27.11.07

Fryer Tuck... er... Turkey

A few words regarding my previous post. It involved the North Carolina State Fair, muddy boots, and my friend Brittany after a long night at the fair trying to remove the muddy boots. That's all.

So. Thanksgiving 2007. My first thanksgiving home since 1997. There's something to be said for eating mom's stuffing in my own house... and not in some random Methodist church in West Palm. The most monumental event of the day had to be Morgen and Dad deep-frying TWO turkeys--I feel like we've finally embraced the deep south after all these years. And we didn't even have to buy a four-wheeler or use a cat-food container taped to a 2x4 as our mailbox. And according to All-State Insurance figures, 15 homes burned to the ground around the country last Thanksgiving as a result of the improper use of turkey fryers. But because of Morgen and Dad's careful planning, we didn't make All-State's list this year. We might have ingested toxic chemicals released when plastic is melted at very high temperatures, however. But I'll spare you the details.

The proud parents of a 17-lb turkey named Eugene.

video
And here's a brief demonstration by the turkey fryers, showing how they worked their magic.

So, another meal come and gone, with funny stories to tell. Some of my favorite family food stories would have to be, in no particular order:

1) mom catapulting a serving-spoon full of mashed potatoes at Matt's face and the shocked look that followed
2) Morgen and Sonia using their hands to stir together mom's stuffing only moments after adding boiling liquid to the mix... it tasted great!
3) me making german pancakes, but knocking over the blender full of batter 3 separate times, one time into a basket of clean laundry directly under the kitchen counter
4) Waitress: Would you like Soup or Salad?"
me: yeah, that sounds great.
Waitress: What sounds great?
me: A super salad...

Any others you guys can remember?


13.11.07

I thought I would give see jayne run a new look - so I've been playing around with photoshop and a few of blogger.com's features, and voila. I'm not sure if I'll keep this layout, but at least it's a change from that solid blue mess my blog has been for the last two years or so. Let me know what you think -- aesthetically pleasing? too much gray?

Yesterday the ward had our annual thanksgiving dinner - a bit before actual turkey day to accommodate all the undergrads who go home for the holiday. I left work after lunch to begin a well-rehearsed (in my mind) lap around Durham and Chapel Hill... picking up five turkeys, delivering them to pre-arranged reheaters, getting the tablecloths from the institute building, and so on. There was a lot less stress involved than I had imagined -- most everything went off without a hitch. My attempt to channel Martha Stewart went pretty well - we covered the round tables with white table cloths, then made a runner from butcher block paper (the brown paper-baggy looking stuff), topped with a centerpiece of apples, pears, and mixed nuts. And a few candles which we are apparently not allowed to light in the church. Good to know.

The way home from the long day was also slightly eventful, as I blew out a tire driving home on the freeway. Way to go, Jen. What are the odds of blowing a tire and having to get to the spare in the trunk when said trunk is overflowing with, among other things, a huge pan of turkey leftovers.

Speaking of, today I searched for recipes for something to do with lots of leftover turkey... and found one for Kneaders Curried Turkey Chowder. After a few consultations with mom (note: ramen seasoning packets CAN double for bouillon cubes, and you cut green onions all the way up to the dark green stalk) the soup was made... and it was so delicious. Thick and creamy and curry-y. Let me know if anyone wants the recipe.

Lastly, a pretty funny movie trailer in the genre of comedic horror. I think dad ought to appreciate this one the most.

3.11.07

a day of firsts

I'm not a runner. Never have been. And I've always been tempted to say I never will be. Two of my closest friends have run marathons, and my dad always coaxes me into a few jogs when I'm home. But I've never felt the urge to just run for the heck of it. Running during soccer is totally legitimate (although I loved playing indoor because there seems to be less space in which to run), and I've never been opposed to the occasional mile or two on the treadmill at the gym. But this week, the bottom dropped out -- I ran a total of 4.5 miles on Tuesday and 5 miles this morning. And it wasn't so bad. Well, I take it back. The first two miles stink, but after that, you just get in the "groove" as Janet calls it, and you feel like you could go on for, well, another 3 miles. I've been talked into training for a half marathon with Janet and her boyfriend Steve. So I've got another month to bump that 5 miles up to 13.1. Piece of cake.
The weapon of choice

I also attended my first Duke basketball game at the Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the Cameron Crazies. Seriously, these guys are nuts. With the exception of half time, they never sit down. They have some pretty riotous chants -- "Go to he[ck] Carolina! Go to he[ck]!" which they apparently don't just yell during the legendary Duke vs UNC games. Rumor has it the "airball" chant got its start at Cameron. The atmosphere is amazing, though. The 'stadium' only seats 1,500 (compared to the Marriot Center's 22,700 capacity), and students would give up life and limb to get tickets to the Duke/UNC game. They almost do, actually. The undergrads live in tents in Krzyzewskiville for up to 3 months before the game just for one of the coveted tickets. Think Golden ticket from Willy Wonka, but even crazier.


And my other favorite chant of the night was "Crazy Towel Guy". He is perhaps the only basketball fan in the country to have his own cheer. He's been to every home game for the last 20 years and always sits in the exact same place, waving around a towel to incite the fans to cheer at higher decibels, if that's even possible.

Crazy Towel Guy

Go devils, go! And also, go Cougs!