Monday, November 30, 2009

And That's a Wrap

Thanksgiving feast judged a huge success!

This is the last post about Thanksgiving, I promise.

The feast was a huge success, as it turns out. The brined turkey was, in fact, moist and delicious. My wife remarked that normally the turkey is just another part of the meal for her, but on this occasion it was delectable and one of her favorite dishes. Given the work that went into it, that was pretty darned nice to hear.

Once again, for those just tuning in (or finding this article via a search engine), the recipe I used was Alton Brown's "Good Eats" Roast Turkey. The turkey came out very juicy, not the least bit salty, and the seasonings and aromatics gave it a nice flavor without being strong enough that you actually said "hmm, this tastes of allspice berries." About the only change I'd make was to add some broth or something to the bottom of the roasting pan, as I found that the turkey didn't really release a lot of juice during the roasting process (it was a breast rather than a full bird - not sure if that made a difference) and what was in the pan got kind of burned and black and sludgy.

So Thanksgiving was awesome - my wife and daughter and I enjoyed our magnificent dinner while my sons wandered around not eating. But just as wondrous was the next day, when I had the same meal AGAIN for lunch. Now THAT's celebrating.

As part of our family tradition, the Christmas decorations went up this weekend, too. Both trees came up out of the basement to be assembled and "trimmed" with ornaments and lights.

"Wait," you command, befuddled, "did you say BOTH trees? As in two separate Christmas trees?"

You read correctly - we have two full trees in our house. And it's entirely my wife's fault. You see, many years ago she started getting me Hallmark's Star Trek and later Star Wars ornaments as Christmas presents. At first it was just an Enterprise here, a Millennium Falcon there, and it was no big deal. But we've been together a long time, and their numbers compounded each year, until I now own a veritable starfleet of ships. And some years ago, my wife put her foot down. Remember now, that she was the one who started buying these for me in the first place. But she put her foot down - those silly spaceships were taking over our Christmas tree and she didn't like it.

So what else could we do - we got a second tree reserved exclusively for my collection of sci-fi ornaments. Most of which are of the "lights and sound" variety, so they tend to speak in the voices of prominent actors from the series when they're turned on, making quite the cacophony as the Borg threaten to assimilate me while Spock wishes me a merry Christmas and (due to a malfunctioning chip) C3PO very slowly bemoans his future as a spice miner on Kessel. All to the sound of laser blasts and explosions.

And, being a geek, naturally I modded my tree. I bought some of the cold cathode lights that were made to be put inside a desktop computer to make it light up and glow, but these aren't meant to be plugged into a wall outlet. So I also had to take a computer power supply unit and surgically alter some of the wires so that it would come on when given power rather than waiting for a non-existent power button to be pressed. All I'm missing is a suitable tree-topper. I'd love a Death Star, particularly if it rotated, but I've never been able to find one the right size and weight to sit atop a tree.

So to recap, Thanksgiving dinner is in ma bel-lay, the lights are up out front, and the trees are up inside. Let the Christmas season begin!

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