For the past 10 years, I've been making an appearance Thanksgiving morning on a local television talk show here in Los Angeles. It's on the Fox channel, and the show is Good Day L.A. Steve Edwards is the host of the show along with Jillian Barberie and Dorothy Lucey. I love these women, and we give poor Steve a hard time! Steve and I used to host a show together for eight years called A.M. Los Angeles. That's where we launched my now "famous" marinade that Oprah had me do live on her show last year!
The appearance on Good Day L.A. Thanksgiving morning has become a tradition. We call the segments, "Turkey 411." People from all over Los Angeles call with their turkey questions. Questions like:
Q. At what temperature do you roast a turkey? A. At 350°.
Q. How long do you roast a turkey for? A. Fifteen minutes per pound or until the meat thermometer reads 165°.
Q. I forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer, now what? A. Put your coat on, grab your keys to your car and go to the market and buy a turkey.
Q. (My personal favorite) Can I use my garlic press to mash potatoes? A. No.
It goes on like this for an hour along with people calling in with funny holiday stories!
I just love doing the show, although every year I when I get up and 5:00 a.m. I ask myself, "Why in the world am I doing this?" I should be staying home because I have 60 people coming over for Thanksgiving dinner in a few hours, plus it's so early!
This year, I'm particularly excited to do the show because my daughters—Alexandra, who will turn 23 on Thanksgiving Day, and Arianna who is 20—will join me! Each of them will have their own segments on leftovers and will most likely argue over who makes the best cranberry sauce! (I think I do.)
I was working with Steve when I gave birth to both my girls. He hasn't seen them in a while, and I'm going to surprise him by bringing them. It will make him happy!
I'm happy and grateful to be able to do the show and reach out and talk to so many people. Then I look forward to going home to share this holiday with family and friends and to give thanks for all the blessings. Of course, preparing for the big Thanksgiving meal is a big deal at my house. I love all the anticipation of cooking the meal and start at least three weeks out. I make the dishes that I can freeze and pull out the night before or early morning and pop them into the oven.
Preparing the dishes that can be frozen is a lifesaver, especially if you are entertaining a lot of people. I do it for safety reasons as well. Inevitably, there is always a hundred things going on from the weekend before Thanksgiving Day to "leftover weekend!"
If you have any relatives or guests coming in from out of town, you have to make sure the spare room is ready with incidentals because nowadays you can't pack anything on carry-on luggage to make you clean! You must make sure you provide, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush—because everyone forgets their toothbrush—deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, etc. No matter how well you stock the guest room, you will inevitably have someone ask you for bobby pins (which you don't have) so they won't get hair in the food while they "help" you cook. Always with the best intentions of course, but that never works because everyone has "their way" of doing things and their recipes that are always "the best ever and maybe you should try it this year."
Your kids and your guest are always hungry at the most inopportune time, like when you are peeling onions, which kind of works for me because I'm already in tears.
Then there's the turkey costumes that you went to five different stores to find for the Thanksgiving pageant that always falls on a Wednesday at your kids' school. Forget the fact that you can't find parking anywhere so you end up parking sideways on a hill and pray that your car doesn't roll over and hit the car that is parked illegally into a space that not even the towing people can get at!
Sitting through those turkey shows starting with the kindergarteners and your kids, who are eighth-graders, takes a huge chunk out of your day, not to mention your life! Been there, done that! Oh yes, the relatives or guests that are staying with you always arrive on the same Wednesday, so now you're torn between who will attend the school pageant and who will go to the airport—which is always a nightmare beyond epic proportions! I can't pick.
Somehow it all comes together, and having everyone around the Thanksgiving table is all worth it. All of it! Especially when you can hear and see the small kids running around as the grandparents are kissing the tops of their heads, hear the shouts from the other room as the Jets make a touchdown pass from 40 yards down and see the teenagers all in one corner, not talking to each other but actually texting one another! What's up with that? They're using these instruments that will give them "carpal thumb" if there is such a thing!
Love, love, love, the noise, the smell, the family and friends all together. And the best part is it goes on all weekend long!
Thank God there are plenty of leftovers to last the whole weekend! For me, that is the best part, eating the leftovers!