We're having our usual interesting mix of guests--those who've been with us for...approaching 40 years now, and those who are new this year, and those in between, in terms of longevity. The present count is fifteen and I'm hoping the weather allows the four who are nobly making a long trek to be with us can actually make it. The weather's due to change abruptly (from SSW winds to NNW winds, from unseasonably warm to amply-and-a-bit-more seasonably cold, with possible rain and thunderstorms as the front passes. On Thursday morning, of course. As they're driving.
I have chopped celery, parsley, and onion for the dressing. When I see people on TV cooking shows making dressing, they do not impress...oh, one or two ribs of celery, maybe a half an onion (the bold ones do a whole onion) and a little teensy bit of parsley. That's not the way, guys and gals. There needs to be a lot more greenery (counting onions--they're fresh vegetables, OK?) in the dressing than that. I put in as much parsley and celery as I do in making a big (20 quart) pot of stock, and slightly more onion. Along with a LOT of herbs. Nor is a measly 9x13 baking dish of dressing enough. (For fifteen? You've got to be kidding.)
What remains to be done: lots. Some of the known-quantity guests are bringing dishes to share: green beans, corn, pecan pies (two types), homemade cranberry sauce (two types), apple pie, rolls. I need to make my share of desserts (pumpkin pie, etc.) Giblets for gravy get cooked as soon as the turkeys are thawed enough to get them out (tomorrow, that should be.) Come the dawn on T-day, the turkeys go in the roasters and the ham gets its glaze (homemade spiced pear) and into one oven, dressing in the other while waiting for company to appear, while the tables are set and the decorations and nibbles are put in place. Cutting boards and platters will be in place to deal with moving food onto platters onto the tables. By the time guests arrive, with things to be last-minute-heated, one oven should be empty and ready for them, with gravy finishing on top of the stove.
The tables are a mix of older tables--we put the two "real" dining room tables together end to end (that can seat ten fairly comfortably, though they aren't exactly the same height or width) and we'll use a table we made from plywood and folding legs for the other five, far enough away for people to pass between.
And between now and then, I'll be dashing madly around, cooking, setting up the dining area, etc.