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I'm No Martha Stewart!

by Laural Porter

Posted on November 14, 2007 at 6:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:33 PM

Everyone in my family knows that.
But, my father, who recently lost his wife, is coming to our house for Thanksgiving for the first time ever.
I've got to learn how to cook something fast.

Not only is my Dad coming, but so is my Uncle Bart;and my husband's sister; Kelly, her husband, Chris; their adult son and wife; and my daughter,Meg, is coming home from college.
That's in addition to our three children still at home.

What's a working mother to do? I've been lucky to have a dear husband who has cooked dinner for us for years, while I work the night shift.

But, my Dad is expecting his daughter to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Yikes!
He never lets me forget the time he and my Step-Mom came for dinner just after I was married.
Mike barbecued steak,and I made salad.
Dad tells me now, he was hoping for his first home-cooked meal from his oldest daughter.
So, I'm trying to channel Martha Stewart... and fast.

I recently stumbled across my Grandma Porter's old cookbook in our basement.
In it, I discovered her famous Pumpkin Chiffon, and Lemon Meringue pies.
Maybe I can surprise Dad with pies from his childhood.

But what is Oleo?
I had to look that one up on Wikipedia. Seems it was a brand name in the 1940s for Oleomargarine.
Okay, so I need 2 Tablespoons margarine... that doesn't seem like enough.
Oh, Grandma I wish you were here to help.

I also turned to the Oregonian's Food Day section for help.
I cut out this week's Thanksgiving recipes.
There's a delicious sounding traditional stuffing listed. But, how to make sure it's not too dry or too soggy?
And where do I get artisan-style bread, which the recipe recommends for the best flavor?
I guess Stovetop won't do for Thanksgiving with Dad.

And I wonder if I can get by with frozen pie crusts, or should I try to roll out my own?
I think I'll start practicing this weekend.

If any of you are gifted with Martha Stewart-like talents, please share any tips you have.

My Dad is counting on you.

May your Thanksgiving be blessed with family,good conversation, and the perfect pie, and dressing that's not too dry.