OT: Hate week distractions, holiday plans, etc

Submitted by The Mad Hatter on November 21st, 2018 at 7:42 AM

I have accomplished exactly nothing at work (or home) this week, and it's looking like that is going to continue through Saturday.

I'm in desperate need of distractions to pass the time today, so let's talk about hour holiday plans.  Maybe share some stories of drunken Thanksgiving shenanigans and jackassery?

I'll be at my in-laws this year, which means I won't have a decent meal until I hit the White Castle drive thru on the way home.




November 21st, 2018 at 7:48 AM ^

I've got family coming in from Iowa today. There will be 7 kids in my house between the ages of 8 and 16 in about 5 hours- all girls. Fear not, though. I bought the industrial size drum of Ibuprofen from Costco.

We'll have a good Thanksgiving dinner and watch some football with the very few guys that will be here.

Friday is my birthday (I was born exactly 30 minutes after the 1974 Michigan-Ohio State game), and I'll get some dinner. I'm thinking Black Rock.... :)

The family is heading back to Iowa on Saturday morning; upon which I will kick back and witness my beloved Wolverines say something along the lines of "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.".

Hope everyone has a fun, safe and relaxing Thanksgiving; wherever you may be.


November 21st, 2018 at 7:54 AM ^

Been a normal work week for me, but my wife and I picked up our kids and brought them home for the long weekend. Our daughter is a senior at Michigan, and our son is a freshman at ASU (both are celebrating the joy of beating the Spartans this year). I happened to fly home from a business trip and was at the airport anyway, so I got to spend some windshield time with my son. That’s one thing I’m definitely thankful for.

I have to say that both my wife and I are very happy at the moment, regardless of what happens on Saturday. 


November 21st, 2018 at 8:00 AM ^

Rather low key Thanksgiving for me. Putting up the outside xmas lights up today with my 6 year old daughter. Some family coming in tonight but only 5 of us for Thanksgiving this year. Actually having a bunch of people over for the game Saturday. 

Hope to have a relaxing few days, get in a few good workouts, and then get jacked up for Saturday.  

Really hoping for good weather in columbus Saturday so we can do one last outside tailgating party but not looking so hot on that front. 

N. Campus Tech

November 21st, 2018 at 8:03 AM ^

It will be a quiet weekend. My mom flew in yesterday. So it will just be the five (wife, two kids) of us. I'll be spending the next few days eating, washing dishes and watching football.

Next weekend we will be making the drive to Michigan to watch the M-Purdue game


November 21st, 2018 at 8:05 AM ^

My Thanksgiving is going to be spent at home hosting about 15 close family members. It’s usually a great day, filled with amazing food, watching football and hanging out with people we don’t get to see often enough. 

After the last guest leaves (and probably while they are over, if I am being honest) I will resume checking MGoBlog every 15 minutes for news relating to The Game.


November 21st, 2018 at 8:06 AM ^

Staying home, thankfully.  No family within 140 miles of us, and the nearest relatives (the wife's) are having their in-laws, so we're out.  Fine by me - they don't watch football, let alone on the holidays.  Da fuck is wrong with people?  Seriously, I had to follow the ND game on my phone, getting dirty looks, at a Labor Day pool party they had.  So maybe ND was their fault because I wasn't home watching it?

I'm sorry...


November 21st, 2018 at 8:08 AM ^

Personally, I'm excited we're moving off of turkey this year and will be having a honey baked ham.  I mean, it's just better, right?  I live in Columbus, so this week can really blow.  I usually turn off notifications on my texts for friends in town and most likely won't watch the game with anyone on Saturday.  I just don't want to be around the enemy.  For those heading down to campus, hit or miss if you'll run into assholes.  As Brian stated in his ticket post, stay in a pack of people.  Fuck da Buck.  Go Blue!



November 21st, 2018 at 8:19 AM ^

Re: ham vs turkey for Thanksgiving. The last couple of years, I've split the difference and smoked one turkey while oven-roasting the other. My in-laws are not fans of smoke bbq (don't get me started), and prefer their bird overcooked the old fashioned way. 

This year, I'm brining the turkey headed to the smoker in apple cider (among other ingredients). I'll cook it over apple and maple hardwoods, and the rub will include maple sugar. That should give it a very ham-like flavor, particularly the drumsticks. 

The oven-roasted bird will be rubbed with fresh herbs and butter, and placed on a bed of aromatics in the oven. From MGoBlog (the old MGoBBQ series with the Stubb's guy), I learned that spatchcocking (i.e. butterflying) poultry is the way to go on both the smoker and the oven. It doesn't look as pretty, but the perfectly even cooking more than makes up for the difference in appearance versus a whole turkey or chicken.


November 21st, 2018 at 8:27 AM ^

I don't get the whole oven-roasting thing.  Obviously, my Grandma and Mom always oven-roasted - its what you did back in the day.  But I'll recommend good 'ol southern deep frying that bird.  That's what I'll be doing tomorrow, it provides a much more tasty and juicy bird than an oven can ever produce.  A bit more of a mess, but whatever...


November 21st, 2018 at 9:00 AM ^

I have never done deep-frying of a bird for two reasons: 1) the recommended cooking oil is peanut and my son is deathly allergic to it; and 2) I'd burn down my house in a New York minute.

That said, I'd love to try it one day if I can get the local fire dept to provide support services.


November 21st, 2018 at 9:14 AM ^

You can use whatever oil you want (maybe not 10w-40).  Peanut oil has a higher smoke point and a really good flavor, but olive ($$$), sunflower, vegetable, etc will all work, as well.  The key to not burning things down is to pre-measure the amount of oil to use.  Put the bird into the cooking pot and fill it with water.  When the water level is within an inch, or so, of the top of the bird, remove the bird and measure how much water is in the pot.  That's how much oil to put in.  Remember that oil will thin out as it heats, and the boiling will cover the last inch of the bird, so a little less is better than a little more.  Then just dry the bird as much as you can before (slowly) dropping it into the hot oil.



November 21st, 2018 at 9:06 AM ^

Turkey can be bone-dry, which is the typical Thanksgiving fail. Brining (whether wet or dry) is essential. 

Flavorless meat is the other typical gripe, and that's also solved in part by brining (thus, my use of apple cider, herbs, black pepper and kosher salt for the brine), the rub (I use butter or mustard, herbs, sugar, and spices), and the aromatics in the pan (I use fresh herbs, lemon slices, celery, leeks, and carrots). The other important factor is the bird itself. A Butterball or similar grocery story turkey (or chicken) conventionally raised will be very bland. Naturally-raised or organic poultry will have the best taste overall.

Amateurs baste the bird while it's in the cooking process. That's a HUGE mistake, because it does't keep the bird moist, and adds nothing to the flavor of the meat. 


November 21st, 2018 at 9:37 AM ^

Brine is everything. My dear, sainted mother has told me that she recalls that, as a kid back in the 1930's and 1940's, her mother always "soaked" poultry before cooking, usually in some heavily salted liquid.

Most people that don't like turkey have probably grown-up with the bone-dry, tasteless version that you mention.  I have brined turkeys for years at Thanksgiving and yet my Dearly Beloved, who always tells me how my preparation is juicy and tasty, when asked whether she likes turkey, reflexively answers that she doesn't because it's always too dry.


November 21st, 2018 at 8:29 AM ^

I hope it is the latter because there has to be an epic Mad Hater story in there if that's the case. 

As for bad cook, my mother's mother - who adopted Thanksgiving because, in her approximate words (which would have been in German), she began to feel uncomfortable being the only person on the block who wasn't wrestling with a gigantic dead bird - was not a stellar cook when it came to this particular meal. Indeed, my father once asked if the turkey had been cooked for five hours on clean. 

The Mad Hatter

November 21st, 2018 at 8:34 AM ^

She's an awful cook, which is odd since she was born in Europe to German / Hungarian parents.  My Polish mother on the other hand is a ninja in the kitchen, even in her late 70's.

According to Mrs. Hatter, her mother has been on a diet for pretty much her whole life, so she doesn't understand the importance of salt, butter, and cream.  I've started to work my way in the kitchen over there just so we could at least have some decent goddamn mashed potatoes.


EDIT:  She also does in fact hate me approximately as much as I hate Ohio.


November 21st, 2018 at 8:14 AM ^

I'm headed to the Denver area to visit my Brother-In-Law for the holiday.  My in-laws are in tow and HIS in-laws will be there as well.  This one should be interesting!  Everyone who is traveling today, travel safe!