It’s time for the biggest meal of the year…. Thanksgiving!! Get your stretchy pants out and your cooking skills on! I remember the first time seeing my Mom pull the stuffing out of the tail end of the bird after it came out of the oven and thinking I will never, ever eat whatever that was all about. That can’t be a good idea. It looks very unnatural. I thought she was scooping it out to throw in the garbage, next thing I know she’s putting it into a serving bowl and stuck a spoon in it for us to eat. Nope. No 8-year-old in their right mind would eat that after witnessing that horror scene. Then my brother tried to explain what the bag of gizzards was about, but I ran away and hid in fear and denial before hearing the full story. I also remember the first time I made a pie. Russ and I were engaged and thought we’d help out by making pie…let me just say I do not recommend that until after you’re married because being engaged is stressful enough. We could NOT get that crust to cooperate. Keep in mind this was before YouTube, google, cooking shows on every other channel, and pre-made crust to save your sanity. This was back when you had a hard cover Betty Crocker book with only one picture of a casserole a page, so if your recipe was one of the ten without a picture, you had to just imagine what the finished product looked like. You had no idea. Crocker couldn’t afford to put up a picture of each dish for each recipe. So, we had to wing it and use super human strength to mix the ingredients into a tough, blubbery mixture that kept toggling between being too dry and too wet, and then we had to figure out what kneading dough meant. Then we didn’t know to sprinkle flour onto the rolling pin before rolling out the dough, so it stuck to the roller and ripped apart in the middle…. resulting in having to start over again. When we finally got it rolled out, it wasn’t a perfect circle like Betty Crocker said it should be. It looked more like the outline of the United States, but since it looked big enough to put in the tin, we then tried to lift it up and put it on, only to have it rip apart. So we had to start over again. Kneading quickly turned into frustrated punching the dough into submission. Then, we tried to use the roller to help us transfer it, but when we put it in the tin it wasn’t big enough in some spots and too big in others, so we tried to rip off the dough in that spot to re-attach it to the short spot….but flour acts as a force field around dough and will not allow re-attaching in any way shape of form. It just looked like finger prints squished into a fault line in the pie. With flour all over our clothes and faces, and the look of defeat and anger in our eyes, we needed to decide to either start over AGAIN, or just chuck it out the window so the birds can enjoy Thanksgiving. We decided it was close enough to add the fill and throw it in the oven, but the patched-up crust didn’t hold. There were breaches everywhere, resulting in the liquid center going willy nilly everywhere…including over the top where it dried and gelled, over the sides and bottom, and beyond the tin where it dripped all over the oven and left burn marks and toxic odors. 22 years have passed and we’ve literally never tried to make dough from scratch again. I’d rather eat stuffing out of the unspeakable area of the bird. Hope you all have a stress-free Thanksgiving with all of your favorite people and trimmings!!