Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1 Day. 15 People. 25 Pounds of Turkey.

Of obvious note: I changed the layout a bit. I needed to search for a specific label just now but couldn’t because I never bothered to add my labels list to the page. When I went to do that, the template I was using only allowed me to add the list to the right side of the page. I am unnaturally (and possibly even disturbingly) particular about what side things go on. OCD? Probably. Psychotic? Maybe. Easier to find labels now? Definitely.

Moving on.

I just realized that I completely and totally failed to do any sort of Thanksgiving update. Hell, I failed to even mention Thanksgiving more than once (label searching!).

I made decent progress on my research paper today, so I suppose I have a few moments to give an update about my Thanksgiving week, which featured 3 visitors, frozen yogurt, and a 25 lb. turkey. Plus a bunch of other stuff, obviously.

Two of my sisters flew in the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I immediately took them to be baptized into the world of In-N-Out Burger, which is conveniently located between the airport and my apartment. First stop after that was Venice Beach. We saw more old men in Speedos than I have ever seen before. We walked around for a little bit, then decided that a grocery store run would be a good idea. Stocked up on beer, chocolate, and guacamole (family essentials), we were ready for a movie night with a few of my friends. I suggested (/insisted) that we watch When Harry Met Sally. Never a bad choice.

I had class on Monday and Tuesday, so my sisters were on their own. As luck would have it, one of my younger sister’s friends from back home was also in L.A. visiting someone. The friend’s someone had to work all day Monday and Tuesday, so the friend was available to show my sisters around Hollywood. My older sister’s friend also flew in on Monday night to spend a few days with us.

Tuesday night, I drove up to the hotel right after class. I found my sisters+friend boozin’ it up in the lounge. Well, one sister was boozin’ it up, the others were watching her booze it up.

Wednesday we drove up to Burbank to take a tour of NBC Studios. Interesting tour…mostly centered around Days of Our Lives…but I did get to see Nancy O’Dell’s parking space. And the parking space where Jay Leno used to park his car. Which is really not that exciting. From there, we made a beeline for Santa Monica. By “made a beeline,” I mean that we sat in traffic for about an hour. I would never let my sisters miss out on that little piece of L.A. living.

We finally made it to Santa Monica, tired and starving. We immediately found somewhere to eat on the 3rd Street Promenade, at which point I thought it would be a good idea to eat a whole individual (8 slices) barbeque chicken pizza by myself. Best idea I’ve ever had. Seriously.

As we walked down to the water, I realized that we were there at prime sunset time. It was gorgeous. I couldn’t have picked a better view for out-of-towners to see!

We took a little jaunt down the pier before heading back up to the Promenade for frozen yogurt. They have this frozen yogurt place out here called Pinkberry, and apparently I just missed the initial craze by a few months or so. I’ve had more than one person describe the growth of the chain by telling me the expansion (in SoCal at least) was similar to that of Starbucks. Yikes…that’s a lot of frozen yogurt. Basically, you choose your yogurt flavor (original, coconut, pomegranate, or passionfruit) then you pick your choice of unlimited toppings, among them a million chopped fresh fruits, different kinds of chocolate, nuts, granola, mochi, and if I remember correctly, Fruity Pebbles and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (pardon me, “cinnamon squares”). I had an original with raspberries, mango, pomegranate seeds, and mochi. I’m not usually a big frozen yogurt eater, but it was quite amazing.

And then it was Thursday…

Since many of the first-year students in my program weren’t going home for break, we decided to have a big potluck dinner. We were anticipating somewhere between 15 and 20 people, so the guy who volunteered to do the turkey got a 25 lb. bird. I got up on Thursday morning and did some documentation of the events – the turkey cooking, the boys in the host apartment doing last minute cleaning, etc. I drove up to the hotel, retrieved my sisters+friend, and came back to do my part – green bean casserole. The friend had to fly out that afternoon, so when I got home from taking her to the airport, we were mostly ready to get started with dinner! We had all the classics – turkey (duh), stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, potatoes au gratin, green bean casserole, baked mac’n’cheese, corn pudding, and cranberry sauce. The Chinese guy made something called double eggs, which was like a little casserole made with chicken eggs and duck eggs, and it was really good! It was his first American Thanksgiving, so it was fun to see him experiencing all the food. Add in the many bottles (and boxes) of wine, and of course pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies for dessert, and it was a great meal.

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