Thanksgiving Prep in the Tiny Kitchen

There is no stress on my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving: no gifts, no (or little) disappointment about the holiday, no crying into the Scotch afterwards. It’s all about having dinner at your house, so you can act like a control freak and shoo everyone out of the kitchen.

Our kitchen is the tiniest in the world. There is no room for holiday helpers. I can’t imagine what they were thinking  in the 1920s when they built this house. Were they thinking, A servant will do all the cooking? Were they thinking, Let’s make this the most uncomfortable place for women?  The refrigerator is miniature because it has to fit under a low built-in cupboard. It is really too tiny to hold a week’s worth of food.  Every time you take out the broccoli several apples fall out, sometimes on your head. “I AM NEVER EATING AN APPLE AGAIN.” I had this conversation with an apple!

There is also little counter space. You can’t make eggplant parmesan unless you assemble it on the floor. As I recall, not only does one chop eggplant but one also grates cheese, dips the eggplant in bread crumbs and milk, and makes a tomato sauce. The bread crumbs fall off the eggplant despite the milk. And so I rarely make anything that requires more than two bowls and one pan.

I like Thanksgiving dinner. Roasting turkey is no stress—put the bird in a pan and baste—but I can no longer deal with poultry. (I’m a vegetarian who used to make holiday exceptions.)  So this year I’ve decided to have all the fixin’s sans turkey. There must be a fabulous substitute for turkey I can pick up at the market!   Any suggestions?

There are good things about Thanksgiving and bad things. The greatest thing: my husband is finally out of his sling! (A car turned into the bike lane and hit him a couple of months ago.) Another good thing: I have banned a truly horrible relative from my house.

Do you have any truly horrible relatives? Can they compete with mine? The last time we saw the Most Horrible Relative, he informed us he could only stay an hour because he was using us as a beard so he could meet some woman. I have never been so furious. Should I have told his wife?  I decided it was not my business.  But I will certainly never see him again!

The other great thing about Thanksgiving: I get to read women’s fiction! In the past I have read Peyton Place and Valley of the Dolls while basting the turkey. What will I read this year? Something truly pop and sensational, I hope. Nothing comes to mind at the moment…

There are only two  bad things about Thanksgiving: it’s way too early this year (Nov 22), and it’s going to rain!

9 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Prep in the Tiny Kitchen”

  1. “The refrigerator is miniature because it has to fit under a low built-in cupboard. …Every time you take out the broccoli several apples fall out, sometimes on your head.”
    Do you have a multidimensional kitchen? Or an odd definition of “low”?

    1. Of course it’s multidimensional! It’s the middle of a surreal prairie… I was reaching for the broccoli when some apples on the shelf above rolled out. 🙂

      Sent from my iPad


  2. I’m a vegan, so Thanksgiving with my family is a trial for me and my vegetarian niece and grandniece. There are so many Thanksgiving side dishes, though, that turkey wouldn’t be missed by most. I made a vegan mushroom gravy a few years ago for us and the omnivores ate most of it. It’s now the item I’m asked to bring each year. As far as turkey substitutes, Tofurky and Field Roast make turkey substitutes that I read are quite good, but I can’t speak from experience.
    I hope your Thanksgiving is a happy one. I can’t wait to find out what book you choose to read!

    1. The mushroom gravy sounds wonderful! I’m hoping I can pick up a delicious casserole I can pop in the oven. We do have a good market here, but the turkey is so much easier! Sent from my iPad


  3. I saw an interesting alternative for a vegan/ vegetarian Christmas the other day. A whole cauliflower wellington i.e. wrap the cauliflower in pastry after rubbing with spices and bake. It looked good and could have a cheese sauce or vegan gravy on the side. Happy Thanksgiving when it comes.

    1. Ooh, this sounds very good. I’ll look for it on the Internet. Cauliflower is very versatile and anything with pastry!

      Sent from my iPad


  4. Izzy and I are all alone on Thanksgiving. So I don’t make a turkey. We would be eating it for days …. I find Thanksgiving offers the same stress as say Christmas or 4th of July. One is expected to have a group of friends or family and we don’t. One is relieved not to have to be cheerful, not to have to buy any presents, and it is a time to think and remember where we were last year.

    1. i hope you and Izzie do have a good Thanksgiving! At least there isn’t the stress of presents! But, yes, the family pressure is there, and I’m not sure big families have such a great time either. This is the ONLY holiday I like.

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