Survival is success. So obviously, I made it out relatively unscathed.
Wednesday afternoon we found out we were closing at 3 - so I high-tailed it on home and got cracking on making pies. The plan was to make two pumpkin pies and hopefully get started on the sweet potato souffle that I was making - namely, peeling, chopping, and cooking 14 cups of sweet potatoes. In the meantime, Joey was at his office handing out turkeys to the employees (which is one of the DUMBEST things ever - Malcolm came up with the idea years ago, and I'm sorry - but giving someone a rock-hard frozen turkey the night before it has to be cooked is somewhat akin to torture) and I was trying to get in touch with him to find out what time his parents were coming. Eventually, he called me back and said that they were coming around 6 and that his mom had wanted to come and cook dinner for us.
Now, very sweet gesture on her part. However, there were a few flaws. First of all, she wanted to fix this thing she and the family call "baked zita". Not ziti, zita. It's a totally bastardized version of baked ziti that requires her to use no fewer than 47 pots and pans to fix and at least an hour of prep time, let alone cook time. So I'm not exactly sure what she was smoking when she came up with this idea, but I think I need to get some for myself. The other thing is that knowing that you are going to probably eat your weight in gravy and stuffing on Thursday, it's not a great idea to eat a huge, greasy meal that sits in your gut like a grenade. It's not a matter of if it's going to explode, it's when.
Anyhoo, the plan all along had been for us to go out to eat at the local pizza joint. I find that getting them out of the house serves two purposes - first, my FIL tends to be much better behaved when we are out somewhere, and the other is that it kind of breaks up the monotony of being trapped with two people that talk incessantly. At the same time. But somehow Joey yet again had gotten this idea that we were going to eat the pizza here so he called and asked me to call the pizza place and order pizza...meanwhile, I had just put a pie in the oven that was going to require me to stay put at least 45 minutes and I was expecting everyone to come to the house and THEN go out...so then when we had this discussion about take-out versus eating in the restaurant and blah blah blah it kind of got a little ugly. He was irritated that I wasn't ready to drop everything and head out the door, I was irritated that he was making all these plans that clearly weren't what we had been discussing for several days. Do you see a pattern here?
Anyhow, everyone came rolling in the door and we had pizza and everything was fine. For some reason Joey disappeared with Monkey Man into the basement and left me with the IL's to entertain them, so I did what works best - I turned on the Food Network and then zoned out myself.
Thursday, the weather here was fabulous. It was like 75 degrees and had a nice warm breeze blowing, very un-Thanksgivinglike weather. I dragged out some coffee cakes and in the meantime, I'd had this bee in my bonnet to make this recipe for pecan cheesecake pie that I saw in this month's Southern Living to take to my sister's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Keep in mind, I had already baked 2 pumpkin pies (1 for sister's house, 1 to eat with the IL's) and then an apple pie to have Wednesday night after the pizza. So I threw the pie together and the entire time, my MIL kept obsessing about it.
I should have known this would lead to trouble later.
Anyhow, the pie was done and we took off to go to the restaurant for lunch. It was surprisingly good, and I found that the newspaper's assessment of the cost per person was way off - it was about half the cost of what we had expected. I know my FIL enjoyed it since he cleaned his heaping plate and then let out a huge belch. Yeah, classy. MIL obsessed the whole time that it was too much food, she couldn't eat it all, why did they give us so much food, blah blah blah. I guess she is one of those people that belongs to the "clean your plate" club and if you don't you are evil and wasteful. But we finished up, paid the bill, and then came back to our house.
The whole way back to the house, both MIL and FIL were obsessing about that fucking pie. How they really wanted some, but they were soooo full. Honestly, I wasn't planning on serving the pie to THEM...that's why I made 2 pumpkin pies. So we got back to the house, I went in our bathroom and when I emerged, I found my husband in the kitchen getting ready to desicrate my lovely pecan cheesecake pie. His parents wanted theirs "to go". And of course, I was irritated. And like the big old wimp that I am, I kept my mouth shut while they left with two pieces of my beautiful pie and I was left with a pie that I certainly couldn't take anywhere. ARGH.
After they left, Joey and I took a nap (Monkey Man deemed it unnecessary and then fell asleep on the way to my sister's house) and then we left for my sister's. My parents and my brother, sister-in-law and niece were all there. We had a really nice evening - my niece is in college majoring in Arabic studies so she's pretty interesting to talk to...maybe a little over-the-top in her involvement with the whole thing but I am hoping that she'll find some interesting and profitable work when it's all said and done. I hadn't seen my sister-in-law in about 4 years and she is always so fun to talk to - she originally hails from Augusta, Georgia so we have that whole Southern thing going for us. And my brother...well, he's kind of a lot like me and we have a lot of fun together. I was so freaking excited to see them that I barely slept on Wednesday night.
Today, once Joey gets home from doing a little network maintenance at the office (that can only be done when noone is there) I will leave the boys and take off for the land of the unknown. My niece desperately needs clothes so we will be braving the crowds to try and hook her up with some clothes. Should prove interesting and I'm sure my mother will have a total meltdown at some point...I'm thinking maybe SIL, niece and I should drive separately from my sister and mom since they will want to run and run until they collapse...and my mom just didn't look good yesterday.
My dad, however, looks fabulous. He read to Monkey Man last night and they talked football and Army men and all that good stuff. I love my dad.
So that's about it. And now I better get myself in the shower so I can get my day going. Laundry is done, dishes are all cleaned and put away, and I have a Monkey Man calling.
I am thankful my brother and his family were able to come visit. We don't see each other but once a year, and it's always so much fun!