When it comes to cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, I am no amateur. I'm no gourmet, not by any stretch, but I'm just saying, I've done it a couple times. Why it was in this very space some three years ago that I posted pictures from my very first turkey roasting. I thought then as I have in the years since that my turkeys were for my own selfish delight, a way of expressing my holiday spirit and ensuring I had leftovers for three weeks. Now I realize I was actually being groomed by fate, groomed for the big dance. That's right, folks. You are talking to the new Chief Executive in Charge of Turkey for the first-ever Kumpart-hosted Thanksgiving. The in-laws are in-bound! I didn't think I would get the call to host Thanksgiving until I had sprouted a couple five-year-olds and a few patches of grey. Yet here I am on the big stage in only my second year of marriage. I feel like a single-A pitcher whose inexplicably been called to The Show. Let me tell ya, I could not be more thrilled.
First, the selfish reasons. I don't have to drive anywhere. I can't imagine what this is going to feel like but I assume it will be at least moderately blissful. Second, I get to make decisions such as when to serve dessert*. As much as I love and cherish all the holiday meals at my grandma's house, one thing has always bugged me as an adult. Pie is served immediately after the meal without even a momentary lapse for digestion's sake. I am not even finished with my yams before others are on to pie and coffee. The whole thing just whizzes by. I digress...Third, I know, love, and actually even like everyone that's coming. It's a core group. I don't have to make small talk with some stranger my third cousin once removed happens to be dating. Fourth, and you had to know this was coming, I can control the music.
Far more important than any of those factors, however, is that it gives me the opportunity to show my appreciation for and attempt to return at least some small fraction of the warmth and hospitality that the Koops have always shown me. I wish I had a big house in suburban Chicago so I could really give this thing the true Griswold treatment, but I will do my best to make due with what I have, an apartment, an oven, and some decent wine.
If weather and mothers permit, I am thinking that perhaps after dinner we'll do a special screening of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on the back patio, Christmas lights shining, fire pit crackling, hot chocolate** steaming.
I can't wait. Luckily, there is much to look forward to between now and then such as Halloween, a weekend lovers' getaway. First though is the big one....the one we've all been waiting for....tomorrow night.....
*This is not entirely up to me as my wife and stepmother will also be heavily involved, but they can claim control on their blogs too.
**Or Irish Coffee. Either/or.