Thanks for everything - except the burnt pot

Twas the night before turkey
And this I did learn
Don't watch so much TV
That you let the pot burn

Whether it's the night before Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter, our family has certain traditions. My kids go to their Dad's and I spend the evening doing the prep work I couldn't possibly face first thing in the morning.

By this point, my daughter Kate will have baked up a storm and stayed up the night before cleaning up the kitchen. This year the bread didn't turn out but there's a pumpkin pie in the fridge and cookie dough waiting to be baked fresh. I stay clear of the kitchen while she works so I don't kvetch about the mess. By the time she lets me have the kitchen back, it's cleaner than when she started.

Now that's something to be thankful about.

My job is the turkey and stuffing - two kinds of stuffing. My niece Claire is vegetarian so I make a meat-free stuffing to fill a pepper that will be roasted for her lunch. I make a sage, onion, mushroom and sausage stuffing like my mother used to make - except that I like to saute my onions and mushrooms first. Also like my mum, I boil up the neck for the gravy. I also add the onion skins. They give the broth a richer flavour and colour.

Because I'm on my own, while I prepare food, I catch up on missed shows. Tonight I watched one NCIS, two Hawaii Five-O's, and a Criminal Minds. The stuffing was finished by the end of the first show but I wanted to give the neck a chance to cook. After all, if I went upstair to work, I might forget about the broth and burn the house down.

Instead, I just burned the pot.

I am thankful that my ex and I have a good system where both of us spend time with our kids on the holidays. I'm grateful that my nieces father and stepmother also do Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday so I can have all the kids together on Monday. I am especially thankful that there's a nice sized turkey in the fridge, washed and patted dry, ready to stuff and roast tomorrow. There are potatoes and brocolli ready to cook and a pie to be warmed for dessert. All fresh local foods. A bountiful harvest.

I'm not so happy about the burnt pot.