Oh, sure, they all look happy now, but wait until they find out that Sarah is dating a black guy.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and welcome to The Chef’s Prerogative’s Holiday Extravaganza.  Come on in, take a load off, and allow me to do all the cooking – after all, no one thought to bring a casserole or anything.  It’s my pleasure to cook for you, the ones I love.  And because no one showed up to culinary school graduation, it will be an opportunity to show everyone what I’ve learned these last four years.  We’re having a beautiful turkey that’s been brined and cooked with an herbed butter;  dressing made from Aunt June’s recipe that for some reason calls for oysters; my own special stuffing for the bird; and, of course, mountains of mashed potatoes and luscious layers of gravy made from the turkey drippings.  Except for cousin Lauren, the vegan, who will be having oats and hay outside.  Just kidding, Lauren.  But seriously, get out.  Wow, this scotch is great – is this 18-year-old?  Today is a very special day.  A day for us to give thanks.  Thanks for family, thanks for friends, thanks for the fact that Uncle Mike could pull enough strings to get those embezzlement charges knocked down to a misdemeanor.  I’d personally like to thank all of you for your unwavering antipathy in regards to the personal journey I’ve been on for the last four years while attending culinary school – Dad’s always told me I was nothing special, and your collective aversion to all things remotely resembling praise or support has really kept me humble.  And with that, I’m going to retire to the kitchen to get a refill and check on the bird.  There’s a cheese plate and some hors d’oeuvres if anyone but Lauren is interested.

I wish that was a real grizzly bear behind her.  Although, she almost had me when I read the sign as "Go Vag for Turkey."  I don't even know what that means, but I'm turned on.

I wish that was a real grizzly bear behind her. Although, she almost had me when I read the sign as "Go Vag for Turkey." I don't even know what that means, but it turned me on.

Thanks for helping out, Dave; I appreciate you tasting everything to make sure it’s palatable.  I’m sure no one will care that you stuck your fingers in the dressing.  No, I don’t think anyone will mind that I’m drinking right from the bottle – plus, then when people ask me how many scotches I’ve had, I can honestly say “two.”  Hey!  You know what we need?  We need some football – someone turn on the Lion’s game – Billy, go turn it to Fox.  No, don’t worry, the Steelers aren’t playing, so your daddy won’t start hitting you or yelling at mommy if they lose.  God, I forgot how good Sauvignon blanc was.  Thanks for asking, Aunt Sue; I actually used a “dry brine,” which allows the osmosis of the juices to osmosisize into the meat of the turkey – osmosis is delicious.  I’m also rubbing butter on the skin, much like Christopher rubs lotion on the skin of ladyboys whenever he visits Thailand.  Oh, what?  It’s not like it was a secret, Chris – I’m just tryin’ to have a little fun.  Oh, man, I almost forgot – Dave, get me that bottle of Wild Turkey.  See?  I’m drinking Wild Turkey while roasting a turkey!  “Bottle” is a weird word, isn’t it?  Bottle.  Booooootle.  Weird.  Dave, who is that redhead in the black top?  Not to be vulgar, or anything, but I wanna stalk her like a big bull cat and fuck her sick.  What?!?!  First or second cousin?  Nevermind, it doesn’t matter.

Cousins just means that you have that much more in common.

Man, can you guys smell that aroma?  No, seriously, can you guys – because I seem to have lost my sense of smell when my face went numb.  Anywho, it’s time to start the stuffing.  Someone get me a loaf of bread and some drinks.  Now that I think about it, the bread should be a few days old, so we’re kind of screwed.  Although, our turkey’s been in the oven for two hours already, so it’s too late to stuff it, anyway.  What do you mean the turkey’s still in the fridge?!?!  Aunt Pat, I told you to put the thing in the oven!  What do you mean you just got here?!?!  Then who did I tell to do that?  Shit.  On the bright side, now we have time to stuff the bird!  I knew I left that thing in the fridge for a reason.  I’m going to take my knife – it’s important that it’s really sharp – and cube the bread.  As you can see, I’ve cut off the tip off my finger, which, in culinary school, is known as the “Belgian method.”  Dave, can you get me a bandage and some rubbing alcohol to drink.  Thanks.  Now that that’s taken care of, we add some sautéed onion, crisped bacon, and chicken stock.  I’m going to need someone to go ahead and saute some onions, crisp some bacon, and make stock.  Where’s everyone going?  You’re going to miss out on some great jokes about the Jews.  Whatever.  Jesus, James, I know you’re hungry, but thanks to Aunt Pat, I’m only just now putting the chicken in the oven.  I haven’t not had too much to drinking.  Maybe you are.  If you had a drinks to loosen up, every once in a while, maybe Mary wouldn’t have slept with that tennis pro that I introduced her to.   Anyway, I’m going to start on the mashed potatoes.  After the potatoes are boiled in boiling water, we put them through this device, which is called a “ricer.”  Don’t tell that to grandpa, though, or he’ll have a Korean War flashback, and start calling Terry’s boyfriend a gook.  It’s bad enough he had to meet Sarah’s new boyfriend, Tyrone.

Curmudgeonly Grandpa passive-aggresively sez: "No dark meat for me, please."

Don’t worry about why I’m on the floor, mom, I was just looking for my contact and decided to take a quick nap while the room was spinning.  But we just had a talk about my drinking last Thanksgiving.  Speaking of which, I should have another tipple.  Mmmm, this hard cider is delicious.  Alright, so we’ve got our potatoes in a bowl, our turkey in an oven I’m just now noticing is not on, and our stuffing is still in its constituent pieces all over the kitchen.  Obviously, someone has steered this meal off course, and I’m not pointing fingers, or anything, but that person is obviously Aunt Pat.  Obviously.  But that’s okay, because my culinary education has taughted me to be improv…  improvishing… improvi-sation-ally inclined.  Someone see if the turkey will fit in the microwave.  Yes, you can, dad – it will be fine.  I don’t need a nap; I took one last night for, like, eight hours.  Does anyone have any model airplane glue on them, by any chance?  Okay, I’ve made an executive decision: we’re having ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner.  Where are you all going?!?!  Listen, just give me four hours to roast this chicken and make the stuffing and potatoes and vegetables and – oh, shit, I forgot to buy the vegetables at the store.  Come on, guys, it will be okay…  alright, fine.  Go to the country club for dinner, see what I care.  I know who my real family is.  I’ll see you for Kwanzaa, Tyrone!

The Duke sez: "Happy Thanksgiving, Pilgrims." Get it? Because of the Pilgrims?

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In an effort to keep your voracious appetite for my culinary musings satisfied, I’ve decided to start a new feature on this blog, cleverly titled “Amuse Boosh!“.  It features mini-diatribes which will be published in-between my usual long-ass diatribes.  You’re very welcome.  That’ll be ten bucks.

For Puritans, the Pilgrims were sexy as hell.

Little known fact: although Puritan in religious belief, The Pilgrims were sexy as hell.

As cavalier as I am about so many things (crime scene clean-up, lying on my resume, being a royalist supporter of King Charles I during the English Civil War), there is one arena in life in which I am steadfastly fastidious.  When it comes to cleanliness while cooking poultry, I conduct my culinary processes like a epidemiologist at the WHO.  This is mostly due to my crippling and relentless fear of contracting salmonella, which, as we already know, makes your insides melt and your genitalia spontaneously combust.  In general, I view raw poultry like Dustin Hoffman viewed those African Ebola sufferers in the movie Outbreak.  I don’t know where this paralyzing fear of poultry comes from, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I was once attacked by a flock of birds, narrowly escaping just in time to save my girlfriend, Tippi Hedren.

It is with this trepidation and white-hot fear that I approach my Thanksgiving preparation.  This year’s turkey, “Betty,” is currently in the fridge, hopefully benefiting from a dry brine.  Forgetting, for a moment, the fact that brines are inherently wet, I’m hoping that the application of a nice miasma of kosher salt kick-starts the osmosis process, or whatever the fuck, and will eventually bring about a moist, tender bird, without a hint of gut-rending enterobacteria.

On a related note: what asshole decided turkey should be the traditional thanksgiving meal?  The pilgrims had fucking lobster, you know; we couldn’t have done that?  Societal norms couldn’t dictate a nice surf & turf?  Trust me, I’d be much happier giving thanks with a nice steak that took ten minutes to cook and didn’t dry out to the consistency of balsa wood.  Anyway, here’s to hoping Betty – and all our departed sacrificial turkeys – turn out juicy, delicious, and with a generous side of tons of scotch.