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That ’80s Thanksgiving

Spoiler Alert: Content in this blog is from the November 19, 2014 episode of The Goldbergs

Duck hunting + Jazzercise + a martini for Pops = Thanksgiving

The Goldbergs celebrate Thanksgiving like most families in America, which includes every color combination of spandex, an unrivaled Power Glove and the desire to gravitate towards the people and things we truly are thankful for. So, fittingly, there’s plenty of chaos, turmoil and hilarity.

“By 9:00 a.m. we’ll be elbow deep in a 20 lb. Butterball!”   

Erica insists/flat-out tells her mom Beverly that she doesn’t want anything to do with a Goldbergs Thanksgiving and that she plans to spend the day at her friend Lainey’s house. This causes a glorious overreaction from the Jazzercising Beverly, which results in fantastic mother-daughter battles for the heart of Thanksgiving.

Aside from the main characters, Uncle Marvin is a wonderful dynamic in this sitcom paradise and impressionable Adam is his excited protégé. Perhaps blinded by the futuristic technology known as “the beeper,” Adam and Barry are mesmerized by the coolness of their uncle who just randomly stops by in his DeLorean (yes, the inspiration for the time machine), but his shared interests in classic ’80s movies, the Nintendo gaming system and its powerful glove thrilled Adam to his core. In fact, the aforementioned Power Glove was a gift from Uncle Marvin! Adam finally had a partner in-crime/agent for his national video game domination.

The Nintendo Power Glove: “Everything else is child’s play”

Seeing the remarkable connection between his youngest son and his uncle, Murray (with guidance from Pops) chose to show interest in Adam’s favorite activity at that moment: video games. Unfortunately, age recommendations are marked for a reason on technology like Nintendo, especially for people who don’t pause first before looking/slamming for the pause button. Sadly, in this situation, the essential wires in the Power Glove got the harshest of beat downs. That is, until Barry put it on and stuck it up a turkey’s ass while preparing the delicious bird for dinner.

Barry never disappoints.

Despite this tragedy, what hurt Adam more than his unusable Power Glove was the fact that his dad Murray didn’t understand the reason why he loved hanging out with his Uncle Marvin so much. Adam admired Uncle Marvin because, unlike everybody else, he understood him. He didn’t make fun of him or belittle his favorite things. He spoke his language of dreaming amazingly big, making the impossible possible, all with a contagiously wild imagination.

This got Murray thinking. It was time for a power nap.

Even after Erica survived a Marine’s Jazzercise session and the most illegal/entertaining speed walking race in history, Pops (there he is again…) let her in on a little secret about her mom and his late wife that involved family recipes and a special connection in age when being introduced to the hectic universe of preparing Thanksgiving dinner with one’s mother. So, like a Goldberg, after exhausting every fiber of her being to refuse some ridiculous activity with her family, Erica finally used those precious beats in her heart as the deciding votes.

Dinner will be served: Goldbergs style.

Eventually, Murray came to see that video games were not really just about the games, but instead about connecting with his son. The result was a father and son spending the afternoon shooting ducks…on Nintendo (Shout out to “Duck Hunt!”). But a dad playing video games with his son is something I can relate to. When I was Adam’s age, my dad also played sports video games with me. This experience was great because he showed an enthusiastic interest in something I really enjoyed. And, just like Adam and Murray, a couple buttons always seemed to break when our fathers played these video games together, but it was definitely worth it.

After all the craziness of that day from cooking a perfect Thanksgiving dinner, Beverly and Erica expressed their bonding experience in the kitchen like something straight out of a Hallmark card:

“We kicked Thanksgiving’s ass!”

Yes you did Goldbergs, yes you did…

And, if you’re like me, when you think of Thanksgiving and family, John Parr, a “man in motion” and St. Elmo’s Fire immediately comes to mind (it did for show creator Adam F. Goldberg)

I’m thankful for The Goldbergs (and my family too!)

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!!