Each year we rotate who hosts the big shin dig we call a Schlenker Thanksgiving.
I hosted Christmas last year, and so technically it's not my turn. But because many in my family are recovering from surgeries or sicknesses, my new task is to take on a more adult role among the family and offer a Thanksgiving meal at my house.
Last year's Christmas dinner, hosted by me, went off without a hitch. Some even said it was the best turkey they've ever had. It's something I still get compliments for, and still get to brag about just as much.
This year, I'm a year older, a year more experienced in the kitchen and besides, I've mastered the turkey meal once before.
So, what's the problem you might ask?
I never use recipes.
So re-creating the masterpiece that everyone loved so much...it's going to be difficult and mostly impossible.
I've come up with a master plan of disguise, and hope my smiling face and bubbly personality will pull it off again this year.
I'm going to pretend it's the same recipe and hope no one notices. I remember most of the ingredients I used and I may even have the timing of the oven down better this year.
In addition to the wonderful company of my family, this year my significant other will be by my side, helping me prepare our home and our kitchen for my family, which numbers nearly two dozen.
I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by the people who love me most.
I'd like to say that being with my loved ones is enough, even if the turkey goes up in smoke.
But, unless I purposely smoked that turkey myself, I need this turkey to be perfect.
Last year's success was a rite of passage of sorts, but this year, it's a self-driven task to remain worthy of that rite of passage that I wholeheartedly earned last year.