In our house, I cook the Holiday meals. My wife works nights, and it would be brutal to expect her to prep a feast right afterward. So I cook. But there can be some significant planning obstacles.
The obstacles are our cat Xenia and dog, Sam. They don’t consider themselves obstacles. They see it as supervising the main event of fall, Turkeylurkey Day – a term they know well. They ensure that everything from a cheese and crackers board served at noon to the turkey and dessert get sampled for Quality Control.
Prepping requires all the grace of a professional dancer. You weave and twist among the cat and dog. They are footloose between your feet until the bird is in the oven. They may leave the kitchen at that point, but they don’t travel far. After cooking the bird, they assume worshipful positions by the cutting board. The small scraps belong to them as their due.
Only human family members are allowed in the dining room. That does not stop Xenia and Sam from “passing through” from the kitchen to the living room. A few calculating looks get tossed at the area under the table…just in case something needs a fast and efficient cleanup.
A full crew of humans and the two supervisors fill the kitchen. As the bird gets stripped for leftovers, the supervisory staff gets competitive as scraps get tossed or fall from the cutting board. Careful strategy is needed to maximize your haul at this point. Sibling rivalry is on full display.
How could I forget the year Louis, my youngest, made an incredible pumpkin pie? As it cooled, we watched a movie. The chief of quality control, Xenia, sampled the pie. Luckily she was uninterested in the apple pan dowdy I had made. The dog’s only interest was in the rum-soaked fruitcake. All the crumbs that fall belong to him.
After the feast, everyone reflects on what they have to be thankful for. Xenia and Sam, sleeping it off under the table, are dreaming of Christmas – next on their schedule.