Kim Jong Il Strikes Back

This Christmas we hosted Joel’s family: 3 brothers (plus one wife and one puppy) and sister (plus her husband and 2 kids).  We have the biggest house and we are the middle ground for everyone meeting up.  His brothers all came down from TN (2-3.5 hours away) and his sister came up from GA (4.5 hours away).  I LOVE that I got to stay at home during Christmas.  Of course, it’s really still a pain to stay here and prepare for hosting such a crew.  We (Joel and his brother who is staying with us for a month while he transitions from undergrad to grad school) cleaned the house and set up beds in all areas.  We have a 3 bedroom house and, of course, we recently sold all of our guest bedroom furniture on Craigslist BUT we did have our new mattress in – so that was a bonus.  One bedroom for sister and her family; one bedroom for brother and his wife; Joel and I were in our bedroom; two brothers stayed in our closet.  Yes.  Our closet can house two twin mattresses, which is awesome on occasions like this.  Oh and all the dogs stayed in the laundry room (as usual). 

Needless to say, there were way too many people in my house.

The weather on Christmas was beautiful.  The boys cranked up the fire pit and went outside to smoke their pipes they got for Christmas.  We ate a TON of food, which I cooked from scratch.  Y’ALL, I cooked so much I went on a cooking strike for a week afterwards.  I cooked for every meal (except for a little casserole Joel’s brother made – after I got him the recipe and all the ingredients out) and BUSTED my butt for Christmas dinner. 

My mouth is watering again looking at all of this...

You are looking at sweet potato casserole (made from sweet potatoes I roasted), green bean casserole (courtesy of The Pioneer Woman – no can of condensed soup here), Sister Shubert rolls, Pumpkin Pie (thank you Publix for allowing me to indulge in my random pregnancy craving!), turkey (both light and dark carved up) and gravy.  The collard greens aren’t pictured, but that’s ok because I TOTALLY screwed those up by oversalting.  I tried using some math edits…and yeah.  Fail.  Now you see why I was on a cooking strike.

Joel’s sister-in-law is usually extremely helpful around the house and kitchen when she’s here.  She’s Southern and was born and raised to be courteous of others, especially when in someone else’s house.  However, she had a root canal Friday afternoon and when she wasn’t doped up on pain meds, she was in so much pain I couldn’t bear to ask to her help.  Joel’s sister, on the other hand, made one casserole the entire time she was there.  One.  I learned to let the frustration from her never offering to help cook or clean evaporate from my shoulders.  I think it’s a difference in how we were raised (me – Southern; her – not so much), but it’s SO odd because Joel and his brothers are always offering to help clean and cook.  They are so helpful!  I think the boys in that family were made to do the work and not the girls – whereas in my family, it was the other way around.  Whatevs.

So, how did Kim Jong Il end up ruining part of our Christmas?  Thursday, before all the company arrived, Joel began brining the turkey.  This turkey was his pride and joy.  He made a daily plan as to what he was going to do to the turkey weeks in advance.  Day 1 – brine for 24 hours. Day 2 – let it dry out in the fridge.  Day 3 – smother it in butter and throw it in a carefully watched oven for specific temperatures in specific time ranges.  Joel likes to be organized.

So on Thursday, Joel places the 15 lb turkey in the bag and as he goes to lift the entire bird and brine bag from the sink, either the bag broke or the legs slipped out of his hands.  Whatever the case, turkey juices and gallons of brine dumped all over my floor, the sink/counters, and his pants.  When he turns to look at me with that annoyed “insert every curse word here” face, I burst into laughter.  His face was hysterical.  Joel’s brother couldn’t stop laughing either.  Then as we struggled to sober up and offer help, Joel makes the situation worse by comparing his turkey dillema to North Korea. 

Yeah, yeah, go on and laugh.  This is SOOO funny.
I’m sorry…but you’re right…this is funny.
No.  Do you know what this is?  This is like North Korea and Kim Jong Il.  I am heartbroken and crying and the rest of you are JUST LIKE South Korea and the rest of the world.  You’re sooooo happy and laughing at the death of my favorite person.
Did you just compare an evil dictator to our Christmas turkey?  Wow.  NOW this is even funnier.

Later that night after coming home from the movies, all of the boys came down with a mysterious stomach virus involving puking and lots of sleep.  I have no idea what they got (couldn’t have been food poisoning because ONLY the guys got it and it couldn’t have been airborne from the movie theater because all of the wives slept next to their husbands and yet, none of us got sick either) and thankfully it only lasted 24 hours or so.  And even though I don’t believe it was the food, we kept saying that Kim Jong Il came back to haunt us once again. 

And THAT is what happens when you name your turkey after an evil dictator.

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