I just want you to know how difficult you have made Thanksgiving. Thanks to all your shows about making a fancy turkey dinner, my family and guests now expect a woman who cannot cook to turn out a dinner that is worthy of all your talk. I can't take the pressure. It's killing me.
No longer can I slap a couple of turkey TV dinners on the table and pronounce it a feast fit for kings. No longer can I serve a burnt turkey to the masses, yell "BAM" and announce that blackened turkey is a Cajun delicacy. No longer can I tell friends that the gravy is from an old family recipe that calls for lumps of flour to be floating in it.
You've ruined all my excuses. Oh sure, a couple years ago when I forgot to defrost the turkey, I could pass it off as starting a new tradition of turkey bowling. Or the time I forgot to buy stuffing, so I just shoved some Wonder Bread up the turkey's rear and hoped for the best. I can't do that because my guests expect more due to the fact that they spend the entire month of November watching professional chefs massage turkeys with olive oil before popping them into the oven.
Frankly, that's a bit sick, if you ask me.
And no longer can I get a box of instant stuffing mix, slam it into the microwave, cook it and expect all the people sitting at the table to really believe it came out of the turkey. No, thanks to your network I'm expected to make stuffing from actual old bread. And not just any old bread either, it has to be the good stuff like sourdough or baguettes or something Italian or French and unpronounceable. And then I have to add sausage and fruit and all kinds of stuff to it.
What kind of weirdos are you people? Can't you just be happy with a box of instant stuffing? I am. Or at least I was.
You've even messed with the wine. Now there's a ton of talk about wine that goes with turkey. Or wine that goes with ham. Whatever happened to the days when I could twist the cap off a gallon jug from the local liquor store? Seriously, once you're past the first glass, you hardly notice the weird aftertaste. OK, fine. It might take two or three glasses. But heck, once you are at that stage, even the burnt turkey tastes good.
You've even taken away my favorite pumpkin pie. No longer can I fill a premade piecrust with some pumpkin goop from a can. Oh, no. Now we have to have pumpkin cheesecake. Or fancy pumpkin and gingerbread trifle things that require special bowls to display them in. I didn't even know gingerbread came in any form other than little men-shaped cookies dressed in frosting bow ties.
And we will not speak of what you have done to destroy my favorite green beans drowned in cans of cream of mushroom soup. It's a travesty. Who eats green beans without mushroom soup and fried onions on top? Please. Just take one moment to consider how horrifying it will be when my guests sit down to a Thanksgiving feast and taste…vegetables. It's just a recipe for chaos and disappointment.
Not to mention the worst thing of all. You expect me to serve cranberry sauce that does not have a can imprint on it. Really? Really? Have you no shame?
If the dinner preparation isn't bad enough, now I have to decorate too. It used to be I could have Junior trace a couple of hand prints, tape them to the chandelier and call it a day. But not anymore. No, thanks to you, I now have to have cornucopias brimming with fall vegetables and flowers as the centerpiece. I don't even know what the fall veggies are supposed to be, but I suspect they involve Brussels sprouts, which in my opinion should never be eaten by humans. Or even have a place in their cornucopias.
It's like you've turned Thanksgiving into a time of horror.
And I blame you for this, Food Network. You with your fancy idea that anyone can cook decent food and entertain friends. But in the end, I've outsmarted you. This year, hubby is doing the cooking.
What about you? Do you plan to put on a big feast this year? Or are you intimidated like me?
Laurie Sontag is a parenting guru, newspaper columnist and author of the popular blog, Manic Motherhood. When she's not working, she's wondering how on earth her son grew into a teenager who is taller than she is and changes shoe sizes every few months. You can read more of her work at Manic Motherhood or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.