Intro: A Very Grad School Thanksgiving
How to have a phenomenally brilliant Thanksgiving Dinner all by yourself while in NYU Grad School thanks to the "mail-able" food your mommy sent you in a very large love filled package! This will teach one how to have a memorable Thanksgiving dinner in a very small Harry Potter like closet of an apartment in the East Village. This is not sad! This is fabulous! And it just adds (and pales in comparison) to the many crazy bizarre moments in my life. it can now be a part of Jen Raines' amazing history....and it's a beautiful story to tell my future children who will undoubtedly be aware of how insane their mother is......
First step, Enjoy the adorable card with my favorite animal on the cover that was sent to me by my sweet sweet mother.......
Clearly, also read the inside of the card. Cry a little. Or a lot, and immediately call Mother to thank her. Especially for memorizing part of your favorite long listed order from Starbucks.
To begin, unpack the joy!
Ooooo pretty decorative stickers, most assuredly meant to decorate the table.
Give the stickers love and think of how rockin your mother is that she knows the bliss of stickers will never leave this 7 year old in a 25 year old body.
Obviously, one must become slightly intoxicated on Thanksgiving like they would with their family. Or not so much because of the tiny little cute bottles. How brilliant are they?!
Unpack the fresh from the bogs cranberries. Pretend it is a gourmet relish.
What?!! Its homemade stuffing!
These took hours to prepare. I am surprised they made it 1,000 miles in a box still fresh.
Pumpkin in a can for pies!!!
The only way to send milk and eggs for the pie. Incredible. Didn't even know they did that to eggs.
A necessity. matching plates.
Mouth watering mostly.
Continue to unpack and find yams!!!!!
Don't forget to shuck the fresh corn.
The Irish would love this invention. INSTANT!
A 12 pound turkey that will take 13 hours to cook.
My leftovers! She doesn't forget a thing....
Immediately start to engage in the hour'dourves as one would naturally do on this day of feasting...
Now think critically to plan what will take the longest to cook and start with with the pumpkin pies. Remove the top plastic. Smell the delight....
With can-opener, open the pie filling to begin!
Read the back to know what to do. Genius.
Empty contents into large mixing bowl.
Make sure to scoop out all the pumpkiny goodness.
Preheat the oven to said temperature.
Four hundred and twenty five degrees son.
in opening the evaporated milk, puncture opposite ends to allow for air flow and easy dispensing for measuring.
It does wonders. Thank you Mommmie
Measure out milk and add to pumpkin pie bowl.
Put the leftovers in the fridge and use for tea. Or at least thats what i did. If i had Saran-wrap i would have covered it as well.
Figure out how the devil to use "dried powdered whole eggs in a can". (ha devil and eggs, ironic?)
...Or simply read the back of the can to learn.
Reading directions usually clarifies everything. Good to know.
Measure out amount needed according to the can, and use a knife to even off the top for superb measuring accuracy.
Put. In. Bowl.
Admire the unique results. It looks like an egg yolk. Creative food makers....
Continue to indulge in the olives. One must stay well nourished while slaving over the stove. Or cans.
Measure out water for the eggs.
Add water to egg powder.
Begin to stir "eggs".
STIR THEM WELL!
Add eggs to pumpkin pie mix.
Stir to an even consistency.
Get very into the stirring process. Maybe a little too into it....
Pour mixture into pie crust to the top.
Step back and admire.
Open second pie crust for the rest of the leftover pie mix that wouldn't fit in the first pie.
Add filling to the crust and discuss with and assure the pie that just because it is not as full as the other one does not mean it is any less important or DELICIOUS.
Do the dishes a little at time in order to not create an overwhelming mess. Plus working in a 2 feet by 2 feet kitchen with limited supplies one must re-use utensils.
Dry the materials after washing.
Wash out pie can..
And recycle for a beautiful world!
Before you put the pie in the oven, make sure that the stove you are using for the first time is working properly and that you are not going to ruin anything.
Now put the pie in the center of the oven.
Put smaller still loved pie in as well.
Pay attention to the time to make sure you know when to turn down the heat, and when the pies will be finished.
Begin to make the elite stuffing.
Consult side of box for directions.
Measure water as directed.
Add water to pot. Using already hot scolding water always helps in boil faster. And with this New York apartment one does not really have a choice when using the warm water handle.
Prepare the butter. (Or your roomates butter then write her an " i owe you butter" note) They even tell you on the package the measurements. Always helpful.
Cut needed amount of butter.
Add to the pot of water.
Turn on the stove and bring to a slight boil until the butter melts.
Keep an eye on the clock....
Start pouring stuffing...
...Keep pouring stuffing because you added an extra picture because the pouring action was much more intense....
And then stop pouring.
And start to stir!!!
Cover with lid.
Turn off stove and let stuffing sit. Then fluff before serving.
Wipe up the mess that results from cooking with one hand and photographing with the other which causes one to drop the bag of stuffing mix while trying to frame the scene.
Wash the device after putting stuffing in a side bowl and covering so you can use the pot for the next entree.
Dispose of garbage into proper waste receptacles.
And even recycle the cardboard!
its yam time!
Pour entire contents into pot on stove.
Again, read the directions to once again make sure you know what your doing.
Bring the yams to a boil.
Rinse and recycle...
Its time to turn the oven down on the pies for the rest of their cooking experience.
Double check the already recycled pie can to make sure your doing everything right. Double check, it never hurts!
Now its time for the potatoes.
I love potatoes!
Check on the yams that are doing well.
Return focus back to the potatoes and read instructions.
Measure out more water because you decide you want 6 servings of potatoes instead of two.
Once again add.
Add amount of salt required.
Add the buttaaa
....To the pot.
Measure out the milk.
Add milk and bring to boil.
The yams are done so drain the water. Multitasking is a good skill to have.
Put yams in a bowl and cover and keep in microwave to keep warm while you continue to cook.
Little kitchens get warm. Get plenty of air and rest.
Then return to opening the can of corn. I mean shucking the cobs from the field in the back yard.
Put in pot.
Rinse and recycle...rinse and recyle....la la laaa
Heat the corn.
Measure out potato flakes.
Add to water after it has boiled.
Turn off the heat on the potatoes.
Stir the goodness together. (After realizing that you were suppose to add the milk now, not in the beginning. shhh don't tell)
And cover until ready to consume.
Now open the cranberry can. (No i am not that insane, the label is on the can the wrong way) classic.
Wiggle shake and squeeze the can to get the gelatin like substance to emerge.....
...So that it looks like THIS hahaa. Thats wicked.
Slice up can shaped substance.
Replace rest of cranberry delight into can for more leftovers.
Keep watching the corn.
Put the can in the fridge and cover with a plastic bag as make-shift plastic wrap.
Turn the corn off, as it is time.
Add the rest of the 5 olives you have been eating to the "hour'dourve tray".
And then eat another.
Keep being green. It is easier than Kermits' song alludes to.
Keep and put away the gravy for later usage when you realize you can't possibly consume all of it on the already gravy covered turkey you have.
Add a few ultra fresh sweet cranberries to the tray as well.
Begin decorating in a classy way.
Oh how elegant....
Speaking of elegance, begin to cook the entire bird. Or the 90 second microwavable complete turkey dinners.
Poke holes in the cover gently. or like a mass murderer.
Reference contemporary society by re-inacting a semi famous controversial photo of Lindsay Lohan with a knife. Have fun!
Put turkey tray in microwave.
Put the corn in a serving dish as well.
When you hear the beeping your turkey is done! Remove from microwave.
Take a peek. Mmmmmmmmmm
Eat one more olive to get out the frustration of knowing that your family is currently over indulging in a huge piece of fresh cut white juicy tender meat around all your loved ones.
Break out the fine glass butter serving tray aka the top of a take out thai food soup container.
Also start putting the potatoes in the matching fine glass serving dishes.
Taste your creation. Because you are the only one eating these potatoes it is completely acceptable to lick the spoon obnoxiously.
Save the dishes till later because a taste of the potatoes made you hungrier than you thought you were. There is no time for this right now.
Put on an elegant dress and a flower in your hair because it is of utmost importance to be beautiful for oneself while dining alone....on Thanksgiving or any occasion for that matter.
Stay hydrated for darn sake. You just exerted a lot of energy. One must take care of oneself while working so hard. To faint would be so un-lady like.
The final steps are the most important. Pour a large glass of milk.
Serve the delicious turkey to yourself.
Just like your mommy taught you, check to make sure the pies are done by putting a knife in the middle. If it comes out clean, your ready to go!
Carefully remove the deliciousness from the oven.
Bask in the glory of pumpkin pie.
Set the mood.
Open the twist off top wine bottles.
Oooops!. Thats not appropriate to drink from the bottle.
Pour wine in glass. There you go.
Exhale and take a look at what you have done. Take in the fantasy and realize that you are not really dining alone, Johnny Depp is there with you. Thank all that is holy. This could be creepy.
Realize that no one knows what splendor is taking place right inside the mysterious black door to the left.
Season food to your liking. Brown sugar!
Read the sweet note your roomate left you before she took the train home.
It has two sides. Read both.
Call your mommy and thank her from the bottom of your heart for allowing her daughter to have such a beautiful Thanksgiving alone and so far away, feel the love and close your eyes and pretend you are home for a minute before saying goodbye.
Send your family a picture of your dinner. Know they are jealous :) Stay connected and loved through modern technology.
Add more seasoning.
Add even more. It's the holidays.
NOW INDULGE AND FEAST! (after setting up the camera in a very creative and ultimately frustrating way due to limited space)
After eating it is time for dessert!
Then the traditional after Thanksgiving pass out.
Then realize with a start, that you can't do that! Why not?!.....
Because you are a full time grad student at NYU and there is far too much work to be done in a very short amount of time!
So you embrace this fact and accept that you will staying up till at least 5 am working on one of your final projects.
What a memory to look back at. These are the things that make up one awesome, unique, random, free spirited and unconventional life. (Even though next year your mother promises she will fly you home for Thanksgiving, no matter the amount of work that must be done) Life. Is. Good.