First, let me say, I love Thanksgiving. Yep, that's right--LOVE it. It's a great holiday. Most of my favorite foods are all served in one meal and in large quantities--which means two things 1) I can eat as much as I want and 2) leftovers (at which point, I can repeat item 1). There's only a couple days of anything remotely looking like stress (unlike Christmas), everyone's too busy eating to even think of arguing (unlike a family reunion) and I don't have to try and coax Stars out from behind the television (unlike the 4th of July). Pies are made with my mom's crust recipe, aka actually tasty and edible. Yams are cooked in an apple yam dish that does not involve marshmallows or brown sugar. And the turkey is always moist (the key to this is not to slave over basting like a Martha Stewart clone, but I'll tell you that later). The only really unpleasant part is clean-up and, whenever possible, we
The following day is Black Friday. Sounds omnious, I know, but really its just a super sale kick-off for the retail industry to manipulate more money out of consumers in hopes of somehow recovering a shred of their money in this economy. I appreciate their efforts, really. I show this by attending at least one or two sales. And while I admit, the last few years I have not been inspired by potential savings enough to get up at pre-dawn hours to stand freezing in a never-ending line of people all just a little rummy from minimal sleep and abnormally chatty, I still enjoy getting a deal and having some fun while doing it. And granted, the chumminess shown earlier in line when we were all freezing together quickly disappears in the frenzy of grabbing and cart stealing. Still, good times.
What are my favorite sales? Well, the first, obviously, is going to the JoAnn's Superstore for super deals on fabric. My dad has sworn this one off after he found out that we had to stand in two never-ending lines--first to get the fabric cut and then to check out. Still, I love it. Okay, I'll admit--I have a fabric obsession. But, if you're going to offer bolts of flannel, polar fleece, quilting cottons and fashion fabrics for 1/2 off or less, well, I'm going to want to check it out. And, hey, no one ever got trampled to death on a Black Friday sale at a fabric store--Walmart can't say that!
The second is the classic Fred Meyer (Kroger's for you Mid-Westers) sale at which time socks are 50% off. I know, can you believe it! Laugh if you will, but I never run out of socks--and I have to contend with not just the typical sock-eating dryer, but also a mischevious border collie who thinks he should accumulate all socks within sight for the building of a sock mountain. I also find it tremendously funny that we all line up at 4 am to save on socks. There's a part of me that wants to run into the store, grab a cart and run off towards the clothing department madly yelling "Socks! Socks!" followed by hysterical laughter--trust me, it would be hilarious. I'm pretty sure that I'd get at least 20 people following me just to see what was so great over there.
So, all you sale seekers, have fun out there--and all of you lined up at Walmart, try to behave this year for a change!
Psst, here's the secret to a guaranteed moist turkey--buy one of those Reynold's plastic turkey bags (over with the ziplock bags), throw in a tablespoon of flour and some herbs, close the bag with the tie and poke a few holes on the top side. Cook until the pop-up pops or the meat thermometer reaches the proper temp (just follow the directions for the weight of your bird). Cut the bag open near the closure. After removing the turkey, you'll have lots of juices that can be used to make a delicious gravy--just carefully lift the bag and (over a pan) clip a corner and let it drain into the pan. Use cornstarch or other ingredient for thickening. Yummy!