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Last-minute cooks, watch your heads

You thought you’d be dining with family this year, but things changed. And now they’re dining with YOU.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Take a deep breath and follow these instructions carefully:

DO THIS NOW

1. Call grocery store and ask to be put on waiting list in case someone is a no-show to pick up a pre-cooked turkey

2. Check your bank balance. Decide to forgo car insurance payment this month so you can afford deluxe meal.

3. Drive to store to purchase turkey breast, frozen vegetables, Russett potatoes, sweet potatoes, instant stuffing, two prebaked pies, mini marshmallows, soda and bourbon. Settle for last pumpkin pie in store, a frozen one.

4. On impulse, buy oatmeal cookies, live basil growing in a pot, bamboo cutting board, vanilla soy milk, shampoo and clam juice.

5. Wait in really long line with others who failed to adequately prepare. Write big check with “gourmet feast” in memo line, for confidence.

6. Arrive home, unpack, smack yourself in the head.

7. Return to store to buy things you forgot: turkey breast, frozen vegetables, Russett potatoes, sweet potatoes, mini marshmallows and soda.

8. Arriving home again, attempt to slice frozen pie. Hack off piece with hammer and steak knife; wrap pie chunk in paper towel and gnaw on it

until you feel better.

9. Put remaining pie in oven to defrost.

TONIGHT

1. Season turkey breast by wedging butter mixed with herbs between skin and meat. Think about adding garlic, but decide against it. Surround with stuffing mix. Cover tightly with foil.

2. Scrub potatoes and put in another baking pan. Cover tightly with foil.

3. Pour vegetables into microwave-safe container. Cover tightly with foil.

4. Return to store for more foil.

5. On way home, smack yourself in head again for forgetting paper towels.

6. Apply ice pack to forehead.

7. Write tomorrow’s itinerary: set alarm for 7 a.m.; start roasting turkey and potatoes; create casserole from baked sweet potatoes; clean house.

THANKSGIVING A.M.

1. Get up at 7 a.m. and find unbaked pie has melted into crust full of goo overnight in the oven.

2. Place turkey and potatoes in oven. Remember to turn oven on, but forget to turn it off until smoke detector sounds.

3. Open doors and windows to air out house. Discard burnt stuffing. Chase neighbor’s cat out of kitchen.

4. Put vegetables in microwave. When smoke detector sounds again, remember why you’re not supposed to use foil in the microwave. Beat out microwave fire with pot holder.

5. Remove batteries from smoke detector.

6. Attempt to slice uncharred meat from hot, buttery turkey.

7. Apply salve to burnt fingers. Use toilet paper to clean off counter.

8. Accidentally eat all the mini marshmallows.

THANKSGIVING P.M.

1. Greet your guests.

2. Get call from grocery store offering you an unclaimed, cooked turkey. Twist ankle while jumping for joy.

3. Tell guests you have to run out for gravy. Pick up turkey while guests wander through your house, unsupervised, discovering you didn’t have time to clean. Realize on the way home that you’ve forgotten gravy.

4. Serve turkey accompanied by two kinds of potatoes, without butter or gravy. Talk briefly about the health advantages of a low-fat diet.

5. Attempt to arrange oatmeal cookies on platter in festive way. Realize you could have just bought ice cream for dessert.

6. Drop plastic soda bottle. Forget you have done so when attempting to pour. Clean up spilled soda with toilet paper.

7. Run to convenience store for more soda.

8. As you drive home, allow yourself one more smack on the head – for forgetting to buy more toilet paper.

THANKSGIVING NIGHT

1. Close door behind last guest.

2. Pour bourbon.

3. Give thanks.

Can’t get enough of this food talk? Check out my page on examiner.com

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