Step #1 Have a mother who bakes homemade sweet rolls. When last batch is done, she will feel woozy from sugar overload and turn off oven, then go to bed.
Step #2 Husband puts turkey in oven.
Step #3 Check on turkey an hour before it’s due to be done. Find stone cold turkey in turned off oven.
Step #4 Staunch panic attack with a round of hot buttered rums.
Step #5 Stuff turkey into microwave. Spend twenty minutes trying to figure out how to use probe and program microwave to use it. Read instructions for internal temperature in miniscule, wrinkled text from turkey wrapper dug out of trash (shake off coffee grounds first).
Step #6 Have another round of hot buttered rums as you contemplate the turkey splatting against the glass door as the turntable tries to function. Wonder if this is a good idea.
Step #7 Assign mother (who is no longer woozie), two aunts, and uncle to peel potatoes to alleviate the constant bickering about real and imagined childhood events and wounds.
Step #8 Listen to the geriatric quartet complain about your choice of peeling implements, and have another hot buttered rum.
Step #9 Referee the food fight and make mental note to remove the potato peels from the chandelier after they’ve dried and are less glue-like.
Step #10 Raid the liquor cabinet for all remaining alcohol. Make grandmother a Fuzzy Navel and sit with her as she drinks her “fruit juice” and compliments you on handling your “holiday fiasco” so well. Drink some of her Fuzzy Navel when she turns to chastise her out-of-control children.
Step #11 Make the rest of the food after sending the bickering quartet on a scavenger hunt for unneeded ingredients to stores you know will not be open. Force your husband to be their designated driver since he has been sitting on the couch laughing at your plight and sucking down more than his fair share of hot buttered rums all morning (and it was all his fault to begin with!).
Step #12 Watch the countdown on the microwave and pray the turkey will be edible because you don’t have enough other food to feed the twelve invited relatives, let alone the extra half-dozen they brought with them.
Step #13 Tie a bottle of cooking sherry to the dog’s collar for last ditch medicinal value if needed.
Step #14 When microwave dings, remove turkey, verify temperature with another thermometer. Close your eyes and start to cut. Then quickly open your eyes and narrowly prevent a major medical emergency.
Step #15 Listen to the collective diners rave over the wonderful, moist turkey – the best they’ve ever had, and wonder if it’s the turkey, or the massive infusions of hot buttered rum. And don’t care as you sip your sherry from behind the fake Ficus tree and dream of nice, quiet January.