Rules regarding cooking the Turkey dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is a serious matter in our family, and lets face it, the turkey is just one small player in the grand scheme of things.  It may be the quarterback of the dinner, but the turkey needs his team to complete the winning game.

This is why the Jones family has some serious discussions and sometimes interventions when it comes to the dinner.  With two grandmas involved in the cooking, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins, stakes are high and so are the expectations.  We deeply care about that turkey and all his companions and each dish is considered precious.

This year, we changed a few things around to who is cooking what.  Oh my… did this cause an up-rise amongst the children.  There was almost a revolt, and while each person with their new assignment has the capability to cook the dish that they now have been assigned, there are trust issues that have surfaced. We had to have a group family counseling session and intervention over the turkey and the stuffing as well as the other dishes.

This made me think.  Why such trust issues?  What has happened in the past that caused such strong feelings toward the turkey and stuffing?  Through therapy and multiple counseling sessions we have discovered just a few things that caused the uproar, but rather then pointing fingers and blaming, lets just discuss the boundaries now put in place.

1.  First, lets talk about the stuffing.  In the past, there were a few things that have altered the stuffing and caused problems.  Such ingredients such as fruits, nuts, oysters or things that come in a box, can’t be added to the stuffing.  In addition, if you got your stuffing recipe out of a French cooking magazine, please save it for another day.  Finally, you need to have enough stuffing to last for 2-3 days of leftovers.  Friends, stuffing is of the highest importance as this is the best friend and sole mate of the turkey.

2.  If you are on weight watchers, then you are not allowed to cook for Thanksgiving because butter goes into the mashed potatoes and in everything else on the table.  There is no such thing as a low fat Thanksgiving dinner.  Enough said.

3.  Don’t mess with the pumpkin pie.   While you can cook other pies, you must have enough pumpkin pie for each person to have an adequate amount.

4.  Sweet potatoes can be cooked in various ways so it’s ok to have a couple of different options at the table.  Some like them entrenched with marshmallows and some like them cooked in other ways.  To solve the sweet potato war, multiple choices at the table are an excellent idea.

5.  Who cares about the vegetables because frankly, we only serve a salad so that we can pretend we are being healthy.  Other vegetables are just a bonus to the entire meal and often these vegetables sit on the sidelines.  Though important to the game, they are second string to turkey and stuffing and potatoes.   Let’s face it.  Nobody cares about the leftover vegetables, because once turkey, stuffing and potatoes are gone, the vegetables serve no purpose.

6. Finally, a kid’s table is not going to work anymore.  According to the youngest child coming, everyone gets to sit at the big table and therefore, we will rearrange Grandma’s entire house to extend the dining room table in order to accommodate the crowd.

The bottom line is you can’t mess with the Thanksgiving meal, as this is the most serious meal of the year with the highest of expectations placed on it.

3 Comments on “Rules regarding cooking the Turkey dinner

  1. I agree with almost all of it, however I have put green apples in my homemade stuffing for 28 years and it is the best ever! My kids did not know when they were young (way to hide the fruit in there mom) but today I would not change a thing! Hope your well.

  2. hoo boy…Marc and I have our annual “argument” over how the turkey is cooked…He means it as a “concern” and I interpret it as “mistrust”… we get it resolved, but hoo! Happy Thanksgiving to the Jones!

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Sandra Jones Counseling

Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy


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