For me, Thanksgiving is a day of quiet reflection, quaint family traditions and perfect meals…uh hold on! Who can focus on all the good stuff when you’ve got a list of to-dos that stretches for miles?!
When things get hectic around Thanksgiving, I like to remind myself of a story that has become infamous in the Brown clan. It was the first time my husband William and I hosted the big dinner, with our new baby Prentiss and loads of guests. We had finally finished redoing our Brooklyn abode and I was giddy (and also a little anxious!) at the thought of all my loved ones sharing new holiday memories on my turf.
I planned out the day as well as I thought possible with a schedule of when to put in the mashed potatoes, yams and pies that was going to sync exactly right with a golden brown turkey.
Ahh the turkey…the big bird…the main event…I’m no shy cook when it comes to poultry. I’ve had tons of practice over the years on my show and with family—I’ve even perfected a salt and herb rub that makes the juiciest yummiest meat possible. Alas, the best laid plans…
So the table is set, the guests are seated, I had juggled the warming of the sides, and the turkey is…Oh my goodness, the turkey is red. Not even pink, it’s red and so not done. After my initial moment of panic, I peeked my head out to the dining room where all my lovely guests, lovely table décor and lovely veggies were.
“Oh, William, would you come here a moment?”
William saw the panic in my eyes, the raw turkey on the counter, and before I could even get a word out about how ruined everything was and how these darned appliances were the culprits, he assured me of the opposite. All that seemingly unattainable mush of reflection, tradition and family was, in fact, going on out there in the dining room…sans turkey.
After cranking up the oven, I took my seat at the table and let those loving vibes sink in. We ate our fill of sides and desserts, laughed about the mix-up, and went around the table sharing what we were thankful for…which, in the end, is what it’s all about. And let me assure you, all my guests took home enough turkey leftovers to stock a buffet!
Mistakes happen and perfect never is, so just roll with the punches and have fun! Your holiday meals will be special because the special people in your life are there.