Good. You're here. I know just a few of you bother to read this, but the fact that you are means the internet is working. I was afraid with everyone spending Thanksgiving on Zoom that the old information superhighway was going to be shut down because of a crash. What would we do without teleconferencing in 2020?
I did get to Zoom with my cousins for a couple of hours on Thursday. Normally, the four of them, along with spouses, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, and others all meet in one place, but with coronavirus cases soaring, and travel strongly discouraged, they were spread out all over the place this year. I had a couple of invitations, but decided to stay put. It was the first time in my life I've ever spent this holiday alone.
Last year was the first one since losing my mom, which was hard, but I had the family gathering to help. Normally, blowing off one holiday might not be a big deal for me, but I've had a bit of a rough spell the past few months, so I decided I have to do something besides sit in pajama pants and watch football all day. So, going from one extreme to the other, I decided to try to cook a turkey, and if you're going to do that, you might as well try to make everything else that goes with it.
I bought the turkey first, which was a good thing because I found a nine-pounder that was already roasted. You still had to put in the oven for a couple of hours, but there were no giblets to scoop out and no basting to do. Last year I made my mom's strawberry jello mold for the first time, so I was comfortable making that. Forgetting for a few moments that I would be the only one eating this, I also baked a potato, made some StoveTop stuffing, added rolls,.gravy, and cranberry sauce, and a Stouffer's spinach soufflé that I already had in the freezer. And again, it's just me, but a bottle of wine and some sparkling apple cider to drink.
This wasn't enough, of course. There was one major thing missing. Don't think for a moment that I forgot about dessert. The easiest thing to do would be to buy a pumpkin pie and be done with it. Before proceeding, I should tell you that I don't cook. My definition of cooking is having more than one burner on the stove going at once. Using the oven at the same time means something really special is going on.
I had a can of pumpkin in my cupboard. It's been there a long time and I had no clue why I purchased it in the first place. There are directions for pumpkin pie on the label, and while I did go out and purchase a nice graham cracker pie shell, I made the filling myself. Beating eggs, evaporated milk, mixing in spices with the pumpkin—the whole thing. I've attempted baking once or twice in the past and I learned one thing. Even though there's only one person in the kitchen, I managed to use every bowl and spoon that I own.
One thing about cooking for yourself, though, is that you can be adventurous. If something doesn't come out right, you don't have to eat it, or at least you've learned for next time. You also don't have to apologize to anyone for ruining their dinner. That takes the pressure off.
I have to say, though, that I surprised myself. Everything turned out fine and the pie was really good. I did leave it in the oven just a little too long and it was brown on the edges, but it tasted almost as good (I said almost—I'll take theirs any day) as the ones my cousins make. I now have a fridge full of food, and the turkey was really good even though I'll probably never finish it.
Despite making a mess in the kitchen all day, I did have time to take in the football games. The prime time game was postponed because of coronavirus cases, which seemed appropriate, so instead of watching football while eating I watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and the Turkey's Away episode of WKRP in Cincinnati (the mug with the gravy in it in the above photo has the catch phrase from that episode if you can make it out). My later plan was the watch The Wizard of Oz, but I ended up watching a Jeff Dunham comedy special instead—his first since the pandemic. I also got in plenty of college basketball throughout the weekend, and even watched the celebrity golf match on Friday.
The hangover has set in now, though. I had to go get a burger for dinner Saturday after overdosing on turkey. Half of that bird still hasn't been carved yet! Jello can also be breakfast or lunch, so its long gone. I have another box of stuffing and another potato, so turkey dinners will continue into December.
It was too much food, but it accomplished a goal. I still got to see the family (via Zoom) and I made the day as special as I could. Just add this into the 2020 column, and hope next year we'll get to have our normal visits, and have more to be thankful for. Gotta go now. It's time for pie. Again.
Turkeys of the Year: ESPN's Tuesday edition of Pardon The Interruption last week featured their annual 'Turkeys of the Year' segment. Nominees included Novak Djokovic for hitting a linesperson with a tennis ball, Javon Wims of the Chicago Bears for slugging an opponent twice, and the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger for separating his shoulder during a home run celebration. The runaway winner, though, was Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash for taking Blake Snell out of Game Six of the World Series while shutting out the Dodgers. LA would almost immediately take the lead and go on to win the championship.
The Arizona 49ers?: At no time during Sunday's 49ers-Rams telecast on Fox was it mentioned that Santa Clara County has banned all sports activities for the next three weeks, even with no fans, leaving the Niners homeless. That decision was made on Saturday, and after speculation that the team might play their game next Monday in Oakland or even at the Giants home stadium in San Francisco, it was announced today that they will play in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals will play the Rams there on Sunday, and the Niners will face Buffalo Monday night.
Recycled theme music: College basketball began all across America on Wednesday, and Fox carried games Wednesday and Thursday, each featuring the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. If you recognized the theme music that was used but couldn't place it, it's the same theme that NBC used when they had the NBA. That was from 1990 to 2002, so I guess a jingle package or theme music is reusable after sitting on a shelf for 18 years.
Baby, if you ever wondered...: I recently found the answer to a decades-old mystery on YouTube—the words to the closing theme of the old TV show WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-82). They never made any sense, and here's why, according to commenter Steve Stalzle... “The closing theme, 'WKRP In Cincinnati End Credits', was a hard rock number composed and performed by Jim Ellis, an Atlanta musician who recorded some of the incidental music for the show. According to people who attended the recording sessions, Ellis didn't yet have lyrics for the closing theme, so he sang nonsense words to give an idea of how it would sound. [Show creator Hugh] Wilson decided to use the words anyway, since he felt that it would be funny to use lyrics that were deliberately gibberish, as a satire on the incomprehensibility of many rock songs. Also, because CBS always had an announcer talking over the closing credits, Wilson knew that no one would actually hear the closing theme lyrics anyway.” The words (you remember the tune, or can sing along on YouTube) are as follows... “Went to the bartender, best night I ever had. Sitting at the bar had a microphone in her heart. I said good bartender I have a bird in hand. I said I'm doing good, and putting love in our hearts.” Meow.
Screen shot of the family Zoom (and Ann B. Davis as Alice)
This was just helping #1.