A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2018 Karen Lockhart
Friday was so busy, I hated to think how bad tonight would be. Thank goodness tomorrow was Sunday! Then it was work on Monday and Tuesday, with the next four days off.
Before I left, I sat down and made a shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner. I'd shop tomorrow and start cooking on Wednesday.
I'd make two nine-inch apple pies and a ten inch pumpkin pie. I'd got Ellen and Wendy picking up the things to nibble on with drinks before dinner; you know, cheese, sliced salamete, marinated mushrooms, artichokes and crackers. I already had two pounds of shrimp in the freezer waiting to be thawed.
I stuck the list into my purse, locked the house, and headed for Nahant to pick up Jean.
We listened to the sports radio channel until we reached the entrance to the Ted Williams tunnel. Then Jean was full of questions on how to have half a dozen strangers for a big dinner. I could tell Jean had only cooked for herself in the past.
“It's not that hard, you just cook more food. But for Thanksgiving, I cook special things, like creamed onions with a Julia Child splash of red wine, also a favorite of mine, baked stuffed mushrooms. I'll have mashed potatoes, summer squash, and turnips, along with green peas, and niblet corn; this way, there'll something for everyone. This is along with sliced turkey and bread stuffing.”
Jean's mouth dropped, “How can you make all that?”
“You forget, I went to Chef's school. I'll make the veggies on Wednesday, and just reheat them before dinner. The twenty-pound turkey will be started at 5 AM, that way it'll be ready to carve about three o'clock.
“Wow,” Jean said, “I could never do that. You said you went to cooking classes?”
“Not 'cooking class', I went to the Cordon Bleu Chef's college on First Street in Cambridge. Half the students there just want to make delicious meals at home without a lot of fuss.
We headed our separate ways, me to the torture of 5” heels for ten hours again. As I was leaving the employee's lounge, I bumped into Ian Logan.
“How is it going Ginny? Our profits are up over last year at this time. Do you have any ideas?”
“Mister Logan, I mean Ian, why can't bartenders wear trainers instead of five inch heels. Most of the customers here would rather look at your bum, rather than mine or Bobbi's.”
“Do all of you feel this way?”
“I haven't asked Joy upstairs, but my guess would be trainers.”
Ian smiled, “Okay, I'll ask the other girls; by the way, do you have trainers in that bag of yours?” Receiving a nod, Logan said, “I'll see you in a while.”
I tied on my apron and gave Bobbi and Chris a hug and told them of my attempt to save the Achilles tendons by wearing trainers or flats.
Bobbi got excited at the thought.
“I'm going to talk to Mom, the heck with Dad, he doesn't know how hooker heels hurt, but she does.”
Oh oh, I hoped I hadn't started a family fight.
Hiram waved me over, asking what got Bobbi all worked up. When I told him, he chuckled, and then said “Done”.
“Hiram, please,” I begged, “I asked Ian, let him make the call.”
Ten minutes later Cathy showed up, so I made a Cosmopolitan and drew a draft Pabst.
When I delivered them, Cathy asked about our shoes. He agreed, most of the patrons here had no interest in staring at my butt, and was surprised at the attraction of 'Terri the Tiger'.
It was Saturday, and the place quickly became a mad house. None of us even took a break; instead, Bobbi and I did our thing, only dropping a bottle of tonic water.
The waitresses were practically running back and forth with drink orders. Finally, around midnight, things slowed down and we took our breaks.
Rather then leave the bar, I stood with Jack and Hiram drinking a large glass of diet Coke. Jack said the weatherman on the evening news was forecasting snow on Thanksgiving, starting late in the afternoon, ending Friday night.
“Did he say how much?” I asked.
“Four to eight inches.” answered Jack
Hiram started to say something gross, but a stern look from me stopped him. We commiserated with anyone traveling a distance for dinner.
“Jack, that overpriced jeep of yours won't have trouble, you should run a ferry service.” said Hiram.
“You're jealous, that 1959 Cadillac of yours is as long as the snow plows, but gets stuck in only four inches of the white stuff,” said Cathy/Jack. “Want to buy a set of chains?”
“Nonsense, when it snows, I drive the BMW X-5. I wouldn't drive the land yacht when salt is on the road. I paid $60,000 for the renovation done by those guys in Las Vegas.”
I laughed, and asked just how big a garage that Cadillac needed?
Hiram thought for a minute, “Well that car is twenty feet long; the only longer car is my Chrysler Imperial, so my garage is quite large.”
“His garage is bigger than most houses, with four bays and a chauffeur's lodging upstairs,” Jack said. “When it snows he has his wrinkly old butt driven by his chauffeur.”
Break's over, Bobbi's turn. I started filling orders for the waitresses. I finally saw the girl with the huge boobs again. She had had her GRS and was looking for a job. I suggested the Naked City in Peabody and gave her the manager's name, wishing her good luck.
Things were busy until closing. Tomorrow was a day off. I'd shop after the Patriots game; hopefully the store won't be too crowded.
Jean was tired again. I asked if she had seen a doctor lately. That just got a female growl and “I'm okay, just tired.”
I nagged her for ten miles, finally she agreed, hoping to shut me up, but I won!
I got home by 3 AM and set my alarm for nine.
Waking, I hurried for the loo and then a shower. Patriots game at 1 PM, so I better get busy with making sure the tablecloth and napkins were clean and ironed, and the silverware and glasses were ready. I had Wendy help after I made pancakes for breakfast. I heated the maple syrup to thin it out and spread better.
To make sure things were clean and shiny, I ran the silverware and place settings through the dish washer. Time for the game, I'd make soup and sandwiches during the half-time break.
The Jets are so sad, losing to the home team 42 to 13. After the game ended, I headed for the supermarket. It was crowded, but not terrible. I was able to find a 22lb turkey and everything else. This year, I was buying frozen squash and turnip. They are just as good as what I'd make and required no work, just nuking.
When I was almost home, I called Wendy to help carry grocery bags into the house. Hmm, two years ago, I could carry everything in one trip. Well, some things we do give up for a sexy body!
Groceries put away, I had time to make supper before the Sunday night football game at 8 o'clock. A quick ravioli and grilled Italian sausage would do. I hadn't had ravioli for ages.
The game was exciting; Green Bay held a lead for three quarters, but in the final two minutes, New Orleans kicked a field goal for a 2 point win. There must have been bookies crying everywhere.
Monday and Tuesday flew by at the Club. Ian gave the okay for bartenders to wear trainers instead of heels. Now four days in a row off!
As soon as I got up on Wednesday, I started to make pies. Wendy was a willing volunteer. I had her peel, core, and slice 20 apples. I was making the crusts. When she was done I sprinkled the apples with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
After placing crust into two pans, I mixed flower, cinnamon, sugar and some raisins in a large bowl, then filled the two pans with apple, and placed the top crust on both, and placed them in the oven for 45 minutes.
While these were cooking, I started to make the pumpkin pie. After adding the ingredients to two cans of pumpkin filling, I poured this into the bottom crust already waiting in the large glass pie pan.
This pie I put into the convection micro-wave at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Now to make the bread dressing. I diced some celery, added it to wet stale bread cubes along with half a box of Bell's spices. This I set aside in a bowl in the refrigerator alongside the bird. I wonder what an emu weighs?
The pies were finished and cooling on racks, my dressing was done, I could relax until six tomorrow morning, when the turkey was started, 20 minutes per pound, it would take just over seven hours to cook.
The bird would be ready at about 1:30. After letting it cool, I could carve it at 2 in the afternoon, perfect!
I had shown Wendy how to make mashed potato, so that was her job tomorrow. I had a gallon of apple cider chilling outside on the deck.
Now to put my feet up and relax!
To be continued.
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