There must be an unwritten rule about not being punctual for holiday dinners and after all of these years, you would think that we should expect it. As the house slowly filled up with the Thanksgiving guests, you know that the kitchen became more and more the focal point. As I was waiting to begin carving the turkeys, I was also delegated to get dishes put aside in some semblance of order. Thankfully the day was chilly enough that I could use a table out in the garage to store some of the dishes that needed to be chilled, as we were slowly maxing out the two refrigerators and the chest freezer as well. There was also the yo-yo concept of the toaster oven, first it went down to the basement and then it reappeared. I also could not tell the Master Chef from the Sous-Chef, but as long as they figured it out, I was fine, just trying to control the temperature in the kitchen with opening and closing a window, to make everyone happy.
As the turkeys were done, the humongous beef tenderloin had to be taken from the marinade and placed in the broiler. As I waited for the turkeys to set a while, before carving, I made sure the knife was sharp and that I had plenty of room. Our grandson also called dibs on one of the legs, as I usually carve them as well, so when it was time to start carving, I sliced off one leg and thigh and put it on a plate and told him, he may as well start eating that. Somehow our turkey and Thanksgiving dinner never look like a Norman Rockwell painting and I may not be the most adept carver, but I do get the slicing done and keep the meat looking edible. It is quite a lot of work, first removing the threads that keep the stuffing in place, removing the stuffing to be mixed with one pot of stuffing and not the other one, and keeping the platter lined up with white meat on one end and the dark meat on the other end. Of course, the best perk of being the carver, besides having a Shun knife is getting to try the different cuts of the turkey; you understand that I have to make sure that everything is cooked to perfection. After all of the appetizers and the taste testing of the meats, I really don’t need to put much more food on my plate as I am stuffed.
My other main duty for the evening was making sure that there was wine ready whenever a glass evaporated. On a busy day like this, I just keep a waiter’s corkscrew in my pocket, because some of the other styles are too bulky, especially when space can be at a premium. As I was plying my avocational trade, one of my Brother-in-Laws mentioned that he had never seen a waiter’s corkscrew being used, as he was more familiar with the two-lever corkscrew, which there are a few scattered around the house, but I am not really partial to the screw, so many seem to mangle corks, rather than gliding smoothly in, hence I have my favorite one in my pocket. There were several Chardonnays that were opened that afternoon including my Bride’s favorite go-to wine that I have written about many times. One of the wines that I opened, because when we bought it, we thought of the non-wine drinkers and they could find this wine very easy and accessible. On our last trip to Las Vegas to see the families there we stopped in Pahrump, Nevada and did a tasting at Sander Winery. Pahrump is known for having two of the four wineries in Nevada, but they are probably more famous for their Chicken Ranch and no, I did not even stop there for a photo-op. The Sanders Winery Chardonnay NV carries and American AVA designation. The fruit for this wine came from vineyards in Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara and was aged in Stainless Steel and Polyethylene vats. For a simple white wine, I still enjoyed the taste that afternoon as I did the first time I tried it at the winery. The other white wine of note that I opened was one that I had just recently had at a wine tasting here in town that I wrote about, and I was thrilled to try, because I have enjoyed every bottle of wine that I have tried from the winery. The one for the serious drinkers was Wrath Estate Winery Ex Anima Chardonnay 2014 from Monterey. The fruit came from their San Saba Vineyard just below the Santa Lucia Highlands demarcation. The wine spent four months on the lees in Stainless Steel and I totally enjoyed the wine at the tasting. The funny thing was, that at the tasting the majority of the participants did not enjoy this wine, but those that I had earmarked it for, did, so I guess my marketing to my target audience was on the money. Here I was already full and we were getting the red meat and the red wines ready.