Marianne Spellman

Marianne Spellman
Seattle-ish, Washington,
April 06
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NOVEMBER 14, 2012 1:00AM


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Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and families all over America are making their travel plans to reunite with their loved ones, criss-crossing the country by car, plane, train, or god forbid, bus. The host and/or hostess of the feast must begin making preparations in order to purchase, prepare, cook, and serve the guests that have high expectations for a delicious meal. Because I am both thoughtful and practical, I thought I would help out the 40-70% of the population that experience holiday meal gathering with their terminally messed-up families as a nightmare on par with getting a root canal with no anesthesia or being forced to watch a Honey Boo Boo TV marathon while cradling a used adult diaper. Here are my suggestions for Dining With Dysfunction on Thanksgiving Day! Gobble gobble, one of us!




Several large bags Ruffles-brand potato chips, so your dad won't lose his shit again that you didn't buy Ruffles

Individual cups of Ranch dip, because the kids will whine about the "icky gross onions" in French Onion if you buy that, and germophobe Aunt Linda freaks out if she catches anyone double-dipping


Cheese-and-sausage plate for the dog to steal off the table at some point


Veggie plate so you can listen to a 45-minute intensely-detailed story from Grandma June about how broccoli really helps her bowel function


Coma-inducing amounts of red wine for the adults; cherry-flavored Kool-Aid for the kids (both make for superior carpet stains)


Main Meal

The largest possible turkey you can fit into your oven, so that it will take five hours longer to cook than you expected while everyone bitches that they are starving and close to death from hunger, and then will complain when you serve it that it's "a bit dry"


Several pounds potatoes to boil and then mash in a furious tension-venting rage


Five different kinds of stuffing because there's some bitter "best kind of stuffing" competition for 30 years between your mom and aunt and Grandma and uncle and sister-in-law, all of which taste strange and will end up thrown out into the backyard to be consumed by crows


Sweet potatoes and yams because Grandpa Carl insists one of them is a fruit and you need both


A bowl of kosher dill pickles because you have a weird four-year-old that won't eat anything else


Pan-made drippings gravy, which will be lumpy and burnt, and canned gravy, which will taste like a salt mine and a plastic animal


Homemade cranberry sauce from your sister Maureen with undercooked berries that are inedible, and canned cranberry jelly, because your spouse hates any texture in food


Cooked carrots, which Grandpa will mistake for "the most tasteless yams" he's ever had


Corn-on-the-cob, so your nephew Jayden can point it at your daughter and say, "this is really a spy gun and I'm going to blow your head off," making her cry and run from the table


Warmed dinner rolls to make everyone fatter than they already are



Pumpkin pie purchased pre-cooked from the grocery store, because at this point just eff it all


Whipped cream from a pressurized can, which the kids earlier in the day will find and secretly consume in a great giggling fit in the basement, returning the can completely empty when you need it


Pecan pie for Grandma June, so you can hear her intensely-detailed story about how she once had the best piece of pecan pie she ever had in her life at a hotel in Altoona, PA. in 1961, and this sure doesn't come anywhere close to that, what a shame


Coffee, which will be spilled by your brother-in-law who has had too much red wine, causing a mild burn that requires him to stand up and take off his entire shirt at the table, revealing his hairy bloated gut


Cheese Course

Cancelled when everyone is completely grossed-out after the dog throws up the cheese-and-sausage appetizer plate all over the floor and then stress-poops on Grandma June's purse






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You've had Thanksgiving with my parents???

Only kidding. Was so relieved when I didn't live in the US anymore and didn't have to celebrate Thanksgiving because it really was a horrible family experience every time.

Had a re-think after Sept. 11, 2001 and we celebrate it every year now. Being in Europe, we're not anal about the date though--mine was done and dusted on Nov. 3rd.

Veronica's Thanksgiving Rules

1- I am the chef. Don't offer to help. I have a system.

2- Jos or Ernst will carve the turkey. Nobody else is allowed to touch the bird but me.

3- If you want to bring something, bring dessert.

4- The sun is over the yardarm at noon on Thanksgiving. I will have white wine with lunch and continue drinking throughout the day, finishing with a snifter of Southern Comfort or Irish Mist around midnight.

5- The secret ingredient of my candied sweet potatoes is Kentucky bourbon. I'm told the alcohol cooks out in the process...

6- Charlie Brown and Cakeboy get the legs. Nobody wants the gizzard.

7- Cocktails are at 5 pm. Don't arrive any sooner or you run the risk of never being invited again.

8- People who leave before we pull out the lps and start singing along at the table aren't on the list next year.
Veronica, you are a wise woman!