was 23, but I have very few memories of 1983 as well...

I meant that in the sense that it was 40 years ago, and all of Life that happened since then has pushed most of those memories into the hazy past.

Only now, a day later, do I realize it could be interpreted as being frequently out of my skull as a young man. Oh well, TBH that interpretation is funnier...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:38 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]

cooking the fresh cranberries in my home made pomegranate syrup.

That sounds amazing, I definitely want to make that now!
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:45 AM on November 22

We have had character limits on names in our database for forever. I have been here for way too many years and we have always been told this will never be fixed, we don't care how much you complain, we are never going to change it. It causes constant problems, but tech always claimed it would cause THEM problems (but they couldn't tell you what) if they fixed it.

Today, I got an official email saying it had been fixed and they got rid of the character limit.

I celebrated...and then tested it, and it still doesn't let you add long names.

This sums up a lot of my job right there in a nutshell.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:19 PM on November 22 [5 favorites]

It's that time of the year, William S. Burroughs - A Thanksgiving Prayer - YouTube. (cw: William S. Burroughs)
posted by zengargoyle at 4:50 PM on November 22

It's also that time of the year for Addams Family Values, one of the best Thanksgiving movies ever!
posted by hippybear at 5:46 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]

Ha, I went through some of the pictures in my Downloads folder and there it is.... Wednesday standing in front of the burning Thanksgiving set.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:01 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

In the start of 1983 I had an eight month old daughter. She would ask me to play Baby Noocus, (baby music,) a few months on, when she was 11 months old. Baby noocus was The Police, Synchronicity album, specifically, Every Breath You Take. Watching her dance I could see she was a true lefty. Such a lovely little girl.
posted by Oyéah at 6:40 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]

William S Burroughs was something...

Never quite sure if I was with him or not. But watching that, yeah, I get it.
posted by Windopaene at 7:17 PM on November 22

One of my good decisions or major regrets is that when I was in Kansas I knew where Burroughs lived in Lawrence. I always wanted to drop in and hang out, but was afraid he would shoot me or something. It would have been so much *something* to hang out and get drunk or do some shrooms, drop some acid or something. But can you imagine walking up and knocking on his door....
posted by zengargoyle at 7:35 PM on November 22

I just finished a paper so I've got that going too!
posted by jquinby at 8:21 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]

I think the best thing a young person can do to learn to cook is to cook a big meal (or several) from a really good cookbook. You learn so much more that just that one thing the recipe is about.

Honestly, one of my very favorite Sue and Me stories was from when she came to visit me in New York for my 25th birthday weekend. We'd planned to spend that Saturday morning exploring Chinatown and buying anything that looked interesting, and then coming home and cooking it all that afternoon. I put the word out to my friends to come by at about 3 pm for food, and told my roommate that he could invite some friends as well.

We walked back in after our shopping excursion to find my roommate in the living room with his role-playing group - he'd actually forgotten all about our cooking. He apologized and everyone started to get up to leave, but we said, "actually, no, stay - you can help eat all this shit when we're done." They happily agreed, and within a half hour had given up on the game because they were watching us in fascination (we were making steamed shumai from scratch, a whole bunch of different vegetables, pan-fried noodles....I don't remember everything we made, I just remember the shumai and having to juggle this enormous soy sauce bottle we bought).

About five of my other friends showed up, my roommate and his gaming crew were another five, and then there was Sue and I - and we had no dining room or kitchen as such, we had only our tiny common room, and all dozen of us sat in a circle around the perimeter of the room, balancing our plates on our knees. We actually ran out of chairs and one person had to sit on a stepladder.

....I want another dinner party like that someday.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:29 AM on November 23 [3 favorites]

Man, I don't want to be here today. I am working in person today because I never do much of anything for Thanksgiving and everyone else wants the day off, so I am here. But I am being told I'm a fuckup AGAIN and being yelled at for mail issues beyond my control and it's only 9:15 a.m. and I want to throw up at having to give apologies over and over again for the next seven hours.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:14 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]

That sounds like a total horrible day jenfullmoon. I am so sorry!

I don't want to be "here" either. I am remote today and on "self-study" time. Even if I was interacting with end users today, there are so few who haven't taken the day off, that the day would still be dragging on. Really, really hard to stay motivated.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 9:47 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]

Ooh, are we complaining about work today? I want to, too! I'm covering for everybody in my department today, and like, all the customers have sensed that their usual reps aren't here, so they're all coming to me with these weird problems, and they don't ever seem to know, like, which software they're using, or how anything works, or who they talked to before about it. At least people have been pretty nice about things so far, but my patience is so thin after six hours of this, and there are still about three hours to go, and they're gonna get less nice as I don't have any updates for them as the afternoon wears on because it's a holiday and nobody is working.
posted by mittens at 10:26 AM on November 23 [4 favorites]

Ooh, are we complaining about work today? I want to, too! I'm covering for everybody in my department today, and like, all the customers have sensed that their usual reps aren't here, so they're all coming to me with these weird problems, and they don't ever seem to know, like, which software they're using, or how anything works

Ha! Yeah, when I was doing regular Desktop Support, you could legit tell when someone was on vacation and told their typical group of end users that they would be out. People would call in and ask about the strangest things and play completely ignorant. Whoever was covering would waste a ton of time researching the issue to come back with, "not sure that can happen" or "the software can't do that". When the tech would come back from vac, you would ask and they would say, "Yeah, I told that user 3 months ago that wasn't possible."

Highly annoying.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:56 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]

My company in the past week broke two of the three tools I need to do my job. They broke the third a couple weeks ago but got it working again. Pretty much immediately after that was fixed the other two broke. Which means the one that's fixed can't actually do what it needs to either since it relies on the others. That's along with months long bugs that generally make my job harder. Honestly it feels like the company doesn't even want me to do my job at this point. They do nothing to support me doing it. I try to do what I can but they won't let me do it well. It's insane.
posted by downtohisturtles at 11:16 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]

That sounds like my job, downtohisturtles.

I just saw this and it helped me feel better, if that helps anyone still SLOGGING ALONG.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:55 AM on November 23

Living in Vermont, I can’t find Lebanon Bologna in the store, at least since Covid.
Came to PA for Thanksgiving, and now I have something to be thankful for.
posted by MtDewd at 1:59 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]

For those who can access Washington Post, these Thanksgiving day songs are certainly something!

Just a reminder that the quintessential Xmas song Jingle Bells was written for Thanksgiving. Like so many perfectly good winter songs, we are required by law to cease mentioning it four days into the season.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:07 PM on November 23

Good news: I got to leave work early after all!

Bad news: my mom fell down and injured herself in Hoarder House, so she and her boyfriend are at the ER for the rest of the night and Thanksgiving's off, at least for them. Unsure if I'm still invited/going to the relatives' house tomorrow under the circumstances. Boyfriend's son was invited but I assume he probably wouldn't want to go alone or only with me (reasonable, no judgment from me there). Relatives have not been notified yet.

I note that my mom has been a hoarder since the mid-2000's when her brain broke, and her boyfriend has never been invited into the house their entire 5-year relationship because of this. I'm pretty sure he suspected what was going on but politely didn't say anything (also he'd hate that shit), so now it has to have definitely been Forced Upon Him if he had to get her out of the house/to the ER. SO THAT'S GONNA MAKE LIFE INTERESTING NOW, ISN'T IT.

I haven't gone to therapy in about two months--my therapist's mom died and frankly she hasn't been up to it, and I haven't had any new drama going on so I said she could skip me. I guess we're gonna have to be back on this holiday season. SIGH.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:47 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope yours will be full of joy and food.
Here, there is no Thanksgiving and I am a bit isolated because my car is at the shop for repairs. It's fine, I have everything. And my racist uncle is just ten minutes away on foot, if I feel the longing.
Meanwhile, I have been watching this episode of Jamie and Julia wherein a turkey is stuffed and I am mesmerized. I might see it again. I might stuff a bird when I get out to the shops.
If you don't know Jamie, give him a peak. At first I thought it was a cheap rip-off of Julie and Julia, and it is, but also it isn't at all. First of all, there is the Canadian accent. Then there is the magic. And then... you have a look and decide for yourself.
posted by mumimor at 5:08 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]

Happy Thanksgiving to all that celebrate! Especially if you would rather not be celebrating, or would rather be doing it somewhere else.

Taking some time this morning to pull out and rewind almost half the work I've done on a crochet hat. There's no rush, I suppose, but it's frustrating. If I didn't, it would be much too big. In any case, I should see if I can start on the crochet slipper pattern I hope to make for a Christmas present. It's a simple one, but then so is the hat. I'm not great at consistent sizing. The most success I have ever had is making things that can be created out of granny squares.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:55 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]

This talk of stuffing reminds me of my mom's - I don't do whole birds anymore and generally do a "trad" stovetop from scratch - blending of SE Asian fare and well, turkeys.

She'd cook glutinous rice with chopped up: Chinese preserved lap cheong sausages, preserved pork belly, shredded dried mustard greens, shitake mushrooms, maybe some conpoy (sundried scallops) that was cooled and stuffed inside a raw turkey before it went into the oven.

Even heavier fare than bread-based stuffing.
posted by porpoise at 3:32 PM on November 24

Adding this here because it might be helpful to someone, someday: the cornbread dressing I made was terrible. At least to me. I had made it for a crowd before and it was very good. But either I got the wrong recipe this time or dressing just does not work when it is halved, because all I could taste was the egg. And I hate eating eggs. If anyone had wanted cornbread frittata, I guess they would have been in luck, but it was just for me. Luckily I had saved some of the cornbread that I made, and I also had powdered mashed potatoes on hand, so I had some holiday type carbs. And my little apple-cranberry pies are so, so good. I am a much better baker than cook.

Another note: ground sage is not the same in a recipe, even if you do the math to substitute for rubbed or fresh sage. I had been lying to myself about this because ground sage is what I have, because Badia has it cheap.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:42 AM on November 25

My parents helped out by making the mashed potatoes, following a recipe that was my nephew's favorite- and which involves an ENTIRE HEAD of roasted garlic. When we were making it my mother smelled how strong the garlic was and actually tried to convince Dad NOT to put it all in. (To be fair, she also said we should bring the roasted garlic along and add it in later if we tasted it and deemed it unfinished.)

Dad waved her off, fortunately, and despite Mom's concerns it really was just the right amount. Even Mom thought so. (And when we started teasing my gravy-hater nephew that we were going to stir gravy into it before serving, he wordlessly picked up the bowl and started walking away with it.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:52 AM on November 25

Ordered a new MacBook Air this morning (M2, 16/512) because our 2015 MacBook Pro is maybe showing early signs of a swelling battery. I used to get excited about new computers and now replacing the longest lived (and thus most cost effective) machine I’ve ever owned just seems like a chore. While the cost of a new computer is unwelcome, the cost of a lithium battery fire would be much worse, so a forced upgrade it is!
posted by fedward at 12:23 PM on November 25

fedward: if you don't already have one set up, you should set up a Time Machine drive to back up your current computer. It's WAY faster to restore from a Time Machine backup than it is doing a computer to computer restore.
posted by hippybear at 12:45 PM on November 25

Sadly that’s not as true for a network time machine backup IME. Local backup/restore on the iMac that hosts networked time machine backups (in a thunderbolt dock with redundant drives) for the other Macs is speedy, but the MBP tends to take hours to finish a backup.
posted by fedward at 1:01 PM on November 25

I want to put this out into the universe.

I hate gift guides, because they have never helped me buy a gift for anyone who pulls this on me:

(a) When asked what they want, doesn't want anything. You ask them REPEATEDLY and they don't want anything (or get it themselves). Or if they want stuff, are extremely picky about it and you can't possibly buy it right.
(b) Don't want anything consumable "because it makes me fat!"
(c) Scorn being given cash or gift cards because they don't approve of being given obvious dollar amounts of money.
(d) Don't like anything you buy them, regardless of what you try.
(e) And yet, still expect to get prezzies! And will be upset if you don't spend a lot of money on them giving them prezzies! Which they have no enthusiasm for and leave in bags in their hallway. (Added bonus there when they are a hoarder and you really don't want to buy them more crap to sit in the hallway, but gifts!)

This brought to you after going to a craft fair where I saw a billion cool things that I can't buy for anyone as a gift, because see above. Don't want one, don't need one, but you gotta give them SOMETHING. I'm so tired of that every holiday season.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:13 PM on November 25

Gen-X moment:

November 25 is the anniversary of The Band’s final concert, The Last Waltz, and also the day that Band Aid recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

These events were eight years apart, and the more recent one was 38 years ago.

posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:58 PM on November 25

I forgot to take a photo, sadly, but we did get to meet up with mandolin conspiracy this evening at St. Lawrence Market and he is every bit as kind and witty as you would expect. He helped us find weird beers and pesto gouda.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:51 PM on November 25

fedward: I do get the whole “chore” part of replacing a computer. However, I think you will soon forget that, because the M1/2 processors Apple now using… they are FAST. My previous work computer was a i7 iMac with 32GB of RAM and a Fusion Drive and that thing was really really fast. My current one is a Mac Studio with 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD and good lord it runs circles around the previous computer. I use Photoshop all day, so I need all the power I can get, and the M1 Max in the studio is just bleeding’ quick.
posted by azpenguin at 8:59 PM on November 25

but you gotta give them SOMETHING

I either try to figure out something that they might like because I'm actually friends with them and know them enough.

But when I am expected to make the effort, I try to get a gift cert for a lesson (or something) with someone local to them. They typically don't display a dollar amount. Ceramics/ pottery. Glass blowing. Cooking. Wine tasting/ appreciation.

Or spa treatments/ manicures/ pedicures at some place that you want to recommend. It's not so much the gift cert, but the recommendation.

Groupons can be a source of inspiration.

Opportunity for passive-aggression or backhanded deniable shade.
posted by porpoise at 11:46 PM on November 25 [1 favorite]

A long time ago when my niece and nephew were young I would go home for the holidays and spend Black Friday buying them whatever they wanted that they didn't get from other relatives. Then one year they got into Minecraft and spent a buttload of money on cheap assed cardboard things and other crap. That put an end to that. I just wrote a check to my sister, "get yourself something, get them something." So presents became tires on cars, insurance for new drivers, band instruments, summer camps, karate classes. Uncle lives far away and doesn't know exactly what you want/need, doesn't know what other's would provide from your wish-list. You get some $$ to use wisely (hopefully) even if it's ear-marked for something like next year's Netflix or summer camp.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:37 AM on November 26

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