The November Nutshell Ends in Vomit and Drama

This should be the last of my November nutshells. When you are a nut yourself, you have a lot of material.

After ingesting our so-so Thanksgiving meal, my husband and I walked back home. It was still pleasant weather a week ago. Today it’s 15 friggin’ degrees outside, and even the dog doesn’t want to do her business with her butt in the snow.

Back to the story… well, we watched a movie and retired to bed early. That’s because we were open for business the next day, and both of us had to get to work. (No four day weekends for these Demonics. That’s one of the downsides to owning your own business.)

I had put the feather bed on, and baby, is it comfy under there. I need such comfort, because Mr. D is cheap (I mean, thrifty) and keeps the night time temperature to about 58. I was completely out of it and didn’t wake up all night.

Mr. D on the other hand, for some reason, could not stay asleep. As is his usual modus operandi, if he can’t sleep, he will get up and go to work. It’s not so bad. Our building is about five minutes away from the house. Working in the middle of the night is best for him. He’s on the phone constantly during business hours and cannot concentrate on cleaning his office between putting out fires. His office looks like a tornado went through it, a couple of times. I’ve often said that if something happens to him, I wouldn’t know where anything is. As it is, he’s alive and doesn’t know where anything is.

I didn’t know he was gone. He was smart and didn’t wake me. About 4 a.m., my cell phone rang. It was across the room charging, so it took a while before I got up to answer. By the time I did, it had gone to voice mail.

I noticed that the area code was 415, meaning San Francisco, but the number was not familiar. Could it be my son’s roommate? Is something wrong, I thought? When I retrieved the message, I was still fairly calm. After all, it was only 1 a.m. on the Left Coast, and maybe I was being drunk called.

No, it was worse than that.

My daughter’s boyfriend’s mother was the one who called. She called to inform me that they had taken my daughter to the ER at Marin General, and that she thought Ms. MiniD had alcohol poisoning. She then told me that she had arrived from my son’s house in that condition. That was scary, in that my son lives in the City, and my daughter’s boyfriend lives across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin.

I immediately called her back, but got a message that her voice mailbox was full. I called my son, and my son’s girlfriend – no answer. (They were in bed sleeping.) Then I called Mr. D, and couldn’t get an answer. (He was on the phone with the BF’s mother.)

Needless to say, there were many tense moments in the next couple of hours. But the doctors ended up not pumping her stomach and not admitting her. She did not have alcohol poisoning but was instead really drunk. My husband spoke to both the mom and the BF, and thanked them. They told him they would call him later. They did not.

Later on, many conflicting stories came out of this situation. Of course, we called my son and yelled at him for a while. In our business, you just don’t drive while under the influence, and he does not. My son says Ms. MiniD came to Thanksgiving dinner at his house with her own bottle of wine. (BF’s mother said no at first, then admitted later that she had given it to her. She also admitted later that she knew her son had a fake ID.) Ms. MiniD stayed at my son’s house for six hours, during which she drank the bottle of wine, had dinner, and plenty of coffee before she left. My son said she was fine when she left, and if she wasn’t he would have told her to stay with them.

So she made the 14 mile trip back to Marin, with no problem. Ms. MiniD says that back at the BF’s house, they had dessert, and the BF’s mother served her another three glasses of wine (at least). She doesn’t remember anything after that. After retiring in the BF’s bed, she began to get sick. The mother freaked out and called the ambulance.

Later that same day, the BF’s mother called me. At first, she was cordial. About three minutes into the call, however, she began to berate me about my parenting skills, saying at one point that didn’t I care about my daughter. I told her I had been concerned about her ever since mid-September when she first started dating her son. I noticed Ms. MiniD had posted photos of herself and the BF obviously drinking on her Facebook page. I was so concerned, I had even contacted the school, but after speaking to the Dean, she said that the grades were okay and that this was probably minor teenage rebellion.

But the mother didn’t want to listen to me. In no time at all, she became shrill and abusive, blaming her son’s falling by the wayside on my daughter. It was obvious to me that she didn’t like Ms. MiniD much, and didn’t think she was good enough for her son. It was also obvious that her son had covered his own ass and told a conflicting story to her. I told BF’s mom that I was hanging up now, and I did. There was no reason to continue the conversation.

Ten minutes later, she called back. Again, I said thanks for your concern, but you don’t know me, my daughter or my family, and I hung up again. About three minutes later, her neighbor called to give me the same condescending work over, and told me she had a number to a rehab place in Malibu. I also told her I wasn’t going to listen (not that I didn’t think my daughter needed intervention – she might, but because I didn’t need a couple of self-righteous rich bitches telling me what to do) and promptly hung up. This continued for another fifteen minutes. I was so upset, I text messaged my daughter and told her to tell her BF to tell his mother to give it up.

As my readers might know, I have given my daughter alcohol on occasion. However, I did so when I knew she wasn’t going to drive. I would never give any of her friends alcohol. A person could get into a lot of trouble doing that.

The end result was that the BF flew back to LA (mom didn’t want him in the car with my daughter), my daughter drove her car back alone (and almost ran out of gas) and supposedly they are broken up. However, they are broken up only on Facebook, and so they are not really broken up.

Mr. D wants to send the BF’s mother the medical bills. After all, she gave Ms. MiniD the alcohol to begin with. He agrees with the Dean’s assessment of the drunkenness, in that this is temporary. He also wants Ms. MiniD to come home. However, he’s not going to force the situation.

I really didn’t need this. I just wanted her to go to school where she would be happiest.

Drama like this is why I enjoy my emptied nest.

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The November Nutshell That Was Once a Turkey Still Is a Turkey

Now with the nest all emptied out, my culinary experiences have gone hog wild. This is because the youngest, Ms. MiniD, always complained about my cooking. She said that I made “weird” foods, and normally turned her nose up to my offerings. Then she would enlist her boyfriend to go to Taco Bell and eat fake Mexican cuisine.

(As a side note, my son also felt the same way when he left the house, until he endured four months of eating nothing but ramen noodles and turkey sandwiches. Now he lurves my cooking.)

Now that I’m free from that white noise, I’ve been going nuts. It’s just my husband, Mr. Demonic, and me, but we are a couple of food snobs, and I mean that in the worst way. I’ve been busy whipping up pasta from home grown tomatoes, preparing veal piccata, fish dishes, osso buco, veal chops, steak drenched in a bleu cheese sauce, grilled quail, slow roasted pulled pork sandwiches, well, you get the picture. Our one and only goal is to experience the best food before the end draws near. Which may be death, or when the world collapses in a massive depression. (I’m thinking the latter has a better chance of occurring.)

While the Sick Man’s mother stayed with us, I regaled her with my outstanding cooking. I’m sure she left, teary eyed, wondering why her son hadn’t ended up with me for a wife. The week before Thanksgiving, I decided to get the turkey and all the accompanying accoutrements, and have our Thanksgiving dinner then. My plan was to go out for Thanksgiving dinner and be served, for once. I couldn’t see making a turkey (even a small one such as the one I got – a little bigger than a chicken) for just two people. Even a baby bird weighing only ten pounds is about three pounds more turkey than I’d like to have, especially without company.

My turkey dinner ROCKED! It was great, we had garlic smashed potatoes, and a lot of juice came out of the bird, thus ensuring plenty of gravy. We also had the jellied cranberry sauce (I’ll eat the other kind too, but this is so out of my childhood memories, that I always serve it), roasted brussels sprouts with crimini mushrooms, and roasted yams. The stuffing turned out great (I make mine using the gizzards), and we had pie for dessert.

After that, I enlisted Mr. D to make dinner reservations for the real Thanksgiving Day. He kept putting it off and putting it off, until it was the day before. I wanted something nice, good food and not too fancy. He chose our favorite restaurant, Lily’s, a seafood grill which is right downtown and within walking distance. Their menu consisted of deep fried turkey and all of the fixings.

I was excited. This place, while not in California, is always experimenting with preparations. We’ve rarely had a bad meal there, maybe two in the last ten years. Thanksgiving was one of the two. I should have known by how crowded the place was, that this was not going to be a fun experience. Even though we had reservations, we were relegated to the bar. Both of us Demonics are allergic to cigarette smoke, and it’s precarious sitting on a high bar stool with a narrow table.

There was more bad news. After being seated in the very crowded bar area, we waited for a good fifteen minutes before a server came by. Luckily, the program included all you can drink mimosas that night, so we went straight for that. Once situated with our own bottle of champagne and jug of orange juice, we were left to ourselves for another half hour. This is really bad news. I’ve been known to charge hostess stands if left alone with with an unlimited supply of alcohol and no service. (I should write about that. I nearly beat up a hostess at an Outback Steak House, and another similar joint when someone stole our reservation right from under us.)

The delay was because our server was also the only bartender. Mr. D wanted very much to leave and go home to eat leftovers. I told him to wait five minutes before doing so.

The bartender-slash-server must have telepathically realized our dismay. He came right out with salads. Then we were left alone for another fifteen minutes. Mr. D was ready to shoot someone, but we had invested too much time to bail now. Finally the server came out with the rest of the dinner, served family style. Our narrow bar table could barely hold our plates, much less anything else. There was deep fried turkey (too fried, it was dry and crusty), mashed potatoes (passable, not like home made), a cranberry relish (very good), stuffing supposedly made with oysters (tasted like Stove Top, too salty, and if an oyster was in there, I didn’t see it). There was also an appetizer (served with dinner, a no-no) but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was. We also had pumpkin pie, but again, the gold standard is my home made pie, with fresh-out-of-the-garden pumpkins.

We walked home, full but slightly dissatisfied. Our regular date night at the restaurant was the next day, but Mr. D didn’t feel like going.

My word of advice from this experience: do NOT under any circumstances go to a seafood restaurant for a Thanksgiving dinner. Their expertise, after all, is in the fishy foods. I would have preferred a fishy food Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe next year.

Update on Thanksgiving

1. I cleaned both bathrooms, and started dusting my son’s room and the spare room. Then I went into cooking frenzy.

2. The turkey was excellent! A little dry, because I had to turn it down to give time for the chicken to cook.

3. THE CHICKEN. The chicken was scary! First of all, it weighed seven pounds. Second of all, the legs on it seemed much smaller than a normal chicken’s legs. Third of all, it appeared to be roundish in nature, and looked like a bowling ball in its bag. Fourth of all, it had some kind of slime on it. (I don’t know if that was because it was Amish?) Fifth of all, even though it was in the oven more than four hours, the meat was hard as a rock. I couldn’t even poke a fork into it. My daughter resigned herself to eating the dried out turkey.

3. The yams were delicious! I made them candied. I’m the only person who likes yams.

4. The corn was disappointing. I’m never buying frozen again.

5. The homemade gravy was amazing!

6. The potatoes… well, there’s a post within a post. I usually leave the skins on my redskins, but my daughter moaned that she would for ONCE like to have mashed potatoes that were skinless and whipped. I made them that way, and she didn’t eat any.

7. The dressing. It was edible, but I don’t eat it. That’s my husband’s favorite part of the meal.

8. The kitty attempted to nose-dive into all of it.

9. The cranberry sauce was canned, but I love it.

10. Pumpkin pie was homemade, from pumpkin I grew in the back yard. We used low fat Land-o-Lakes whipped cream.

All in all, it was pretty good. I still have a food hangover.