So Far...

8:30 woke up had morning tea and a freshly baked pumpkin nut muffin

9-1030 finish potato gratin, made shallots in red wine

1030 put turkey in oven

1045 shower, make-up, clothes

1130 opened bottle of red wine, prepared snacks for guests, personally tasted assortment of cheeses, made shrimp cocktail, scarfed some green chili and garlic flavor pistachios, cut lemons for iced tea

1200 guests unbelievably arrive on time

1205 am annoyed beyond all belief already by guests milling around the kitchen even though snacks are arranged on the dining room table as incentive to get them out

1245 guests are finally effectively herded into the living room

1 two glasses of red wine later I am hiding in the library-still awaiting the arrival of last guest

projected time of completed cooking:330

Happy Thanksgiving

So far... my mother and I have made the roasted parnsips and carrots with butter and thyme, the mashed potatoes, the white and sweet potato au gratin (we're Irish of course we have two potato dishes), the salad dressing, the turkey dressing...tomorrow we will be making the pumpkin nut muffins, shallots baked in red wine, the turkey, gravy, and biscuits.

Projected itinerary:

7 am attempt to wake up
730 attempt tp wake up

8 have leisurely cup of tea, shower, get dressed, fight with mother over who gets to use the "good" mirror to put on her make up

9 make pumpkin nut muffins and shallots in red wine

10 stuff turkey in the oven

1030 begin to set table

1045 cats totally destroy table settings

11 begin drinking red wine

1130 clean up kitchen

1230 pour second glass of wine-prepare snacks for relatives

1 projected time of arrival for relatives

230 actual time of arrival of relatives ( either that or 1030)

230-330 attempt to keep relatives out of the kitchen-put already made items in oven to warm-remove turkey-put finishing touches on the table

330 have third glass of wine while attempting to get relatives to sit at the table and eat salad while my mother and I finish warming the food
-open up a bottle of wine for the rest of the family

345 eat

430 everyone but me passes out in front of the tv

5 bunni retires to her room with the remainder of her bottle of wine and finishes reading Goethe's the Sorrows of Young Werther

530 Bunni falls asleep and misses tea and cookies with the fam

10 Bunni wakes up to find everyone asleep-sneaks downstairs for leftovers

1130 Bunni retires to her bedroom to congratulate herself on surviving another family holiday

I'll let you all know how it goes-an perhaps post this year's road kill story

Pied Billed Grebe

Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the Pied Billed Grebe story. ( I actually found pictures of Grebes and was going to link to them but I am on my mother's computer and I am having problems with it so if anyone would like to link to one in the comments you'll have Bunni's eternal thanks.)

My mother comes from rural Pennsylvania. And when I say rural, I mean, RU-RAL. I mean, one of my cousins knows how to hunt deer with a bow and arrow.

Now my mother's brother, who is an outdoorsy guy, lives on the side of a mountain in the middle of rural PA with his outdoorsy kids and an outdoorsy wife.

For reasons unknown whenever my aunt ( my mother's brother's wife) shows up for Thanksgiving dinner she immediately commences to tell my mother and I, who are feverishly cooking, a road kill story.

Now why my aunt thinks I want to hear about a decapitated possum while I am handling ground sausage or stuffing my hands up the nether parts of a turkey is beyond me, but she does. It has become in its own odd way part of the family tradition.

Now I had heard stories of road kill being scooped up and frozen while I was cooking before (She saved it so they could teach the dog to fetch a kill during a hunt) but I was not prepared for this.

The actual story:

I was in the kitchen, red wine in hand, chopping up carrots, cursing my aunt for taking up much needed room when my aunt launches into her yearly road kill story like so:
"Well, I was driving down the road with K***( my cousin) in the car, and I saw this bird on the side of the road. So I pulled over because I thought that maybe it was something I could cook and eat."

Now that my aunt has a "healthy" apetite is well documented. My mother likes to call it "hoof and mouth disease." The woman quite literally can't stop eating, but I had never considered that my aunt would stoop to EATING ROAD KILL. The worst we thought of her was that she constantly fed her kids Mc Donald's.

And no, she wasn't joking, I swear to you she wasn't.

So summoningly all of my acting training I managed to keep a straight face. She continues her narrative:

"So I go up the bird and it turns out it was still alive. So I scooped it up and put it in the back. I took it to the animal preserve and it turns out it was a pied billed grebe. Supposedly they aren't seen often. They can't take off except from water."

Now after someone admits to eyeing road kill for dinner, when I heard the "I scooped it up" I thought the story was going in a VERY different direction. After all my uncle and cousins are hunters and so killing and cleaning some randomly found bird isn't too far off the charts for them. (My uncle hunts pheasant among other animals.) But no, once she discovered it was ALIVE she shifted gears entirely. Even though it would have been healthier to kill the grebe and eat it then to eat a god knows how long it was sitting on the side of the road dead grebe.

So why was it in the middle of the road for a hungry road kill eyein' woman to find?

"Well to grebes pavement often looks like a river. Once it landed it couldn't take off. So your cousin got see a grebe! Isn't that amazing?"

Hell, my cousin almost got to EAT a grebe. And confusing pavement with a river seems like a fairly serious failure on the part of the grebe.

"Anyway, I went back a few weeks later and I visited the grebe. It was swimming in a water dish."

OK, first of all what kind nature preserve was this? And now that she has "rescued" the grebe, she visited with it. Does she think that now she and the grebe have mystically bonded?


Now when something like this happens, you can't just keep it to yourself. Naturally I told all my friends at grad school and my boyfriend. Now most chose to believe it because it was funny to believe it was true. My boyfriend maintained as a NYC girl, I was being snob and actively misinterpreting my aunt's sense of humor UNTIL he came to Thanksgiving the following year.

At dinner, with not only my boyfriend, but his mother at the table, my aunt proceeded to tell the story AGAIN while we were eating.

Afterwards my boyfriend looked at me, "You were right. She really wasn't kidding."

My response, "Hey, they are my family. I do at the very least know when they are joking."

Here ends the lesson.

Conversations in the car with my mother

Bunni: You know I really wish B*** and N**** were coming later today.

Mom: What did you say?

Bunni: I really wish B*** and N**** were coming later today.

Mom: I thought you said "I really want to bury a banana today." And I was thinking "Well, we HAVE bananas, we can do that if you really want."

Bunni laughing hysterically.

Bunni: That's very accomodating of you...Now all I can picture is the two of us standing over a small empty grave and dropping in a lone banana... Maybe we should make it part of the family tradition.

The Best Way to Start Your Day

Now I know I promised you the Pie Billed Greeb story, which honestly is not to be missed, but I have come to believe that some of you care about the dear life of Bunni and so I thought instead I would relate to you what happened to me today so far.

Last night I was sitting in a coffee bar which is apparently the unofficial headquarters of all NYC teachers when Adam called. Now I never expected to hear from Adam again. I thought it would be a kind of-we fooled around, you wouldn't give me a one night stand so "Asta" type of deal-but no he called and eventually wanted to hang

Today at my work, late, utterly exhausted, with a green silk scarf tied high on my neck-a fresh layer of make up to hopefully cover the sleep deprivation-and smiling quite contentedly. I am also, despite almost no sleep, strangely energized ( although my legs feel as if they are going to fall off).

I've met men who have given me the "I get off on a woman's pleasure" line before-generally it is just a front. ( One guy is college claimed to love to give oral sex, until I finally requested it. Then he put forward a list, LIST, of things I had to do before I could receive the oral pleasure. As if I have that kind of time.) But every once in a while you meet a man who actually means it.

Ah to spend the morning in a totally ruined bed with a hot man who understands a woman's needs.

Somebody give me an amen.

And although I am a little bit embarassed about having to go home and deal with my family with hickeys on my neck ( at the age of 28-the shame!), the pleasure at the very least has mellowed me out enough that I might be able to get through at least one road kill story before I take a hostage.

The Red Wine Rule

Yes, the time has come for to prepare to see my distant relatives from PA. I haven't yet written about them, to the point that maybe you think I was raised by literate wolves, or that I ate the rest of my family. No, I simply prefer not to deal with them all that often. Yet every Thanksgiving they all come slogging down to devour the food my mother and I have made over a three day period.

Now to prepare you for what I expect to be a Thanksgiving family post extravaganza, I will spend every day until Thanksgiving posting a Bunni family story. That way when we get there you won't be so shocked.

Last year I instituted the red wine rule. The red wine rule is simply that an hour before my relatives arrive I start drinking red wine. Now I don't mean I guzzle the whole bottle, but you know a glass, so that once they get there I am nicely mellow. Now when I told that to a friend of mine, a friend of mine who had been smoking up five times a day. A friend of mine whose idea of kicking his habit was only to smoke pot on the weekends as long as you defined thursday morning as the weekend. He acted like I was an alcoholic. "You have to ask yourself did you really need to do that? Does it really help?"

Obviously, he has never dealt with my family.

He has never dealt with a grandmother who feeds my anxieties by claiming I will never get married because I don't keep house. He has never dealt with my aunt who claims her youngest child is a genius despite the fact the kid rarely speaks to people, and instead, spends the majority of his time meowing at our cats. He has never dealt with road kill stories from my aunt while preparing a turkey. He has never dealt with my grandmothers consistent insistence that the turkey will never be ready. He has never dealt with my aunt eating ingredients I am preparing OUT OF MY HAND.

I am not Emeril. I do not want an audience when I cook nor am I looking for tasters. If you are in my kitchen, you better damn well be doing something useful or you are going to get a BAM upside the head with a cast iron skillet/

Ok I am little hostile in the kitchen. But that's because my mother and I cook for three days. We cook a huge amount of food and most of it is gourmet (I use recipes from epicurious-the advanced recipe search is fabulous) So you'll forgive me I want to keep the foot traffic to a minimum.

I think that I'm not mainlining heroin before the fam arrives is a tribute to my personal fortitude. Not to mention that I have to go through the continued humiliation of not even having a boyfriend to present. ( although the contigency boyfriend, you know I always have a back up, and no it isn't Adam, wanted me to visit his parents for the holiday. however, they live in Jersey. The one thing I can think of less enjoyable then spending time with my family is spending time with some one else's family in Jersey. My father didnt work and slave to leave Jersey just so I could go and voluntarily return.)

Tune In Tomorrow for the Road Kill for Dinner/ Pie Billed Greeb story.


"Because at the age of eight, you don't have the wit or verbal dexterity to say, 'Go fuck yourself.'"-Paul Merton (improvisational and stand-up comic)

And no I'm not referring to the Matrix, the last installment of which I still haven't seen and yes I'm bitter about that ( anyone want to offer an invite?)

I prefer not to think of Israel anymore. If I can't have him and never will, well, why bother thinking about the twit? I mean, let's be honest, he is no Orlando Bloom. All he's got is long hair and accent ( oh wait that DOES make him Orlando Bloom).

Over the last weekend many ideas have been offered including that he is married or has a girlfriend already ( which seems possible) another alternative is this whole ordeal was some sort of bet or challenge ( just to see if he could) or the result of some totally unforeseen circumstance (think Ilsa in Casablanca-oh whoops my husband is still alive-sorry about that-of course, she did leave a note). A final possibility is that he found the blog.

Well, I've eliminated that last one by posting his full name on the blog. More likely, considering his interest in my career, was he was shopping for some more influental girlfriend ( ie he already had one and was trying to find an upgrade).

But really it doesn't matter. He's over. There are only five million more where he came from ( and that's just in this city).

I spent friday night making out on my front door with a hot blonde hair blue eyed italian chef named Adam. To some degree Adam reminded me of why I liked Israel so much. On the other hand, Adam also reminded me of why I should care less about Israel.

Adam looked in my eyes and said "I've been starring at you from the moment you came in. Now that I'm talking you I'm just glad I have an excuse."

Yeah, baby, aren't we all?

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