The Logic of Two Ovens…or a Thanksgiving Cooking Manifesto

24 Nov

It’s 8:00am and I’m awake in bed, trying to plot out in my coffee-deprived brain how to most efficiently stage my Thanksgiving cooking. I do this every year (at least the years when I’m responsible for more than one dish) and it strikes me that today, of all days, two ovens is a must-have.

I’m as disturbed (and secretly exhilarated) by American excess, our multi-colored and advertising-drenched aisles of toothpastes and dental floss (whitening, tartar control, pro-enamel, sensitive gums, etc.), the unending shelves of cereal for the sugar junkies and health nuts alike, the thrumming rows of frozen vegetables, microwave meals and bagel pizzas.

But two ovens? Man, you won’t know how much you covet them until a day like today. And I’m not even cooking a turkey this year. Reheating a cooked one for several hours – yes. But starting from scratch – no. Nonetheless, Turkey Day requires copious preparation, the will of a field army general, and the absolute confidence to kick people the hell out of your kitchen (this means you, CityBoy, get your own damn kitchen).

Our motley assortment of serving dishes prepped and ready to go

So far, my Thanksgiving day cooking consist of:

Eggplant caponata (done and chilling in the fridge)

Sweet potato casserole (prepped and ready to go into the oven for 30 minutes)

Mashed potatoes

Roasted Brussel sprouts

Green beans pancetta

These last three will vie for oven and stove space with the aforementioned precooked but not yet warm and delicious turkey, which takes two hours to reheat in the oven.

Two hours? I’m thankful to my darling CityBoy for both ordering and picking up said bird, but now I’m thinking that next year, I may as well just make the damn thing. Or two big turkey breasts. I mean, two hours of reheating is totally enough time to roast two turkey breasts.

If I had two ovens, this would be a moot point. One oven becomes the turkey oven, and all the other fixings can share space in the multi-purpose oven. Brilliant.

One of these days I will have my two ovens. Until then, Thanksgiving here in the City in our teeny studio will be a balancing act of counter space and plates and mixing bowls and hot pans.

Until then, it’s timelines, scheduling and telling people to leave me the hell alone.

Oh, unless I need help. Then they need to get the hell over here, stat. [Insert image of me with a steaming pot of cubed potatoes that I need to drain without a) burning myself, b) dropping said pot, or c) dropping any said potato cubes into the sink.]

Happy Turkey Day, my peeps. Hope it is as fantastic and leftovers-laden as I’m hoping mine will be.

Peace out,

Jho

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