Is it navigating, balancing, or juggling?

Dear Feastlings,
With a walk-in refrigerator jammed with brining turkeys and pan upon pan of stuffing, and with two wine tastings upon us, including our first Last Sunday tasting that will necessarily combine plated food, boxed food, reheating instructions and some weird amalgam of in-person and Zoom nonsense, we’re all feeling more than a little bit like this guy:

Whatever the end result, I’ll tell you this: everyone here is going to sleep in on Thanksgiving, and we’ll all be mighty thankful we’ve survived the run-up to it. As I type this, Mike is in the kitchen counting up the hashmarks that indicate how many pounds of white and dark meat we need boxed for tomorrow, and I’m easily distracted by what’s streaming through the office door: “What’s 35 plus 96 plus 17 plus 45?” and “5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35- oh, wait, we already counted those.” Today is a day for weighing turkey, counting pies, and answering a steady stream of oven timers, interspersed with typing up menu descriptions for the December menu, writing up website posts for Saturday’s tasting,

How the Grenache stole Christmas

getting logistics figured out for Sunday’s tasting, which I won’t even post yet since we have yet to finish figuring out how exactly we’ll pull that off, and answering phone calls:

“Can I add some gravy onto my order for tomorrow?”
“What time did I say I was picking up my Thanksgiving order?”
“Did I order enough turkey for eight?”
“Are there any pies left over?”
“When is the last day to order Thanksgiving food?”

It’s become clear to me that whatever the situation, I’m not comfortable unless I’m not comfortable, which doesn’t bode well for me in the long run. Fortunately, the cage-rattling noise keeps drifting in through the kitchen door: “Nineteen times two pints is nineteen times four cups, right?”
“Yeah, but divide that by sixteen, because there’s sixteen cups in a gallon.”
“I can pick up some more celery on the way in tomorrow”
“It should be a gallon and a half that goes to the line, and the rest is for Thanksgiving.”
“There’s already five gallons made, so we still need to make ten more.”
“I found another pan of turkey, so we might not have to go buy more turkey.”

All I can say is this: if the fish I ordered for my own Thanksgiving dinner comes in tomorrow without incident, I’ll be a happy man. I’ll sleep the sleep of someone who can put off being rattled for two more days, rise lazily and decide whether to make a mushroom custard alongside our fish, or use that broccolini I picked up this morning, and decide how indulgent a bottle to open alongside it at a quiet table of four. Now that’s Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping yours is a delight.

Your juggling, hula-hooping friend,


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