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Another family Thanksgiving is history, and I have plenty to be thankful for. Among the blessings I’m counting:

  • That my mother-in-law Kay‘s very first brined turkey (apparently suggested by me last year in a fit of drunken expansiveness on ways to keep breast meat moist) was not a flop. I had visions of the family serving me a side dish of cold resentment.
  • That my dinner rolls, based on Cook’s Illustrated‘s 48-hour cool rise recipe, were not a complete disaster after I allowed them to rise only 16 hours in the refrigerator. What was I thinking? Two days on dinner rolls? It’s like spending 48 hours to rotate your tires.
  • That my wife, Carrie, was able to salvage her tasty, bite-size appetizer after discovering that plastic wrap turns golden beets the most unappetizing shade of purplish-green when covered with the evil clingy stuff in the fridge.
  • That our fat, foraging beagle, Coltrane Meatsack, did not once try to get on the table and grab himself a turkey carcass. (You think I’m joking? The dog routinely walks across our dining room table during parties when we’re busy in the kitchen. The screams that this act elicits from guests are blood-curdling.)

  • That our fat, foraging beagle did not once puke.
  • That only one water glass was broken during dinner preparations, and the accident made my mother-in-law extremely happy. She’s been wanting to replace that glass for years—-the same one that her husband, Stuart, loves. He remained silent on the incident.
  • That the 1972 Burgundy that Kay and Stuart’s friend, Doug, brought to the dinner had not turned completely to vinegar.
  • That I didn’t have to do the dishes.
  • That no one talked about the failed banking system, mortgage-backed securities, or the fact that I think I wore the same clothes to last year’s Thanksgiving dinner.
  • That the old picture Carrie wanted to show us of her hugging President Bush turned out to be, in fact, her hugging George Herbert Walker Bush.
  • That I have the best in-laws you could ever hope for.