November eighth, on the airplane coming back from Boston, I heard this from Mark's mouth. "This year I'm going to keep it simple for Thanksgiving. Only five dishes, I'm not going overboard."
This is what was served last Thursday.
- Bacon wrapped dates, stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and chorizo.
- Butternut squash ravioli, with mascarpone cheese, fried sage, and a candied pecan.
- Salad of greens with sliced pears, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, more candied pecans, dried cranberries, topped with pear vinaigrette.
- Macaroni and cheese.
- Spinach soufflé.
- Collard greens.
- Cranberry sauce
- Mashed potatoes
- The Turkey
- The stuffing from the turkey made with sausage, dried cranberries, chunks of apple, and who the hell knows what else was in there, but it was delicious.
- And finally, homemade pumpkin cheese cake. In fact everything was homemade, including the candied pecans.
This feast took Mark three days to prepare, not including the shopping. When I confronted Mark with the fact that he hadn't kept it quite so simple, he protested and pointed out that he hadn't made any sweet potatoes, and other than the appetizer, amuse bouche (that's what he called the ravioli), turkey, stuffing, and desert, there were only five other things on the table.
I don't know of anyone who would have attempted a dinner of that magnitude without four other people helping them. As it was, by the time dinner was served I was already beat. Just about every two hours a call would come from the kitchen for me to go in there and clean it up. As each dish, and course of dinner was prepared, Mark would somehow turn the kitchen into a battle zone, with food everywhere. On the walls, on the cabinets, and on the piles of implements he would use for cooking. The only place that wasn't covered with food bits was the floor. Sasha, Chandler, and the cats kept that relatively clean. After dinner it took me hours to clean up, and the dishwasher ran non-stop for about twelve hours.
Next year I have a plan. I am going to save up money for the next twelve months, and on Thanksgiving day I will present Mark with a paid helper. His very own kitchen slave. Someone to help him prepare, serve, and clean up. I will then wrap the invoice up for that persons pay, and put it under the Christmas Tree with 'Merry Christmas Mark' on it. I'm sure that will go over nicely.