Thanksgiving Dinner (or, the Tale of the Battered Footprints)

In honor of my favorite holiday, I put my toaster oven to the test and whipped up a big Thanksgiving dinner: turkey*, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, biscuits, creamy fruit salad, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and sweet potato pie, all made from scratch. I was excited about it since before November even rolled around! I love cooking for groups, and I especially love Thanksgiving. However, the baking turned out to be a little more stressful than I expected, though I suspect I’ll look back and laugh about the following anecdote for many years to come.

Jiny, my eager-to-cook, 4-year-old housemate followed my every move as I pressed the pie shells into the pans and mixed the batter for the biscuits. Since we have so little counter space, I do most of my cooking on the floor, and that’s where the three pie shells and the mixing bowl full of dough were when Jiny ran out of the kitchen with a trail of battery footprints in his wake. He’d stepped right in the mixing bowl with his bare feet. Already tense and tired from baking all evening, I whisked him into the bathroom and told him to stay put while I fetched his dad so I could continue the baking marathon. As soon as Jiny bounded back into the kitchen, he stepped in the batter again! I couldn’t believe it, but this time we all had the routine down for clean-up! I figured any dirt would bake out in the oven anyway, so I just pretended it never happened. But can you believe he stepped in a pie shell next?! I swear, it was an accident every single time. I never for a moment thought he did it on purpose, but it was pretty incredible that it happened three times!! And never could I imagine that happening in the U.S.—oh, the joys of cooking on the floor!

*I can’t take credit for cooking the turkey—a kind lady from church picked up a huge, pre-cooked bird from the U.S. Army base where she works. What a treat! Many of the dinner guests had never had turkey before, so it was fun for me to introduce it to them!