Friday, November 21, 2008

Deep Breaths

28 hours and counting until I am hosting my first solo Thanksgiving party. My poor little fridge has never been so full, my knives are dulling from all the nut chopping and my turkey is yet to be purchased. I have spent the last 5 minutes turning in circles and I have decided it would be prudent for me to sit down for a moment and take a few deep breaths.

I originally invited 6 people to this little soirée, the guestcount has recently grown to 11 and I am wondering what the safe maximum occupancy is for an apartment the size of my childhood garage. In addition to limited square footage, we also are working with limited supplies. I am cursing our romantic idea of piecing together mismatched vintage silver to create our collection of flatware. I currently own, 7 forks, 9 large spoons and 3 knives. Up until yesterday I owned 6 plates, I now own 10 which still leaves us 1 short of a load.

So what's a hostess to do? Out source. Our dear friend Matthieu is bringing the requisite bottle of wine in addition to his kitchen table and his portable oven. Other friends are bringing coffee cups, pies, butter knives and folding chairs. Should everyone remember the list of odd items, we should be in pretty good shape for eating dinner.

Dinner. That of course is the ultimate source of anxiety. Earlier this week I rode the metro 45 minutes away in order to find cranberries which cost €5.60 a bag. I dove deep into the Algerian neighborhood to find large orange fleshed yams and yesterday I spent 10 minutes trying to convince my butcher sell me turkey breasts with the skin on. He told me that he will think about it and that I should come back tomorrow.

As noted in earlier posts, I own an oven that is smaller than a conventional mailbox. No whole chicken, let alone turkey, would ever fit. Matthieu suggested that I let someone with a larger oven cook the turkey. Days later Kristen, who does indeed own a full sized oven (she is American), offered to preform this service. Grégoire accurately replied to Matthieu when he said that this idea was hors de question. That having someone bring the turkey to a Thanksgiving party would be paramount to asking someone to bring in an already decorated tree to a Christmas party. Matthieu shrugged not seeing why that would be a big deal either. Mary would never let that happen! I was simultaneously touched by how well my partner knows me and concerned that I may have a fatal case of MSS (Martha Stewart Syndrome) which was no doubt passed on to me from my mother during childbirth.

Speaking of my mother, her voice has been present all week. Unbeknownst to her, she made me buy the more expensive paper napkins, serve 4 side dishes instead of 3 and attempt to make gougères  just before the guests arrive so they will have a hot little snack when they walk through the door. Her voice almost drove me to bake individual banana breads as a party favor but that's where I drew the line.

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it. 


amusebouche said...

Good luck girl! I have to say though, that gougeres are an awful nice way to start the evening...but that is coming from one Martha to another!

Barb said...

Now, I want to hear more about how the conversation with the butcher went about the turkey skin.