Day 1) Twenty minutes after my first trip to the grocery store for Thanksgiving dinner, it begins—my love/hate relationship with the Whirlpool refrigerator. I am so proud of my organization. I rip out all unneccesary containers and hang my list with times and schedules on the fridge door. The big white cube positively gleams. Then the pots start clanging, and I start muttering. I have a depth perception affliction, so engineering space for pre-prepped meals in the fridge is about as appealing to me as folding fitted sheets, but eight pounds of potato salad has to go somewhere. I shut the door finally and lean on it, exhausted, like I had just wrestled a bear. Don comes in and wants to know where the milk is. I answer, "Far right behind the potato salad bowl, topped with plate of cranberries and finialed with the deviled eggs. If you take the top two plates out, you can pull the milk out from the back."
Day 2) I am clanging pots at 5:30 a.m. I watch the first hour of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while choreographing the timing of the side dishes with the turkey. Oops, time's up, looks like the spiral ham will be for dessert. Yesterday's organization is history. I am stuffed and want the refrigerator to feel the same way. Mayhem. "Where's the.....?" is answered with "It's in there somehwere, you'll have to look for it."
Day 3) Gleefully, the garbage sees the carcass of the turkey first thing Friday morning! Hmmm... that means I have yards of space in the fridge now. I go to the grocery store for drinks and come home with another turkey. I couldn't pass up a fresh turkey for $10! So, I chop spices and brine it in the fridge space I just cleaned out. I start condensing. The 8 x 12 casserole dishes are now in one- or two-quart pyrex bowls. The ham is off the bone ready to go into a pot of Pinto's. By the p.m. hours, the deviled eggs are gone, the ham is history, and we are talking Ziploc containers now. Yay! And to boot, the only traffic I encounter on Black Friday is the promenade to and from Mr. Whirlpool.
Day 4) I am shocked that the light hasn't blown out inside of fridge and I am certain I have a touch of frostbite from the repeated exposure to freezer and fridge. Don't even mention turkey right now. I am craving anything that comes out of a take-out box. I tiptoe around the house in the early morning drinking coffee and trying hard not to wake up my family. I know the minute their feet hit the floor they are going to be hightailing it back to North Carolina. I open the fridge door and shut it immediately. Ughh... Tinfoil half covers dried-out macaroni-and-cheese. Pies without lids beckon me to finsih them off—I even left my spoon in the the chocolate pie dish last night.
Day 5) I sit straight up in bed at 3 a.m. I have a few moments of anxiety before I realize what day it is. No pots to stir, nothing to thaw, and the timers haven't been set for days. I lay back down, sad. It's over. There are no bodies scattered around the house. I have a slight headache which I attribute to not enough wine or withdrawal from tryptophan. Mr. Whirlpool and I go at it for a few hours. I put my apron on that my granddaughter handmade for me. She knows I love to cook. I wash up the last dishes while rehashing the memories of the last few days. I take the Thanksgiving meal plans off of the fridge and wipe the handle.
Day 6) Grocery list: wine, cheese, chocolate.