You Think The Shep Had A Thanksgiving Disaster? Wait Till You Hear This
I decided to get a jump on things tonight and bake one of my pumpkin pies. I say “one of” because yes, as you may have guessed, I am hosting Thanksgiving, so there should be more than one pie. My folks are driving seven hours to stay with us and we’ll have some friends as well as my own nuclear family unit of 4. As we’ve already established, I come from an Italian family so there will be no less than a seven course meal, followed by a full table of desserts. Nothing less will do.
So I mixed up the pumpkin pie filling and poured in into my unbaked crust. I threw the oven to preheat but noticed after a few minutes that the oven made no sound and the digital temperature screen still read 100 degrees. Here’s how the conversation went in my head for the next few minutes: “Hmmm. Let me try again. Turn the oven off and back on. Try the burners on the stove; okay those lit. Electricity is obviously working. Let me try the broiler. Nope, not going on. No gas. Nothing. Nada. So I have a 14 lb turkey in my fridge, a raw pie, a full Thanksgiving brood coming over tomorrow and no working oven. I’m not panicking.”
So I decide to call the manufacturer. Oddly, at 7pm on the night before Thanksgiving, they were there and a customer service rep answered and asked me the basic questions…”Make? Model? Year purchased? Mhmm. Mhmmm. Okay someone can come look at it on December 5th.”
I am not going to continue to describe the rest of that conversation to you because I may as well have been speaking to a stuffed animal based on the level of service I actually received as a customer from this customer service rep.
Next I call my husband, who now works the night shift so he is not home. Here’s how this conversation goes: “Did you try turning it off and on again?” I sigh and realize quickly that he will be no help and I have no time for this. I just hang up. Then I sit and think for a minute. Two minutes. What the heck can I do? Then I calm myself by saying, “Wait a minute. I work for Rachael Ray. I know all of these chefs. Surely one of them can help me!!!” So I start by calling Adam Perry Lang, owner of Daisy May’s Barbeque in New York City and winner of multiple national barbeque championships. I figure maybe he can tell me how to grill the bird. Now Adam is a real “guy.”In fact, most chefs I meet have a certain level of insanity to them-they are not wimps. They are not afraid. They will do what it takes to get the job done and done right. Adam is no exception. I explain the situation and here’s what he says:
“Sure you can grill it.”
“I have a little Weber charcoal grill.”
“No, you can’t grill it.”
“Okay what do I do?”
“Okay get down under the oven and remove the bottom plate and try to light a match-“
“No no, I can’t do that. I asked the manufacturer if there was anything I could do myself and they said no way, that I’d have to get the repair guy in to fix it.”
“They’re just saying that for liability reasons. You can do this. Get down with the box of matches and-“
Is this guy nuts? I’ll blow up the whole house! In fact, there’s probably gas leaking all over the kitchen. Now I am worried. I open all the windows. It’s cold outside. Meanwhile, I start to think of a plan B. I can make a Boston Cream Pie-no baking there, right? It’s really just this darned bird! Any other nice family would take that bird and donate it to a soup kitchen right now and just make a spaghetti supper on the stove and laugh about it for many Thanksgivings to come. Not this family. I would tarred and feathered and then they’d put me in the oven!
Who can I call next? It’s 9:30. Maybe I should just email someone or send a text. It’s kinda late. Maybe I can quarter the bird myself and stew it. Maybe I should wait for my father to get here because he can fix anything. Oh brother, I’m in trouble.