Tag: lifestyles (page 1 of 2)

Two boomers and a beaver: An excursion to the English countryside

If you’ve been paying attention over the past week or so, you’ll know that Karen has been visiting Wendy in her elegant London abode. You’ll also know that she brought a traveling companion—Buckminster K. Beaver. In today’s episode, our intrepid adventurers take a trip by train out of London, and encounter something unexpected.

Dear Readers,

Karen, Wendy, and Buckminster have been having a fabulous, if exhausting, time traipsing around London over the past few days. After a fortifying Sunday roast beef dinner, they set off bright and early Monday morning to Victoria Station, where they caught a train to a Lewes, a small Sussex town about an hour’s ride south of the city.

alt="IMAGE-train-Sussex-beaver"

Heading out for a nice day in the country. Not suspecting a thing.

During the train ride, Karen and Bucky were shocked to notice something familiar floating past their train car, first in tiny flakes, then in gusts, and then in flurries: snow. In England. In March. Not cool, dudes. Well, actually, it was cool. Cold, in fact, by English standards.

alt="IMAGE-snow-Sussex-March-2013"

Bucky: Karen? What is that?
Karen: Keep your teeth in, Bucky, it’s snow.
Bucky: NOOOOOO!

When our trio got to Lewes, they were met by Wendy’s lovely friend, who escorted them up a 180° incline to her whimsical and charming mews house where they holed up to escape the Vicious Evil Snowstorm from Hell. They did venture out once to obtain victuals at an eccentric and delightful café, perched on the side of a mountain. (No, it was not. Karen exaggerates terribly. Ignore her—Wendy)

alt="IMAGE-Needlemaker-Cafe-Sussex"

Bucky enjoys a hearty stew and a reprieve from the cold.

The total snow accumulation might have reached a full inch, not exactly worth writing home about but it did cause havoc on the roads, railways and airports, and it caused schools to be closed for the day. It also kept Karen, Wendy and Bucky from exploring the town and bringing you a full photographic record. After his initial shock, Bucky enjoyed the snow, which reminded him of his hinterland home.

alt="IMAGE-snow-in-garden-Lewes-2013"

Bucky, no longer a stranger in a strange land.

After an evening of wine, food and much laughter, the trio fell into bed. The next morning they caught the train back to London, where it had inexplicably cleared up. Blue skies were seen for the first time on this trip! The trio decided to take the afternoon off and resume their scheduled itinerary tomorrow. Lyra and Blue were very happy with this decision.

alt="IMAGE-two-ragdoll-cats-in-bowls"

“Where have you been? Please explain yourselves.”

That’s it for today, tune in again tomorrow.

Karen, Wendy and Bucky

P.s. For loads more bonus pictures of the Great London Adventure, visit our Facebook page.

Bah Boomer Humbug!

Dear Karen,

Watch out, I’m in one of my moods today.  Why?  Because the electricity went on the fritz yesterday, my house alarm rang for 7 hours until power was restored and poor Lyra was wandering around the house with noise-reducing earmuffs strapped on her head all afternoon.  I ate my weight in toffee, had a terrible night’s sleep and woke up at three—yes, THREE—o’clock this morning, tossing and turning and thinking of nothing more interesting than…actually I don’t know.  I just couldn’t sleep.

I wandered downstairs at 7, trying to perk up and convince myself that my day would be full of happiness and light.  Having my first cup of morning coffee definitely helped.  I cranked up my iPad, took a look at my inbox and discovered an invitation from a company that has been ignoring all my “unsubscribe” requests for the past 8 months.  I thought that once again I’d write them a polite but firm letter, asking them to go away and leave me alone, but suddenly, my fingers were flying across the board and I let ‘em have it across the bow.  And a few other nautically awkward places as well.  An excerpt:

To: Company that keeps bombarding me with unwanted emails
Subject:  Sure, I’ll come!

No I won’t actually. I have been living in London since April this year and have in that time received many invitations from you. Each time I get one, I do the right thing and try to tell you to stop sending them to me but whoever is taking care of your social media/PR must be incredibly lax, dimwitted or drunk: no notice is ever taken of my gentle reminders to you.

So, yes, thank you, I’d love to come to your event-party-wingding. I’ll zip into HK from Europe just because you say I should. See you there, you’ll know who I am should you want to speak with me; I’ll be the one in the polka dot tutu, pasties and feather-boa hat. Whee-ha!  Can’t wait!

Hugs and kisses, your best future client ever,

etc

I pressed Send and immediately felt wracked with guilt.  How mean of me to attack them for what’s really a very small offense on their part.  But honestly, don’t say “if you don’t wish to receive our invitations in future, please press…” if you don’t really mean it.

Within 13 minutes, I had a reply from them.  I’ve never received such a gorgeous and well-written apology before, which just made me feel…no, I can’t lie.  It actually made me feel better.  So thank you, anonymous- businesspeople-whom-I’ve-never-met-before-but-insisted-upon-putting-me-on-your-mailing-list, thank you for finally paying attention and dumping me, as per my earlier requests.

angry_woman

Coffee inhaled, breakfast dishes thrown in the sink, it was time to take Lyra to the vet.  This has actually turned out to be the high point of my day.  This being Lyra’s very first visit, we were going to walk, but it started raining, she started meowing, so I flagged a taxi and we drove the 3 blocks instead.

I love our new vet.  She is wonderful, supportive, professional, loves Lyra (or so she says), and gave me the good news that Lyra is in perfect health.  Best of all, because it was Lyra’s first ever visit to this particular office, we didn’t have to pay.  I was stunned, standing there with my credit card in my hand, waiting to hear how many gazillions this was going to cost, when I got the good news.  There’s an evil voice in my head reassuring me though, “Wait till next time, they’ll charge ya double”.

Back home, all is going along swimmingly, until I received my first ever…gag…Christmas letter of the year.  Sure, it could be worse, but I’m not sure how.  This letter has all the right elements, sure to drive me insane and make me want to write back preposterous claims about my own family’s past year.  Plus, it’s November.  I don’t want Christmas letters in November!

Do you know what Humble bragging is?  It’s a writing technique where it’s obvious the adult writing wants to brag wholeheartedly but knows it’s bad manners.  Instead, he Humble Brags.  Prime example, taken from Urban Dictionary:

Uggggh just ate about fifteen piece of chocolate gotta learn to control myself when flying first class or they’ll cancel my modelling contract LOL :p 

That’s what I had to read, for two whole pages.  Yuck, yuck yuckity yuck.  I’d rip up the paper instantly, except it’s an email and any destruction would include bashing in my computer screen.  Can’t do that.  I’d have to clean it up and I’m just not in the mood today.

Worse thing of all?  The fact that this letter was written on a computer and sent out to millions of their closest and dearest friends, all of whom are sure to be fascinated by little Jimmy’s ear infection this past February and cute Cynthia’s Pony Club show where she came in 3rd (but only because the other two girls were slightly older and were able to compete in a class below their proper age group).  Do I really care, oh parent of 2 children I’ve never met?  No, probably not.  I’m glad the infection cleared up and man, am I annoyed on Cynthia’s behalf, but in 5 minutes I’ll have forgotten it all.

I really do not like these annual letters.  If I know you, then I know you and you don’t need to tell me about things that happened 10 months ago.  If I don’t, then please don’t waste your time telling me fascinating anecdotes about your family.

Maybe I should write back with a letter of my own.  I can begin it thusly:

christmas wreath

Dear Person and Person’s Offspring and Pets,

Well, it’s that time of year again, to bring out the holly and the ivy, the Christmas cheer and the eggnog, and boy, do we have a lot to tell you this time!  Sit down, relax and pay attention, we will have a quiz at the end and if you get it wrong, a puppy will die falling off a Christmas Tree.  You don’t want that on your conscience, so read carefully.

We have had a brilliant year, in fact I doubt anyone’s had better than us.  Yes, Lars won that little prize we were all expecting him to get, and had to make a quick trip to Norway to pick it (and the accompanying cheque) up earlier in the year.  Who knew Underwater Basket Weaving could bring so many diverse peoples together?  Well, Lars obviously did.

Our children, Trixiebelle, Fufu, and Miranda all had stellar years themselves.  They were sad not to win the Baby Booker Prize for the 4th time in a row (imagine how excited we would have been!) but instead managed to get an Oscar each in LA earlier this year. They know not to brag about their awards, but they’re so cute, they’re using them as door stops (that’s 6 doors taken care of this winter, thanks to the Academy!) and T-belle, haha, you’ll never believe this, has given hers to her teacher!  What a great bunch of children we have.

I haven’t been quite on my game this year, starting out with Herpes Simplex 2, followed by moths eating my entire pashmina collection (silly moths, it’s called a walk-in closet, not a fly-in!) but things picked up when I was invited to help a certain elderly Royal (shhhhh, I can’t say her name but it rhymes with Billizabeth) act a little scene with a…shall we say…Bonded man at the Olympics opening ceremonies. Her little corgis were hell on wheels, but with my extensive knowledge in Welsh dog treats, they were soon eating out of my hand.

We have decided this year not to give or receive gifts, choosing instead to accept the invitation so kindly sent our way from the UN, to broker peace in war-torn countries around this great planet of ours.  You will of course understand that we won’t be sending you anything this year, but will name a goat after you when we arrive in XXXXXXXX. 

Feral goat in Aruba

Sorry, I’m actually not allowed to tell you where we’ll be. Just watch for us on TV, I’m sure you won’t miss Miranda’s hair, even at that distance!

Tally-ho, We wish you a merry Christmas, Person and Person’s Offspring and Pets,

etc.

Or do you think that might be too rude?

Love,

Wendy

The Mother-in-law speaks, pay attention!

Dear Karen,

I’m sitting here waiting for the Water Authority people to show up – they need to take a reading but last time they were here, couldn’t find the meter – I certainly don’t know where to look, so I have to sit here between 8 am and 1 pm, wait for them to arrive, root around in the garage, find the damn meter, take the reading and then leave.

That sounds like a productive morning for me, yes?  I can’t go out, can’t wander around in my dressing gown, have a shower at 10…I’m being held hostage, in effect, until they get here and I’m not pleased.

So, what do to while waiting.  I suppose I could pack my suitcases for Sunday (did you hear I have a wedding to attend next week?).

Or I could play with my kitty, who’s going to miss me like mad, and possibly never forgive me for leaving her for a week, especially when she’s already packed her suitcase:

I’m all packed and ready to go – why isn’t she taking me with her?

Maybe I could work out a bit, hoping this last-ditch attempt at exercise will tone my upper arms and rid me of any jiggly look in the wedding photos.

Or, I could just sit here and write to you.  I think I’ll write.

I’m feeling a little introspective this week, probably because I’m about to go through a life-changing event, becoming a mother-in-law.

We MILs get a hard time of it.  You’ve heard all the jokes, but in case you missed a few, ponder on these:

  • I’m not saying the mother-in-law’s ugly but she went to see that film the Elephant Man and the audience thought she was making a personal appearance.
  • How many mothers-in-law does it take to change a light bulb?

      One. She holds the bulb and waits for the world to revolve around her.  

  • Did you hear about the man who threw his mother-in-law into the lion’s den at the zoo?

      He’s being sued by the RSPCA for cruelty to animals

 

Really funny, right?  Then there are the TV characters and shows:

Endora from Bewitched.  She wasn’t just a mother in law, she was the perfect storm, a mother-in-law witch!

The perfect definition of a person who was going to make her son in law angry, depressed, sad and feel useless.  What does it say about me that I thought she was funny, clever and totally rocked her black witch’s cloak?

Two interesting facts about Agnes Moorehead, the actress who played Endora:  she was in Citizen Kane and she was 1 of  90 actors who starred in The Conqueror, all of whom developed cancer after the film wrapped. The film set was located near an area where 2 nuclear bombs had been tested the year before.  John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Dick Powell were similarly afflicted.  Based on these facts, Endora can do whatever she pleases.

Then there was The Mothers-in-Law, a show which I thought was pretty funny when it was on back in the 60s, but upon reflection, I can now see it came down pretty hard against gossipy, meddling ladies of a certain age who just couldn’t let go of their adult children.

Remember those Baby on Board badges we used to put on the rear window of our cars, hoping, for some reason, that bad drivers would suddenly obey the rules and speed limit simply because of the power of that sign?  After they became popular, some wag came up with a parody sign:

Mother-In-Law In Trunk

Before going further, I’d like to know why there isn’t a corresponding Father-in-Law In Trunk sign.  Not funny?  Guess not.

We all know that stereotyping is rude, harmful and vile and yet, mothers-in-law seem to be one of the final frontiers.  Laugh at us, disparage us, insult us, it’s okay.  Just by benefit of being a MIL, it also means I’m “old” and therefore worthy of being insulted on a different level:  my age.  Good grief, is there no end to the fun I’m about to have?  I tell you, I can’t wait!

I’m going to transform, like Clark Kent, from mild-mannered, kind, generous and super-hot  Wendy (Survey says,  Wendy = super-hot. Survey conducted by Lyra), to Wendora the evil, snide, snarling and self-esteem killing Mother-in-Law from hell.   My future son-in-law will quiver in fear when he hears that “Mother is coming to stay, darling”.  He will take to drink when he sees I’ve brought  5 suitcases and 3 hatboxes, intent upon staying an indefinite time.  He will learn to hold his tongue during our dinner conversations about why he doesn’t earn more money to keep my precious daughter in diamonds and minks.

One day, I’ll go missing.  6 months later, they’ll find me, in his trunk.

And the cycle will be complete.

I don’t want to be that mother-in-law.  I want to be the cool one, who stays at a smart little boutique hotel round the corner, has her mini-bar filled with martini fixings and olives, comes over to visit when invited, goes out with the new family for lunch, museum visits or shopping, but is totally independent and makes her own way home, if necessary, by taxi.  Or horse-drawn coach.  If the family is busy, she’s more than happy to be on her own, doing interesting things, not moping around and feeling sorry for herself.  She also, under no circumstances, will offer to clean or bake.  From those things, only bad feelings come.

For example, “oh, is that how you make your bed?  That’s not how I do it”.  Or even “Oh-ho-ho, how funny that you use that brand of mayonnaise.  Heh heh heh”.

My advice to all future sons- and daughters-in-law out there:  Let’s show a little respect for the women who gave birth to your future spouses (spice?) and try to get along.  It can’t be too hard, especially if you do everything we tell you to. Haha, I kid, I kid.  I’m looking forward to becoming a MIL, but a MIL for the 2000s, not the 1950s.  I could never pull off the eyeshadow like those dames did.

A twitch of the nose from your sister,

Wendora

How I managed to miss the past 30 Thanksgiving holidays

Dear Karen,

What a fantastic Thanksgiving you must have had – everything looked so delicious and I’m definitely going to steal your recipe for cranberry sauce. Yum-yum.  You’re right that that Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here – at least, not the Canadian one.  I have no idea whether the Americans are represented in November, as I haven’t lived here long enough to tell you.

To be honest, I do get a little homesick when I see photos and read descriptions like yours yesterday, because I never actually do anything special for Thanksgiving.  In fact, in all the years Lars and I have been together, we’ve never once – not once! – had a turkey for anything other than Christmas.

It’s not that I’m a bad Canadian who refuses to honour our National Day of Thanks.  It simply because we’ve lived outside Canada ever since 1982, when he and I first met.  I shall now explain everything…

A Short History of Why Wendy Hasn’t Celebrated Thanksgiving in 30 Years

  • In 1982, we lived in Los Angeles.  Did we get the day off to celebrate?  No, we did not. Did I feel like cooking up a turkey and everything that goes with it, in the heat of a Californian autumn?  No, thank you, I did not.  Did we kind of forget that the 2nd Monday of October was a day to be spent stuffing ourselves?  Yeah, kinda.  Blame it on our mis-spent youth.
  • Hong Kong.  We lived there a really long time, and never once had a pumpkin pie or turkey in October.  The temperature in October is generally, how shall I say, unbearable.  It’s hot, damn hot.  Humid, damn humid.

Note, this temperature is in the MIDDLE OF THEIR NIGHT. Get it? It’s HOT there.

And did you know that Hong Kong has more  public holidays than most countries in the world?  Seriously.  The country with the most, for those keeping score, is Sri Lanka, with 24 days – they’ve got 4 religions to honour, which might account for the high number.  A short list of our days off, in one year.  Please note, we also get days off for typhoons, black storm warnings and SARS:

New Year’s Day

Chinese New Year – 3 days off but if you went to my kids’ school, 7 days (local schools have 2 weeks off)

Grave Sweeping Day

Good Friday – at school, the children get 2 weeks off for Easter

Easter Monday

Buddha’s Birthday

Labour Day

Dragon Boat Festival

Handover Day/Canada Day

Mid-Autumn Festival

National Day aka Gillian’s birthday

Grave Sweeping Day - yes, we have it twice a year  

Christmas Day

Boxing Day

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the one day we never got off was the second Monday in October.  Yet again, no turkey on the table for us.  It didn’t help that Lars isn’t Canadian, either.

Hint: Vikings. Clogs. Rhymes with Stenfark.

His opinion on the subject was always enthusiastic but let’s face it, it’s like when we go camping:  if only one of us knows what we’re doing, at one point we’ll try to kill each other.  It definitely takes two to tango with a turkey.

Living in Hong Kong, we didn’t spend a lot of time with Canadians – I don’t know why, really, when we are so well represented.  Maybe if we’d hung out with some fellow Canucks, we would’ve had Thanksgiving turkey coming out of our ears each year.  Who knows.

According to a 2011 survey, there are approximately 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong, which apparently represents the 3rd largest community of Canadians in the world.  HK should be drowning in turkey carcasses the day after Thankgsiving, but I don’t ever remember seeing a “turkey push” in my local supermarket when I lived there. It guess it’s not as important a day when it’s a) hot, b) a regular work day and c) not always easy to access frozen turkey and cranberries.

Canadians are also well-represented in the hospitality industry, with Allan Zeman, an entrepreneur from Montreal, heading the ultra-cool, always popular district called Lan Kwai Fong.  You’d think he’d promote Thanksgiving, but I’m afraid not.  I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I have a feeling this businessman thinks HK already has enough days off – but more important than that, he’s no longer Canadian so why should he care?  He gave up his passport a few years ago, and is now a naturalized Chinese citizen.  Yeah, that’s right.  He’s Chinese now.  I bet his  family back in Montreal was startled to hear that one.

Lars and I moved from Hong Kong this past Spring for London, and so far, I have to say, there’s been no Handover/Canada Day holiday and no Gillian’s Birthday holiday.  Bummer.  What’s remained constant through all our “postings” abroad is:  No Canadian Thanksgiving.

Honestly, I’m not too upset.  I’ve got lots of fond memories of Thanksgivings past, but once I move back home (and that day will come), I’ll roast a turkey, make Dad’s Instant Heartburn with my own secret ingredients, send my grandchildren out to find autumn leaves to decorate the table, have a glass of wine or three and give thanks for having lived abroad in 3 very fascinating, beautiful countries with Lars and our 3 little poults.

Then…

…and now

Love,

Wendy

Turkey Night in Canada: Instant Heartburn…and more!

Dear Wendy,

I don’t think they celebrate Thanksgiving in England, do they? So I’m not sure whether you guys will be settling in for a turkey dinner this evening. But we sure did last night!

Rachel texted me about three weeks ago to remind me that we needed a turkey—a BIG turkey—and so I dutifully trotted off and roped me the biggest turkey I could find. I think this turkey (whom we named, post mortem, George) may have been morbidly obese. Either that, or he was the turkey version of a sumo wrestler. This big boy took up our entire oven. He overflowed my largest roasting pan. He even—get ready for this—he even possessed a sufficiently capacious interior to accommodate about 20 cups’ worth of Dad’s infamous Instant Heartburn.

A note to our readers, who may not have dined chez nous while our father was in charge of all turkey-consuming occasions: “Instant Heartburn” was his own way of referring to the turkey stuffing he dutifully prepared whenever a turkey hove onto the horizon. The basic ingredients were sausage and bread, but additions could range from the inspired (such as water chestnuts) to the disastrous (uncooked rice, which not only absorbed every drop of moisture in the turkey, the kitchen, and several innocent bystanders, but actually exploded in the oven. Very satisfying to an eight-year-old me, not so much to my parents).

When he’d finished stuffing each turkey, he’d sit down at the kitchen table with a large glass of Scotch, a length of thick butcher’s string and a large, deadly looking sailmaker’s needle, and lovingly sew the turkey up at both ends. When a turkey got sewn up by Dad, you knew it. His seams were always neat and tight, and the stuffing wouldn’t dare leak out. I think he missed his calling as a plastic surgeon.

I’ve included a recipe for my version of Instant Heartburn at the end of this post. Feel free to compare and contrast with Dad’s various iterations.

Here’s a picture of George, shtupped:

alt="image-turkey-stuffed"

Yes, I used wooden skewers in lieu of the more traditional string to hold him together around the Instant Heartburn. You want Martha Stewart, you’ve come to the wrong house for Thanksgiving, baby.

And here he is, fresh out of the oven, being basted by my sous-chef, Peter:

alt="image-turkey-basting"

This turkey was big. Mum’s was bigger.

While George was the star of the show, he did have a strong supporting cast. We had cranberries…

alt="image-cranberries-cooking"

All lovely and shiny…my method is to add about a cup of sugar, cover them, cook them slowly on low heat just until they start to pop, then uncover them and let them cook until all the sugar has melted, and they are a lovely solid mass of tart crimson brilliance. Yes, I do like cranberries. Why do you ask?

Then there were the bulkes…basically, ours were a whole-wheat challah dough, which I rolled between my hands to make snakey dough things, then tied in knots. Some knots were more successful than others.

alt="image-bulkes-ready to bake"

Bulkes before baking…

alt="image-bulkes on table"

…and after baking. The little black dots are not bugs, just FYI. They are black sesame seeds. Why? Because we didn’t have any white ones, that’s why. And you have to have sesame seeds for bulkes. This is a well-known medical fact of science.

And to round out the Jewish cuisine, we made tzimmes. I know, this is more of a traditional Rosh Hoshannah dish, but I say tzimmes goes very nicely with turkey. And besides, I like it. Since George was hogging the entire freaking oven all day, I had to resort to making the tzimmes in the slow cooker. Not my ideal choice, but it wasn’t bad.

alt="image-tzimmes-before cooking"

If you feel like trying this out, here’s my back-of-the-hand recipe: sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, carrots, a couple of onions, and a handful of prunes. Throw in some orange juice and a dollop of honey, and then cook ‘er down. I do it in a casserole in the oven, except when there’s a great honkin’ turkey in there. Then I use the slow cooker.

Our guests, bless them, brought along a beautiful salad with feta cheese and the most beautiful multi-coloured cherry tomatoes, as well as a casserole full of roasted potatoes and beets. Sadly, I neglected to photograph these. I also missed photographing the gravy, and the pumpkin-ginger ricotta cheesecake. And the red velvet cupcakes provided by Lia.

However, I did get a shot of the pre-meal table:

alt="image-thanksgiving-dinner-table"

Note George, who pretty much dominated the table. Also, tastefully seasonal cranberry-coloured tablecloth. And folded napkins. We run a high-class joint, what can I say?

It was a great dinner, full of lively conversations and excellent company, and although my digestive system seems to be paying the price today, I regret nothing. Oh, and we were indeed thankful—to the Earth, for providing us with so much food, and to friends and family, for being there and sharing it all with us. Which as I recall was the whole point of the exercise.

Meanwhile, here’s that Instant Heartburn recipe I promised:

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of Italian sausage. I used one pound of spicy, the other mild. You’ll need to remove the skins, which is kind of gross, but there it is. You must suffer for your art.
  • 1 loaf of sliced white bread. Yes, I said white bread. That icky pasty stuff I refuse to eat. Never mind, you won’t recognize it when I’m done with it.
  • 4 large red onions
  • 2 tins of water chestnuts. I don’t remember the exact size, but they’re kind of short. But bigger than a tuna tin. As you may have surmised, exact measurement is not one of my skill sets.
  • About a cup of blanched whole almonds
  • 8 or 9 chunks of crystallized ginger
  • 2 tsp. of ground sage
  • 1 tsp. of ground thy
  • A bunch of flat Italian parsley, chopped to smithereens.
  • 5 large eggs
  • A goodly amount of freshly ground black pepper. Or white pepper, if you’re choosy. I’m not.
  • Salt, if you like that sort of thing. I used kosher salt. About half a tablespoonful.

About a day before you want to stuff the bird, you’ll need to dry out the bread. Put it on a cookie rack in a warmish oven for a couple of hours, until it’s crisp like Melba toast. Remove, and let it sit overnight so it’s good and dried out. When you’re ready to use it, crumble it between your hands. You’ll wind up with some crumbs and some crouton-sized chunks. That’s fine.

Having forced your visiting daughter to skin the sausages, put them, along with the crumbled bread, in a very large bowl. To get her to skin the sausages, you may need to remind her that this whole turkey business was her idea in the first place. Emotional blackmail is a wonderful thing. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you can chop the onions yourself. I halved them, then cut them into half-inch slices. Throw the onions into the bread/sausage mixture.

Drain the water chestnuts, cut them into halves, and toss them in, along with the almonds. Chop the crystallized ginger into small chunks, and throw them in, too. Dump in the sage, thyme, parsley, pepper, and salt. Break the eggs over the whole thing. It should look pretty slimy and disgusting by now, but the best is yet to come.

Mix the whole shebang together. This will require that you use your hands, because you want all the ingredients more or less evenly distributed. Keep mixing until everything has turned into a giant, glorious mush. You see? That white bread is no longer recognizable as such.

I’m going to assume that you know how to stuff a turkey. If you don’t, go Google it. It’s not hard, but this post has really gone on long enough. Anyway, stuff the turkey, both ends, and either sew up the skin flaps or use an ingenious construction of wooden skewers to hold the thing shut and keep the stuffing from spewing out all over your oven.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend, whether you did Thanksgiving or not!

Love,

Karen

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