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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, we will all gather around the dinner table of that brave soul who willingly volunteered to host Thanksgiving with our family and friends to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Feasts will overwhelm kitchens with each family’s special touch. This may pertain to cranberry sauce that is prepared beyond just shimmying it out of the can, potatoes with or without lumps or that special dessert from a family recipe with that quintessential whipped cream dollop.

Regardless of the shouting, screaming and crying (and don’t forget about the children), the varying successes and failures throughout today will perfectly define Thanksgiving for us all. But, when all the food is eaten, the dishes cleared (not yet cleaned, but cleared) and people’s adrenaline levels have subsided, then that special bonding moment can begin with either a visit to the movie theater or an in-home entertainment presentation.

From my family to yours, here’s a little insight (or appetizer if you will) to what really brings joy to our world (drum beat please!).

Don’t forget about those in-laws…

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. We all know the scene below is when we learned what it is in turkey that makes us drowsy:

Happy Monday!

Thanksgiving is Thursday, which is when families and friends will gather under one roof to give thanks for the special people (and a particularly great white dog) in their lives. Great food will be accompanied by great company and a few great laughs.

However, it will also be nearly impossible to escape or prevent those inevitable, awkward moments that are as consistent as the cranberry sauce straight out of the can (“The Michael J. Fox Show” knows what I’m talking about). Undoubtedly, something will spark that predictable, though vague in specifics, occurrence.

In some cases, it can be like a rainstorm. When it rains, it pours…day, by day.

and if you happen to have a cat gingerly pacing around the table…

Forget the Octagon, this is the Circle of Trust.

88 MPH to an ’88 (or so) Thanksgiving

In eight days, families from across the United States will gather together at their dinner table (and kid’s table) to individually and collectively give thanks for the blessings in their lives. There will be joyfulness from reminiscing about past memories, delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen and, above all else, complete and utter bedlam.

95% chaos, 5% peace and tranquility: Hello Thanksgiving!

Before we funnel into the designated house of our soon to be regretful host next week, one particular suburban Philadelphia family welcomed us into their home for a quintessential Thanksgiving celebration last night. While mission control was the kitchen and the commander was Beverly, the action spread far and wide on the Goldbergs premises.

Spoiler Alert for the DVR crowd for the latest episode of, “The Goldbergs”

The sons engaged in their made-up sibling game of “Ball Ball.” Or is it “Adam Ball” now…? The scenes with Adam and Barry (with Erica looking on, lounging on the spectator couch half-interested, half-rolling her eyes) was the perfect imagery of the glory that arises from a random, yet totally logical family game with a one-of-a-kind trophy to be used as a chalice at dinner for all to see.

In the case of this sibling game that involves knee pads, pillows, two hockey masks, a catchers mask and blue and yellow hula hoops scrunched in bean bag chairs, the age of old question between the older and the not-so much younger brother anymore is continuously answered:

Who’s the man? But what happens if that “one in a million” chance actually occurs? Then “the man” would have to be spelled A-D-A-M.

For Barry, the consequences would be comically dire.

When not fighting, this is the predominant therapy for how siblings interact with each other. This is how they bond. Are the rules absurd and never-ending? Will this ultimately lead to a colossal rematch for the ages that is the thing of legends and great mythology?

Yes, yes and yes!

And then, all of a sudden like something shot right outta thin air, the crazy (and oddly consistent) relative shows up with a grand entrance in a car that perfectly symbolizes the pure imagination of an entire decade and era of movies: the DeLorean DMC-12.

“Gotta get back in time!”

Huey Lewis and the News knows what that’s about.

Murray has always viewed his brother Marvin as a screw up, a chronically burdensome responsibility and, yes, a moron. Yet, during this Thanksgiving visit in 1980-something, Marvin promised it was different. Now working a “normal 9-5 job,” his future was assuredly looking brighter and smoother.

Did you know a triangle is the same shape as a pyramid?

A few mysteriously burning faces, an acknowledgement of basic geometry and a parking brake-less DeLorean DMC-12 on a hill later, the Goldbergs’ plus-1 was as unsettled as his car’s frame. Not even Beverly’s entertainingly deceitful promises to her fellow dinner companions in pursuit of her perfect Thanksgiving with a certain emphasis on the chef could have brought the harmony on the day she wanted it most.

No, it was going to take something much more powerful to change the dynamics of this disastrous day. In fact, it would take a curve ball.

In an act of sincere generosity sparked by a difficult, though necessary introspective, Marvin gave his big brother a small token of his lifelong appreciation for taking care of him when he was younger. It was a baseball. It was a memory. Perhaps most importantly, it was unexpected. Following this surprising gesture, Murray decided to bring his younger brother back into the future plans of his family’s Thanksgiving feast that evening.

What does a scheming in-law/uncle + a crazy grandfather + two battling brothers + a completely full of it (had already eaten turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce next door) teenage daughter + a thankful husband and family to their relentlessly hard-working wife and mother = ?

It equates to virtually everyone’s family at Thanksgiving.

By the end of the special Thanksgiving episode, “The Goldbergs” had confirmed the acutely accurate and reliable holiday formula: 95% entertaining chaos and 5% peace, tranquility and love.

With a full season ordered for, “The Goldbergs,” it’s a safe bet that lots of “fanz digit.”

P.S. Adam’s right, Harrison Ford does rule!

You’ve Never Seen a Turkey Fly Like This Before

As a nervous “chef” whose primary fear in the kitchen is under-cooking meat and fish, I am always looking for easy tricks of the trade. The one food item I never ruin is one that should become its own food group in the ever-famous Food Pyramid: popcorn. My eternal love for this snack of all snacks is…well, no time for that right now.

The recipe below was given to me with Thanksgiving on the horizon. The author certainly solved the rubik’s cube of every feast which is, of course, how to prepare and cook the turkey. Nobody wants to repeat what happened in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Below is the aforementioned recipe from an unknown source on how to successfully cook a turkey.

Enjoy and Good Luck!

“TURKEY RECIPE

I thought this sounded good! Here is a turkey recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing ingredient — imagine that!
When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when turkey is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out.

Give this a try:

8-15 lb. turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is Good)
1 cup un-popped popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER’S LOW FAT IS BEST)
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey with melted butter, salt and pepper.
Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn.
Place in baking pan making sure the neck end is toward the front of the oven, not the back.
After about 4 hours, listen for the popping sounds.
When the turkey’s ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room…it’s done.
(And you thought I didn’t cook…)

Happy Thanksgiving!!